Is Israel the Last Jewish Ghetto?
By the end of 2012, all of Israel’s borders, over a thousand kilometers, will be protected by walls, fences and barriers.
You can compare it to Hadrian’s Wall (the monumental border of the Roman Empire in Britain), the Maginot Line (the French fortifications built to protect the borders between the First and Second World War) or the medieval ghetto (the Jewish quarter surrounded by a wall and gates).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just instructed the army to work on a barrier at the border with Jordan. The Jewish State is building another fence of 240 km with Egypt, to protect the south of the country from terrorists, illegal immigrants, arms dealers. The fall of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, along with recent terrorist attacks, accelerated the construction. Every day, dozens of bulldozers and caterpillars are working feverishly in fifty yards along the border. The only unprotected area, running through the desert of Arava and reaching the tourist city of Eilat, will soon be encircled.
Israel began to build barriers in 1967, soon after the Six-Day War, when a fence was built in the valley of Beit Shean to prevent infiltrations from the Jordan Valley. In 1994, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin built the barrier with the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu recently ordered the building of a new wall in Metulla, the northern city where the minions of Yasser Arafat killed lots of Jewish students and tourists. Metulla is now a shot from Hezbollah rockets. The army will build a barrier in the Golan, Israel’s strategic defense from Damascus, while the famous security barrier in Judea and Samaria should be completed later this year. This fence literally stopped the flow of Palestinian suicide bombers who killed hundreds of Jews inside the pre-1967 cities.
One of Israel’s founding fathers, Yigal Allon, once said that “no modern country can be surrounded by walls.” It’s true, but only Israel is literally strangled by terrorist groups and rogue states that are planning a new Holocaust. These fences are telling us more than anything else of the existential siege of the Jewish State.
But a tragic question still remains unsolved: is the Jewish State becoming a glorified and foredoomed ghetto, whetting the appetites of Islamic fundamentalists for its ultimate extinction? Is Israel reverting to the ghetto-like existence of 1948-1967, when Arab terrorism reigned and all population centers were within a few kilometers from a threatening border?
Trying to reconcile walls and fences with the idyllic peace the dovish architects of the Oslo agreements envisioned, Israeli leaders are now saying that “we must separate for a generation, until we learn to live together.”
In the mind of the “concessionists,” willing to give up all the land the Israeli army liberated and conquered in 1967, Israel must be turned into a Jewish ghetto in Falastin.
The new Jewish ghetto will be a truncated Israel, without the old Jerusalem, beleaguered by Arab refugees, a dependency of the UN Security Council which exchanges security borders for a paper peace. In the ghetto, land will be traded for tourism opportunities in other people’s countries. In the ghetto, “peace and money” will be the new leitmotif.
Faisal Husseini said that “peace will dissolve Israel by itself.” Imagine that after Gaza, most of Judea and Samaria were to be handed over to the Palestinians in a settlement with Israel’s neighbors. Then heard in the UN General Assembly, at Arab League meetings, in the European media, at summit meetings of the superpowers and all round the world’s parliaments: “The legitimate rights of the Arabs of Israel must be met.” It’s the “return” of Western Galilee, of a large part of the Negev, Jaffa, Acre, Nahariya. Jerusalem then must become an international city run by the Vatican for the benefit of all religions. Then, the Zionist ghetto of Tel Aviv and the Sharon plain must also be “returned” to the new Arab nation called Coastal Palestinians.
A fascinating novel written by the Dutch best-selling author Leon de Winter, titled “The Right of Return,” perfectly tells the story of Israel’s imagined ghetto. The Hebrew publishing houses refused to publish the book because it is meant to awaken the public to the dangers surrounding Israel. De Winter’s novel describes a State of Israel in 2024 that is reduced to the City-Ghetto of Tel Aviv. Even adjoining Jaffa is cut off from the city.
De Winter describes an Israel that is basically the area of greater Tel Aviv, with the northern part of the Negev, including Dimona. The north is gone, the south is gone, Jerusalem is gone. No Jews are living in Judea and Samaria. What’s left is a heavily fortified and secured but small area. Cameras and drones keep vigil on the Jewish population, and the journey into the unprotected Palestinian-dominated territories requires passing through check-points that are far more heavily secured than contemporary ones.
The book has a desperate undertone.
De Winter doesn’t tell us what happened, whether Israel shrinks because of a “peace process” (the old PLO “phased plan” to utilize every inch of “liberated” Arab soil as a springboard to the rest) or because of the Islamic war of attrition. The main focus of the book is on Bram Mannheim, a Dutch Jew who makes aliyah when he is 18 and becomes, at a young age, a celebrated leftist professor. He teaches history of the Middle East at the ultra-leftist Tel Aviv University. But tragedy hits when, in 2008, he has moved to Princeton with his wife and young son to become a professor there. His 4-year-old son disappears. Bram turns into a psychotic transient wandering around in the States. His father finds him and brings him back to Tel Aviv. In 2024, Bram runs a bureau that helps parents of children who have disappeared as well in this Jewish ghetto-city called Israel.
The late Dr. Yisrael Eldad once said about the possibility that Israel is ghettoizing itself by giving away Judea and Samaria: “That’s why we’re going to give back the territories: Jews can’t tolerate air and space!” Since the Arab masses don’t want peace without “Ashdod, Beit She’an, Haifa, and Jerusalem,” as the Palestinians chant at their rallies, Israel today faces two alternatives: either a Jewish fortress protected by the Golan-Samaria-Judea mountain ranger, or Shimon Peres’ “Brave New Israel,” or as others like to call it, the “Hong Kong of the Middle East” or “a new Benelux.” It is a badge of honor for the “settlers” that they stand in the way. They represent the only obstacle to Israel as the last Jewish ghetto. To Israel’s final liquidation.
Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book, “A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism.”