Israeli soldiers

A group of former Israeli military and security officials have launched a campaign urging separation from the Palestinians, using what critics have dubbed “racist” adverts.

According to a report by the Times of Israel, the ‘Commanders for Israel’s Security’ group took out a full page ad in two of Israel’s leading newspapers on Sunday, in addition to public billboards.

The ad has ‘Soon we shall be the majority’ written in Arabic, alongside images of Palestinians and the Palestinian flag. In English, it says, ‘Palestine: One state for two people’. There is also a telephone number, which if dialled plays a recording of former Israeli general Avi Mizrahi saying:

“Are the billboards bothering you? They will disappear in a few days. Those who won’t disappear are two and a half million Palestinians in the West Bank. They want to be the majority — and this is who we want to annex? If we don’t separate from the Palestinians, Israel will be less Jewish and less secure. We need to separate from the Palestinians now.”

The group describes itself as “a nonpartisan body of more than 200 retired officers”, and is led by Amnon Reshef. It also includes amongst its ranks former army chief of staff Dan Halutz, former head of the Mossad Shabtai Shavit and former head of the Shin Bet Ami Ayalon.

An article on +972mag described the campaign as “blatantly racist”, on the basis that “it describes an entire people — people who are native to this land — as an existential threat, simply for living.”

The piece notes that the group’s “vision” is “to push a ‘security first’ plan which advocates Israel unilaterally separate from Palestinians east of the separation barrier (deep into the West Bank, beyond the internationally-recognised pre-1967 borders), continue to have military control over the entire West Bank and keep the two-state solution in mind as a distant but ideal principle.”