Giora Eiland is one of the “thinking officers” to have come out of the IDF. Pleasant and eloquent, his demeanor is all moderation and sound judgment. He had an impressive military career, was head of the military’s Operations and Planning Division and head of the National Security Council. He is constantly being interviewed and hailed by the Labor movement. He isn’t inarticulate and ignorant like Brig. Gen. Amir Avivi and isn’t bloodthirsty like Itamar Ben Gvir. Middle of the road, moderate right.
Eiland, not a well man, who has even written a book about his suffering, has an idea: Epidemics in Gaza are good for Israel. “After all, severe epidemics in the southern Strip will bring victory closer and reduce fatalities among IDF soldiers,” he wrote this week in Yedioth Ahronoth. One only has to wait for the daughters of Hamas’ leaders to contract the plague, and we’ve won.
Eiland didn’t detail which plagues he recommends – pestilence, boils or cholera, maybe a cocktail of smallpox and AIDS; perhaps also starvation for two million people. A promise of Israeli victory at rock bottom prices. “And no, it’s not cruelty for its own sake,” he stressed, as though anyone thought otherwise. In fact, it’s rare kindness and humaneness, which would only save human lives.
Eiland, in the role of Mother Theresa, an officer and a gentleman in the world’s most moral army, made a Nazi proposal and no storm broke out. Anyone who attributes genocide to Israel is anti-Semitic, after all. Just imagine a European general proposing to starve a nation, or to kill it with an epidemic – the Jews, for instance. Imagine spreading a plague because it would promote the war effort. All is fair in war, and now it’s ok to suggest anything and everything you’ve dreamed of and never dared to bring up. Political correctness has been turned upside down. Anyone can be Meir Kahane, nobody may be human. It’s ok to propose genocide, but wrong to pity the children of Gaza. It’s ok to propose ethnic cleansing, but it’s wrong to be shocked by Gaza’s punishment.
It’s no longer only the right. It’s the mainstream. Yesh Atid’s MK Ram Ben Barak supports voluntary transfer, the moderate minister Gila Gamliel is also in favor. The Foreign Ministry said she doesn’t represent the government. Yes, she does, and not only the government.
Monstrousness has become correct, diabolism has penetrated the center and even left of center. Another war or two, and everyone will be Kahane.
We haven’t yet recovered from Hamas’ brutality, and already we are being inundated with all this goodness — not only from the extreme right and the settlers, but from the heart of the Israeli center. Apparently, there is horrific cruelty and correct cruelty. Hamas are animals, but the proposal to spread disease is legitimate. One of the most dangerous occurrences to be born in this war is unfolding before our eyes: the standardization, legalization and normalization of evil.
This evil grew out of the ground of the unbelievable disregard and pathological indifference in Israel to what’s happening now in Gaza. Foreign journalists who come here can’t believe their eyes: Gaza’s suffering doesn’t exist. Israel hasn’t killed thousands of children and didn’t evict a million people from their homes. Gaza’s sacrifice is totally out of the picture, gone not only from public discourse but even from the daily news. On Israeli television, alone in the world, we didn’t kill children. According to the Israeli media, the IDF hasn’t committed in this war even one tiny little war crime.
A society that so disregards reality and is so indifferent to the suffering of the nation it declared war on raises moral mutations like Eiland. You can be sure he thinks his suggestion isn’t in any way tainted, all he did was make a reasonable suggestion that serves Israel’s interest. What other consideration is there, anyway, except Israel’s interest? International law is for the weak, morality for the philosophizers, humanism for the bleeding hearts. And really, what’s wrong with a plague in Gaza? Only one thing: it could infect Israel too. In fact, it already has.