The Israel Policy Forum, an Israel lobby group, hosted Israeli reserve Colonel Michael Milshtein, a former expert on Palestinians in Israeli Military Intelligence, to spout anti-Palestinian comments.
neutralizing Israeli missiles in Deir al-Balah in the center of Gaza Strip
Philip Weiss writes in Mondoweiss
The Israel Policy Forum, an American Israel lobby group, hosted Israeli reserve Colonel Michael Milshtein, a former expert on Palestinians in Israeli Military Intelligence, and he spouted anti-Palestinian statements with no pushback from his hosts.
In the podcast on May 19, Milshtein called for a “dramatic” and “strict” change in Israel’s Gaza policy to deny the people economic benefits, such as Qatari money and work permits in Israel, so as to compel Hamas, which governs Gaza, to clamp down on militants. When his host suggested that this policy will likely lead to another war, Milshtein said that it would, but Israel must be “more brave.”
Milshtein said Hamas head Yahya Sinwar doesn’t speak the same language as westerners who care about prosperity.
You know, this is the Middle East. This is the language people speak. It’s quite odd to speak with people like Yahya Sinwar in western language, and to convince them that good economy and good life is better than promoting your radical ideology, but you know, they are different people in the Middle East.
The idea that war is the only language Arabs understand is also part of pro-Israel propaganda — though in fact Israel inflicts great violence on Palestine. Gazans have been under a cruel blockade for 16 years, denied freedom of movement and subject to frequent civilian massacres by jet bombers.
In calling for Israeli bravery, Milshtein is just rationalizing more brutality.
The Israel Policy Forum, a centrist Zionist organization, offered only encouragement to Milshtein’s hawkish views. Neri Zilber, an Israeli reporter who works for the organization, said that since 2018 Israel has given Gaza “really unprecedented economic and financial and humanitarian benefits,” from over 17,000 worker permits, to greater imports and exports from Gaza, “and in return Israel asks of Hamas one thing, and that is quiet.” But there have been four rounds of fighting since 2019 and the intervals between hostilities get shorter.