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Israel Begins Ethnically Cleansing Its Population

First they came for the Africans...
Image via BBC

Image via BBC

To the surprise of no one who has been paying attention to Israel's steady march towards ethnonationalism, Netanyahu's extremist right wing government has begun to purge its population of people it finds undesirable. And they just happen to be black:

The Israeli government has issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment.

The migrants will be given up to $3,500 (£2,600) for leaving within the next 90 days.

They will be given the option of going to their home country or third countries.

If they do not leave, the Israeli authorities have threatened that they will start jailing them from April.

The UN refugee agency said the controversial plan violated international and Israeli laws.

The Israeli government says their return will be humane and "voluntary".

Leave or face jail is, by definition, not voluntary. And this is not the first time Israel has openly assaulted the human rights of Africans. Back in 2013, Israel admitted after a lot of denial that they had been coercing and/or deceiving Ethiopian Jewish women into taking long term birth control to suppress their population. Black Jews were simply unacceptable to the powers that be. They stopped the program but only after being exposed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been very clear that he finds African immigration a threat to the "existence" of Israel and, more recently, Israel has begun passing laws prioritizing Jewish citizens over everyone else. Now they're removing people who are not the correct color. Sooner or later, they'll get around to those who are not Jews and, eventually, those who are not of pure enough Jewish ancestry.

We've all seen seen this movie before and we know how it ends. That Jews are the ones proudly marching down the road to ethnic cleansing is perhaps one of the cruelest perversities in human history.

For years, criticism of the violence Israel visits on Palestinians has been met with accusation of antisemitism despite the fact that "Israel"
 and "Jew" are not in any way synonymous and many of the critics, like myself, are in fact Jewish. Even as Israel systematically stole land and engineered a slow-motion genocide in the Gaza Strip, we were not allowed to criticize what they were clearly doing. Only Jews-haters say bad things about Israel, right? (Hint: Wrong) Now that they're embracing apartheid and ethnic cleansing, will Israel's defenders still play the worn-out and tired antisemitism card? Or will they simply ignore the growing list of crimes against humanity and claim they are justified because of the nonexistent but somehow always imminent threat to Israel? I suppose it depends on what they think they can get away with but either way, they will continue to defend the indefensible. 

It's time for the press to stop giving them a free pass to do it and punishing those who speak out. Those that defend Israel's "right" to murder and steal land and build an apartheid state are free to do so but they should be treated as apologists and propagandists. There is no justification for what Israel is doing and we should stop pretending there is. Call us antisemitic all day long if you wish but opposing ethnonationalism is the moral thing to do. It was the moral thing to do 75 years ago when we opposed Germany and it's moral now even if it means opposing a nation built by some of those that Germany wanted to eliminate. Being the victim once upon a time doesn't mean you can never become the monster. 

Correction: I've fallen victim to the ever present threat of "Not catching the year of the original article." Regardless of the fact that this is a year old, everything else I wrote stands.