Jews Transfer Jews

Jews transferring Jews, removing them for the sake of Arabs. What is wrong with this idea?

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Gary Fitleberg

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Jews transferring Jews, removing them for the sake of Arabs. What is wrong with this idea?

The very idea is a sick, terrible tragedy of helping others, but not ourselves. In fact, it is helping our enemy, sworn to destroy us, to do it ourselves.

The only Jewish nation-state in the world is self-destructing by giving up G-d's gift, an eternal covenant with the Children of Israel for a Jewish homeland - not another Arab homeland.

First, we witness the impending transfer of Jews from Gaza in Ariel Sharon's surrender to terrorism and terrorists, referred to as the "disengagement plan" to soften the blow.

Now, the Lod vice-mayor calls for the transfer of Jews from a majority-Arab neighborhood.

What is going on here? Help!

Lod Vice-Mayor Emil Haddad has called for the state to finance the evacuation of the Jewish residents of the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood, where 70 percent of the residents are Arabs.

Haddad is certain his plan is the best way "to save the Jews" living there from "harassment," as he says, by the Arabs. "In any case, there are 700 housing units needed for Arabs in Lod. The Housing Ministry should just buy those apartments from the minority of Jewish families still living in Ramat Eshkol, and move them to a new neighborhood that will be built in the northern part of the city. We'll make available 460 dunam and build a good, quality neighborhood," he said. Haddad is so sure of his plan that he calls its opponents "blind."

The veteran Likud activist says that he is very close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "I'm the closest to him," he brags. "He'll hear about my plan and I hope he loves it. I also plan to present it to Absorption Minister Tzippi Livni. This is the solution to the problem here. You have to understand, I say these things as a Lod resident, who was born here and lived here 51 years."

Haddad is bothered by the complaints from neighborhood residents. "According to the complaints, I understand that it is impossible to live there. A young Arab can come along and make friends with a young Jewish woman, and her mother won't say a word. She won't complain. She won't talk. She'll just be afraid."

Aharon Ganashvilli, a resident of the neighborhood, agrees. "There's no choice," he says, "My family is one of the few Jewish families left in Ramat Eshkol. I've suffered for years. It is impossible to go on like this. Already 25 years ago, when the first Arab family moved in, we warned this would happen. Now we have to leave, go live somewhere else."

Another resident, who is opposed to Haddad's idea, nonetheless reports about stones thrown by Arab children at Shaarei Shamayim, a synagogue in the neighborhood. "The synagogue was full of worshipers, but Haddad's talk legitimizes such things."

According to city hall officials, some 70 percent of the 500 families living in Ramat Eshkol are Arab and the rest are Jewish. Most of the Jewish residents are poor, new immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia who don't have the money to move to other, better neighborhoods. Those who can leave the neighborhood didn't wait for Haddad.

"Up until a decade ago," said a Lod city councillor, "the Arab families were not even 7 percent of the neighborhood, but the Jews left the neighborhood over the years, paving the way for the Arab families to move in."

Haddad, whose idea was first reported last week in the local weekly, Ayalon of Yedioth Tikshoret, caused a scandal in the mixed city with the idea. Opponents of the plan - and there are many in the town - said it sounds like "transfer" for the Jews. Others say that the idea is sheer populism, meant to improve his political stature.

Mayor Benny Regev made it clear that Haddad's idea is Haddad's alone, that he has nothing to do with it, and that it does not represent the city's policy. When he encountered a couple of dozen demonstrators from the Yisrael Beitenu movement yesterday outside city hall, he told them that the ruckus was "much ado about nothing."

Yisrael Beitenu appears to be the most upset about the Haddad proposal, and party leader Avigdor Lieberman has become involved. "It is horrifying," he says, "especially because it comes from someone in the Likud. We understand that there is pressure from Arabs, and people are running away. That's how we ran away from Lebanon, that's how they want to run away from Gush Katif and now they want to run from Lod. This is a dangerous precedent with ramifications for other mixed cities like Ramle, Upper Nazareth and Jaffa."

The Arabs of Ramat Eshkol don't exactly understand what Haddad is upset about. They are proud of the coexistence in the neighborhood. Yatim Seif, 20, says, "Haddad's plan is sheer racism. Instead of investing so much energy in such an approach, let him nurture the neighborhood a little. Clean up the playgrounds that are full of garbage, put up a fence around the basketball court near our homes, trim the bushes that block the sidewalks."

Shabtai Katash, from the independent religious list in the city council, also opposes the plan, and has offered one of his own instead. "A Torah-oriented group should move in, settle there and at the same time, the police presence in the neighborhood should be strengthened."

Katash and nine other city councilors want to hear an explanation form Haddad. "If he means what he says, we will lead a move to have him removed from office," said Deputy Mayor Rafi Krichli, a Yisrael Beitenu politician. "He simply wants to transfer Jews in the heart of the country. Escape? Run away? Give the neighborhood to the Arabs? We want the neighborhood to remain Jewish."

If the Arabs don't grab land by bombing Jewish citizens to destroy and eliminate the population, Israel's leaders will give it away to the Arabs, who are stealing our great gift given to us by G-d. Are we willing to give up the gift? Apparently so. Why?

There are presently 22 Arab/Islamic nations. Most of them have expelled forcibly the nearly one million Jews that lived in those places for hundreds and thousands of years. There is only a miniscule number of Jews left anywhere in any Arab nation.

The Jewish State of Israel should allow its Jewish citizens to live wherever they choose and not forcibly remove or transfer them. Instead they should consider the removal or transfer of the Arab population back to where they rightfully belong - to their homelands in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. A Jewish State can only remain so if it treats the Arabs fairly and squarely by treating them to a free transfer back home. Jewish rights in a Jewish state must be considered first, as top priority.

Let's remove the Arab settlers and squatters who are living in a Jewish state and let them have their "right of return" to their ancestral homeland of Arabia. I am sure they will enjoy the democracy and freedoms of the corrupt dictatorships, human rights violators, ruthless, repressive regimes and tyrannies.


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