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Israel's ‘Blood and Soil’ Gang Turns Cabinet Meeting into Prolonged Screaming Session

Early last week, Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer met with Washington officials at the White House, and delivered a message to Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu—that his War Cabinet had to meet on the matter of a plan to govern Gaza after the fighting ceased, the so-called “Day After” plan. The meeting was scheduled for Dec. 28, but was canceled at the last second by Netanyahu, when he submitted to the harsh objections of Finance Minister Belazel Smotrich. The latter, in defense of driving the Palestinians out of Gaza and resettling the land with Israeli settlers, would not abide the War Cabinet—of which he is not a part—to deliberate on such matters. Rather, he insisted it first be taken up by the full cabinet.

It was suspected by the “Eretz Yisrael"/"Greater Israel” gang, appropriately called the “blood and soil” gang, centered around Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir that Washington was going to push forward, in one fashion or another, with the official position of a two-state solution and with a role for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. That led to the wild explosion last night at what was supposed to be a full cabinet meeting.

First Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held a press conference yesterday, revealing his “Day After” plan, and saying that he had discussed it with Washington and other allies. Of note, it keeps the IDF in charge of Gaza, allows for some Palestinian involvement in administering local services, but excludes the Palestinian Authority and excludes any Israeli settlers. It was discussed in the War Cabinet before the convening of the full cabinet. The “blood and soil” gang went berserk—not because the plan is unworkable, but because ethnic cleansing was not at the center of it.

Publicly, Smotrich reacted to the exclusion of Israeli settlers taking over the land, with a restrained version of his objection: “Gallant’s ‘day after’ plan is a re-run of the ‘day before’ October 7. The solution for Gaza requires out-of-the-box thinking and a changed conception.” The solution for Gaza involves “encouraging voluntary emigration [of Gazans] and full [Israeli] security control including renewed settlement.” Smotrich’s conception of “encouraging voluntary emigration” centers around the destruction of the homes of the Gazans, allowing diseases to spread, and making their continued presence unlivable. It is an escalation of the encouragement of voluntary emigration that he has been overseeing in the West Bank, but on steroids.

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