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The terrorist transfer bill: Not at all what it seems

Expelling a terrorist's family to the next town over is... inadequate, and making it optional is ridiculous

The bill being passed by the Knesset to transfer the families of terrorists is a bunch of smoke and mirrors…Here’s why:

The terrorist transfer bill that was initiated by Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev. Yogev’s bill states that within a week of a terrorist attack or an attempted attack, the IDF’s Central Command will be allowed to expel the relatives of the Palestinian assailants from their hometowns to other parts of the Judea and Samaria…Did you catch that? The terrorist’s families can be expelled to ‘other parts of Judea and Samaria’. No, the bill does not state that they are to be transferred to Europe. It doesn’t advise they be transferred to Syria. It doesn’t even call for them to be transferred to Gaza. It states that if the IDF wants, they can transfer them to somewhere inside Judea and Samaria. This means that if a terrorist from Hebron named Muhammad shoots a bunch of Israelis standing at a bus stop, Muhammad’s family in Hebron could be ‘expelled’ to Beit Lechem (a 10 minute drive from Hebron). Or, they can even be expelled to an adjacent village like Yatta. Heck, they can be ‘expelled’ to a close by neighborhood in Hebron itself according to the wording of this bill.

Where is Rabin when you need him?

Although Yitzchak Rabin is responsible for the failed Oslo Accords that resulted in the loss of life of thousands of Israelis, many of his policies are far more hawkish than are Bennett’s and his Jewish home party. For example, in 1992, Prime Minister Rabin expelled 400 terrorists from Judea/Samaria and Gaza into Lebanon…like a boss. According to a New York Times article, ‘He handed each terrorist $50 each, along with some food, jackets and blankets, the Palestinians from both the West Bank and Gaza were taken on a wintry night into the “security zone” that Israel has declared in southern Lebanon. They were then to be dropped off at the northern edge of the buffer zone and ordered into territory controlled by Lebanese forces’. So if Rabin can haul terrorists off to Lebanon, why can’t Bennett haul them off to Syria…or at the very least — Gaza?

It gets weirder

One thing that we need to remember about this bill is that even if it does get passed, its implementation is at the sole discretion of the army. This means that if the army doesn’t want to expel terrorist families, they have that option. So it would be safe to say that the army would be at worst, indifferent to the bill…apparently not. That’s because outgoing Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot as well as Shin Bet Chief Nadav Argaman, came out against the bill. Meanwhile, Bibi’s favorite scapegoat, Avichai Mandelblit also fought the bill. He told the meeting that  it will be hard to defend the law in the High Court, and that even it if is allowed it is likely to harm Israel’s legal standing in the international arena. He said there is a concern that the law could result in claims of war crimes against the expelled families being brought to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In other words, his opposition isn’t based in law, but rather on pure fear and speculation.

The bottom line

This terrorist transfer law is a complete farce. That’s because even if it the army decides to implement it (which it probably won’t), it means that they will be transferred to a nearby community at best and in the same region at worst. Furthermore, when Bennett, who believes that he is more qualified than Bibi to be Defense Minister, is advocating for a bill that is exponentially softer than what Yitzchak Rabin did, it becomes more and more clear that this bill is nothing short of a pathetic deterioration of a political party who has miraculously convinced the Israeli people that they are ‘right wing’.

About the Author
David Sidman is a candidate in the Zehut political party, Israel activist and contributor to He is also a professional dog trainer. You can follow him at @theIsraeliShow
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