A well-known Israeli settler rabbi recently called for Israel to “cleanse” the territories it occupies of all Palestinians, according to the news website The Times of Israel.
During a visit to Israeli settlers on 30 September in the occupied West Bank, Rabbi Dov Lior said that Israel “must strive to cleanse the entire country” of Palestinians, ostensibly referring to present-day Israel, the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
Lior, who is the chief rabbi for Israeli settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron and in the Kiryat Arba settlement, was speaking at an event at Givat Oz Vgaon, an “outpost” colony recently established in the Etzion bloc of settlements in the central West Bank.
From the time it occupied the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) in 1967, Israel has recognized 125 Jewish-only settlements that today harbor a population of an estimated 550,000 Israeli Jews, according to the human rights group B’Tselem.
Givat Oz Vgaon is one of more than one hundred smaller colonies known as “outposts” that also dot the map of the territory. Though outposts are considered illegal even under Israeli law, they are often provided with state resources, including funding, and are protected by the Israeli military.
“There was no peace and there will never be peace, not because we do not want [peace], but because there is no one to make peace with,” Lior said, as reported by The Times of Israel.
Using even more racist and orientalist language, he added: “This is their character, they are for war, and the traits of a nation do not change.”
He also said the Israeli government ought to force Palestinians to “return” to Saudi Arabia, employing old Israeli tropes that claim Palestinians are not indigenous to historic Palestine. more