We know what Plan A is. Plan A is for the Jewish people to stay in Israel. And we hope Plan A succeeds for generations to come and the two state solution is implemented: a peace treaty that gives Palestinians their country and the Jewish people and non Jews who want to live there, Israel.
But after the victory of Hamas, the expressed animosity of a soon to be nuclear power, Iran supporting Hezbollah and Hamas, the influence of Syria over Lebanon and the presumed rearming of Al Qaida taking place in Jordan, shouldn´t Israeli Jews begin to develop a contingency plan?
Growing up Jewish you many times hear glorious statistics. For example we are only 13 million people in a planet of over 6 billion or less than 0.2% of the population but “we” have won 22% of the Nobel prizes. Still as smart as “we” may seem we have not been very successful when confronted with extremely determined, extremely evil, anti Jewish people intent on killing us. The sad result is that in a world that has more than tripled its population in the last 100 years “we” have actually decreased in absolute numbers to only 13 million of which 5 million as of yesterday live next to an elected government who questions their existence.
This Thursday, a political party whose aim is the destruction of the state of Israel and its own emblem shows all of Israel as an Islamic state won the elections in Palestine. And this party, which represents the majority of the Palestinian people, has a charter that says the following:
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
“The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up.”
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
“The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion… It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions…”
“After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”
So we know plan A, plan A is to stay in Israel. But seeing Hamas stated objectives shouldn´t at least some Jewish people in Israel have a plan B? Even a dirty bomb could wreak havoc in Israel, a tiny country with heavily concentrated population and to me it´s hard to envision how a party that has proudly carried out so many terrorist campaigns will soon renounce to terrorism and recognize the State of Israel as Yasser Arafat did. We can of course hope that this happens. But we cannot count on it.
So what can Israelis do? While Iran, one of Israel´s stated enemies, is a country of 70 million mostly poor people who can´t be evacuated Israel is a country of only 5 million well off people all within one hour of a coast line who can be swiftly evacuated. How hard is to move 5 million people? Not that hard. During holidays over 5 million people fly in Europe in one day. All of the population of Israel, except the army should they decide to stay, could be quickly airlifted, at their own expense using existing Israeli airfields. Moreover on any time of the year other than July and August, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Croatia, France and Spain have more than 5 million empty summer homes all within walking distance of the Mediterranean coastline and most permanently available for rent. Displacing large amounts of refugees is a problem only when they are poor. Spain received 57 million well off displaced citizens otherwise known as tourists, last year alone. It is easy to move 5 million people who can afford their displacement. Europe is used to this.
As a Jew who fled the antisemitic dictatorship of Argentina in the 70s only to see his 17 year old cousin stay behind and be killed I know how important yet how hard it is for Jews to know when to leave. While admittedly it would be absurd to say that Jews should leave Israel one day after the victory of Hamas, I do think that the Hamas victory does require some contingency planning. Diaspora Jews can help on this. There´s 8 million of us, and if most Diaspora Jews are willing to board an Israeli family the evacuation could be easier still. Tonight over dinner we spoke about this at my family and we all agree that should the unthinkable become true as it did in Nazi Germany and in my native Argentina we would gladly take a Jewish family at our home and help them get organized here in Madrid. I hope that the Spanish government would not mind. I am sure in America and other countries there are millions of families who think like us.
Nuclear weapons have only been used once in our history. The horror and injustice of the murdering of innocent Japanese people combined with the incredible deterrent value of facing the same fate as the attacked has prevented most warring nations from using nuclear weapons again. But when a party that venerates martyrdom allies aligns its objectives with a nation that will soon be a nuclear power this logic may fail.
Israel does need a plan B and I very much hope it has or soon puts one in place. I also very much hope it never needs to put it into practice and that the two state solution is finally implemented and all of us, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and agnostics (I am also one of those) can learn to live in peace and respect.
Posted on January 27, 2006