OpinionIsrael at War

Blocking voluntary emigration from Gaza is unjust and inhumane

Why has the world adopted a double standard towards Gaza refugees?

Tens of thousands of Palestinians from the northern Gaza Strip walk through a humanitarian corridor to the safety of southern Gaza, Nov. 10, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians from the northern Gaza Strip walk through a humanitarian corridor to the safety of southern Gaza, Nov. 10, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.
Avi Abelow (Facebook)
Avi Abelow
Avi Abelow is host of the Pulse of Israel Show and CEO of 12Tribe Films Foundation.

As Israel fights to eliminate Hamas and its reign of terror, U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken continue to interfere. During Blinken’s latest visit to Israel, he tempered statements of support for Israel with caveats, stating emphatically at a Tel Aviv press conference that “the United States unequivocally rejects any proposals advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza.”

Why did Blinken advocate such a narrow and ultimately inhumane policy?

The U.S. should allow Israel to set its own policies and support whatever Israel deems necessary to end the evil that massacred, raped and mutilated 1,200 innocent people and took some 240 hostages. In addition, the Biden administration should openly call on Muslim countries to take in Gaza refugees.

Biden must understand that Hamas is not merely a terrorist organization. Its ambitions go well beyond terrorism. Its ideology, rooted in the ethnic cleansing of “infidels,” threatens every non-Muslim in the Middle East. This explains the immense financial support Hamas receives from Iran and Qatar, as well as from a majority of “mainstream” Arab Muslims in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The majority of Israelis now understand that they live next door to people who believe the Middle East must be rid of Jews. Thus, Israelis understand that the war against Hamas is existential.

This is likely why, in a Jan. 2024 survey conducted by Direct Polls Ltd., 76% of Israelis supported voluntary emigration of Gaza residents to other countries. This is a much higher percentage of the population than the right-wing base.

Israelis understand that targeting Hamas leaders alone will not make Israel safer. Video footage from Oct. 7 clearly shows how many Gaza civilians streamed into Israel to take part in the massacre and celebrated as terrorists drove Israeli captives through the streets of Gaza. Civilian families actively held hostages in their homes.

Unfortunately, the world refuses to confront this reality. As a result, it has adopted a double standard towards Gaza refugees.

When Russia launched its war against Ukraine, leaders of the Western world advocated for the mass emigration of Ukrainian refugees to safety. Those leaders demanded the same regarding Syrian refugees, asking the world to grant them safe haven. The world has remained largely silent as Pakistan expels over a million Afghans.

It seems, then, that the mass resettlement of millions of refugees from other conflicts is morally acceptable to the international community.

The world must end this double standard, if only because Gaza’s infrastructure has been severely compromised, making the refugees’ immediate return impossible. It will take months for Israel to destroy the vast network of terror tunnels Hamas has constructed beneath hundreds of Gaza neighborhoods. It is highly unrealistic to call for a return to those neighborhoods anytime soon.

Clearly, many Gazans have no recourse but to leave voluntarily. However, by keeping Gaza’s southern border sealed, Egypt has blocked their exit. Yet while calling for “Israeli restraint,” Blinken has not once called on Egypt or the Arab world in general to accept and aid Gaza civilians who wish to leave.  

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s proposal to resettle Gazans in countries that share their ideology, such as Iran and Qatar, is a logical and just solution to this problem. A U.S. policy concerned with the quality of life of Gaza civilians—and with peace in general—would enable Gazans to live better lives in countries amenable to their racist ideology, far from the Jews they want to massacre.

Israel appreciates the Biden administration’s support during this war, but aid alone will not restore Israel’s security if it is linked to maintaining evil, Hitleresque ideologues on her borders. Israel cannot achieve victory without destroying these extremists. To save Gaza civilians from the destruction this inherently involves, those who wish to leave must be given the opportunity.

As for the extremists themselves, they should have the choice to live anywhere but in or near Israel. Providing such an opportunity is a moral imperative.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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