Blocking voluntary emigration from Gaza is unjust and inhumane

by Avi Abelow
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As Israel fights its war to eliminate Hamas and its reign of terror, President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken continue to interfere. During Secretary Blinken’s visit to Israel this week, he couched statements of support for Israel with caveats, stating emphatically in his Tel Aviv press conference that “the United States unequivocally rejects any proposals advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza.” 

Why such a narrow and ultimately inhumane policy for everyone involved?

First and foremost, the United States should allow Israel to decide its policy and support whatever Israel deems necessary to end the evil that massacred, raped, and mutilated 1,269 innocent Israeli Jews and took 240 hostages. 

In addition, the US administration must cease using the language of “too much” and should openly challenge Muslim countries to take Gazan refugees.

President Biden needs to understand that Hamas is not merely a terrorist organization; it ascribes to an ideology that employs terrorism as a means to achieve its goals. This ideology, rooted in the ethnic cleansing of ‘infidels,” is the core danger that poses a threat to every non-Muslim in the entire region. This understanding explains the immense amount of financial support Hamas receives from Iran and Qatar, as well as support from a majority of “mainstream” Arab Muslims in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. 

The true danger lies in leaving in Israel’s midst a pervasive ideology that espouses the country’s complete annihilation. The majority of Israelis today understand that they live within a 2-mile radius of many who believe the Middle East must be rid of Jews, period, and that their fight is for their very existence. In a January 2024 poll conducted by Direct Polls Ltd. 76% of Israelis responded in support of voluntary emigration of the residents of the Gaza Strip to other countries. This is a much higher percentage of the population than the right-wing voter base. 

They understand that targeting Hamas leaders alone will not make Israel safer. Video footage from Oct. 7th clearly shows how many Gazan civilians streamed into Israel to take part in the massacre, celebrating as terrorists drove Israeli captives through the streets of Gaza. Civilian families actively held hostages in their homes! Removing the surrounding presence of this ideology is the only real solution, and what the US Administration must understand. 

Yet, we see the world’s double standard when comparing the treatment of Gaza to other global crises. 

As Ukraine began to suffer relentless attacks from Russia, leaders of the Western world advocated for the mass emigration of Ukrainian refugees to safety.  Those same leaders spoke up on behalf of Syrian refugees, asking the world to grant them safe haven. 

The world remains completely silent as Pakistan expels over 1 million Afghans. Except, as  Reuters reports: “The UNHCR…is calling upon the government of Pakistan to halt …during this harsh season of winter because the cold in Afghanistan is really deadly and it can take lives.” 

The mass resettlement of millions of refugees in other world conflicts is morally acceptable  – even when it is an involuntary “expulsion” (as long as it is not too cold.)  

Yet Gazans, who aid and abet Hamas, beat hostages in the street, and teach their children that Israel must be ethnically cleansed of Jews, must remain in Gaza –  even at their own peril. 

The world must wake up to these uncomfortable facts: 

1. Gaza’s infrastructure has been severely compromised, making immediate return impossible. It will take months for Israel to destroy the vast network of terror tunnels Hamas built beneath hundreds of Gaza neighborhoods. It is highly unrealistic to call for a return to those homes anytime soon.

2. Gazans have no recourse to willingly leave. By forcing the Rafah border to remain shut, Egypt has blocked that exit. While calling for “Israeli restraint,” Secretary Blinken has not once called on the Arab world to accept and aid those Gazan civilians who wish to leave.  

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s proposal to resettle Gazans in countries sharing their ideology, like Iran and Qatar, is a logical and just solution. A US policy concerned with the quality of life of citizens – and with peace – would, ironically, enable them to live better lives in countries that disturbingly abide by their racist ideology, far away from the Jews they want to massacre.

While appreciating the Biden administration’s support, contextualizing it is essential. Aid alone won’t protect Israelis if the accompanying policy insists on maintaining an evil Nazi-like ideology bent on Israel’s destruction surrounding her on all sides. Israel cannot achieve victory without liberating Gaza from the grip of this extremism, and all Gazans who wish to leave must be given the opportunity. It is the only humane and just approach. 

The media and the Biden administration seem to overlook the fact that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Sunni, Shiite, female, gay, and atheist born-Muslims can live in freedom and equality, and do so, alongside Jews, Christians, Druze, Bahai, and others. 

Those who want a state in this sliver of land ethnically cleansed of Jews (or any non-Muslims), should have the choice to live anywhere but in or near Israel. Providing an alternative is a moral imperative. 

The American administration must stop pressuring Israel and allow it to operate like a country in the Middle East. The language of appeasement, diplomacy, and ceasefires has never achieved peace in this part of the world. It never will. Thanks to Hamas, those illusions have ended for the people of Israel. 

Originally posted on JNS.org


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