Monday, August 19, 2013

The Transfer Proposal (in Knesset) 1987

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The speech by Vice Minister of Defense Michael Dekel calling for a voluntary “transfer” of Arabs from Judea and Samaria, to be agreed upon by the Arab states, raised an incredible furor in Israel, far more than it really deserved.  It was immediately attacked by the entire spectrum of the Left, condemned by the Likud party of which Mr. Dekel is a member, and put down by Tehiya.  Foreign Minister Shimon Peres called it the product of a perverted mind, and immediately three motions of no-confidence were presented in the Knesset.  Two, by the Communists and the Progressive List, blasted the government for not taking action against Dekel. The third, by the Kach Movement, condemned the government for not supporting Dekel and not condemning Peres.

Leading off the debate was communist Party head, Meir Vilner who said:

M. Vilner (Communists): Now it is clear to those who previously could not see that racist and fascist views are the province of leaders of parties represented in the government and not only of Kahane and his gang.

M. Kahane (Kach): What is this “gang”?

Speaker: Knesset Member Kahane, do you know what you call Knesset members here?  What he said is still nothing in comparison.

M. Kahane: You try to stop me.  Why are you silent when it comes to this Communist?

Speaker: Are you still continuing this?  If you continue, they will tell you things that are not very pleasant to hear.  

M. Vilner: We dare not underestimate these racist plots.  They are aimed at the very national existence of the Palestine people.  They are rooted in the Nazi racist ideology.

M. Kahane: Perhaps in the Stalinist Nazi Ideology?

Speaker: Knesset Member Kahane, you are scheduled to present a no-confidence motion today on the same subject.  Save these things for your own speech.

M. Vilner: One of the fascist racists, General (Reserves)  Rehavam Z’evi, yesterday wrote in Yediot Achronot, and I quote: “For those who say that the transfer proposal is not moral, why was it moral when David Ben-Gurion dealt with it and sent Yitzchak Navon to check the feasibility of sending Arabs to Latin America?  Why was it moral when Chaim Weizmann, Menachem Usishkin, Arthur Rupin, Yosef Weitz, Berel Katznelson, Yigal Alon, Yitzchak Rabin, Moshe Dayan and many others spoke about it?”  

Indeed, all those who dealt with it have unclean hands.  Members of the Knesset, these racist plans, according to international law – I checked yesterday – in the concept of “genocide,” there is included the ouster of a people from its homeland.

M. Kahane: But it is not their homeland.

M. Vilner: We demand the ouster of Michael Dekel from his past as Vice Minister of Defense.
M. Kahane: Transfer him.

M. Vilner: The continuation of the occupation and the estrangement of the Likud and its far-right partners from the national rights of the Palestine Arab people, the program of cruel oppression of the occupied territories – we saw what they did in Gaza and not to Jewish terrorists.

M. Kahane: How dare you!  What gall!!!  They murdered an Israeli officer in Gaza, you retched Moscow puppet.

Speaker: Knesset member Kahane, please calm down.

When it was Kahane’s time to present his motion of no-confidence, he began by saying:

“And it came to pass in the days of the two-headed kingdom, that the flying Peres (‘peres’is a bearded vulture’ in Hebrew) raised his head and exclaimed: ‘Only a perverted mind could propose a transfer.’

“Shimon Peres, the expert witness on perverted minds.  The baker comes and testifies to his handiwork.  Only a perverted mind would suggest a transfer?  Or perhaps he who condemns, testifies to his own failings and only a twisted mind condemns the transfer.

“I must immediately make it clear that my soul is repelled by the concept of ‘tranfer,’ and for a few reasons.  One, what kind of a word is ‘transfer’? and for a few reasons.  One, what kind of a word is transfer’? Are there no Hebrew words left? And how we conjugate it?  ‘Ani atransfer’; ‘ata t’transfer’; ‘anachnu n’transfer’…?

If the Vice Minister had some imagination and prayed the Ma’ariv (evening service daily, he might speak of ‘lha’ariv aravim …’

“And more.  What is transfer by choice?  What nonsense! No Arab will voluntarily choose to be transferred.  The whole concept is ludicrous.  Our Torah and Rabbis spoke Hebrew properly, and used the proper words in this context.  Listen, Shimon Peres, and receive both a lesson in Judaism and Hebrew.

“In the Book Number (33:52), the All Mighty commands Moses and Israel as follows: ‘And you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you.’ Precise words.  The All Mighty is not a Vice Minister of Defense who must play with words, modify them, soften them, lest He be called ‘racist’ or fascist.’ He uses the word ‘v’horashtem,’ which Rashi explains as: ‘u’girashtem,’ ‘And you will drive them out.’ And so does the translator Onkelos write.

“Oh, Reb Shimon Peres, perhaps they, too, have perverted minds, Rashi, Onkelos and G-d?  This weasly word ‘transfer’ is not found in the commentary on this verse by the Sforno, who writes ka’asher tva’aru yoshvei ha’aretz…’Tuvaru – uproot them. Ah, what a clear understanding versus the perverted mind of Shimon Peres and the fear of Michael Dekel, who did not have the courage to adopt the halachic…”

It was here that Kahane was astoundingly interrupted by the speaker who, just twenty minutes earlier, had defended the Communist Vilner when Kahane demanded that the latter be called to order for defaming him.  Now the speaker, Aharon Nahmias of Labor, said:

Speaker: You are already insulting, Knesset Member Kahane.
September 4, 1987


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