Israeli rejection of the Palestinian “right of return” is the same as the “Great Replacement Theory” – the conspiracy theory that drove the Saturday night Buffalo shooter – US Senator Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy adviser Matt Duss and several American commentators claimed on Monday.
“In the Israeli-Palestinian context, ‘Great Replacement Theory’ is expressed as opposition to the Palestinian right of return, which treats Palestinians as a ‘demographic threat,’” said Duss. “US leaders condemn the former while constantly declaring support for the latter.
“It’s fine and appropriate to discuss the historical context for Israel’s restrictive immigration policies, which is different from the US,” Duss continued, saying that proponents of Israel’s position “should understand, though, that treating a disfavored minority as a ‘demographic threat’ is an approach shared by ethnonationalist movements.”
Jewish Currents editor-at-large Peter Beinart and Al Jazeera journalist Ali Harb also indicated that Israel’s rejection of the Palestinian “right of return” was comparable to the narrative expressed by the gunman that killed 10 people and injured three in the Buffalo mass shooting on Saturday.
In response to an Anti-Defamation League statement criticizing American politicians it felt have espoused great replacement theory, Harb noted that the ADL had previously warned of the impact that an “influx of Palestinian refugees and their descendants” would have on Israel.
“The ADL denounces in America the principles it advocates in Israel,” said Beinart.
The league has said the Palestinian right of return – the right for Palestinian refugees of the 1948 and 1967 wars and their descendants to emigrate to Israel – “would result in Jews being the minority and the end of Israel as a Jewish state.”
“Matt Duss is exploiting a racist attack by an avowed antisemite to argue… Jews should be gerrymandered out of their one, tiny state,” tweeted CAMERA senior research analyst Gilead Ini, who also argued that terrorist organizations and Arab leaders had acknowledged that the policy was intended to dissolve Israel. Ini noted Duss had in the past described “Jews moving into east Jerusalem” as “’Judaizing’ – which by his own definition makes him the same as the white-supremacist Buffalo shooter.”
Great Replacement is the conspiracy theory that a cabal of political elites – Often Jews – are trying to destroy white culture or race through mass migration of non-white peoples. It is often part of a narrative about “white genocide.” It has manifested in the slogan “you will not replace us,” or “Jews will nor replace us.” Another connected refrain is “open borders for Israel,” which points to Jews as the hypocritical malicious force behind the supposed replacement.
“Exploiting the tragic massacre in Buffalo to push the Palestinian agenda is distasteful and disrespectful to the many families who were victimized by a white supremacist whose manifesto included hatred of both Blacks and Jews,” said StopAntisemitism executive director Liora Rez.