Photo Credit: Atia Mohammed/Flash90
Arabs stand amidst the rubble of a bombed building in Khan Yunis, November 12, 2023.

It’s an idea whose time has come, say MKs Danny Danon (Likud) and Ram Ben-Barak (Yesh Atid) in a Monday Wall Street Journal op-ed titled, “The West Should Welcome Gaza Refugees.” After all, they say, Europe and the US accepted millions of Middle Eastern refugees who fled earlier wars over the past decade and a half.

“Last month, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for an ‘immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce’ and demanded that all parties allow the ‘continuous, sufficient and unhindered’ provision of essential supplies and services into the Gaza Strip,” they write but note that, “On Oct. 15, Hamas operatives stole food and medical supplies from humanitarian trucks. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency reported the theft in a tweet, which it later deleted. But UN sources confirmed the theft to Israel’s Walla News, and Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians confirmed that fuel and medical supplies went to Hamas.”


On Monday, we showed a video of Hamas operatives beating Gaza residents who tried to receive food packages from the humanitarian aid trucks that entered the Strip. In the video, Hamas members are seen brutally beating the residents (Hamas Operatives Beat Civilians Off Humanitarian Aid Trucks and Steal their Food).

Indeed, argue Danon and Ben-Barak, “As the war continues … UN resolutions are doing nothing tangible to help Gaza’s residents. It is imperative that the international community explore potential solutions to help civilians caught in the crisis.”

A Syrian refugee waits in line with his child to board an Austrian bus in Hungary, September 9, 2015. / Freedom House

As of 2020, the Gaza Strip population stands at more than 2 million, in an area of 139 square miles, slightly more than twice the size of Washington, D.C. Since Israel’s unilateral withdrawal in 2005, the world has invested billions in Gaza, most of which Hamas plundered and invested in its sophisticated military tunnel system and the production of rockets and other weapons aimed at attacking Israel.

As a result, poverty, and unemployment rates are staggering, and close to 80% of Gazans rely on humanitarian assistance. More than half of Gazans live in poverty, and about 80% of the youth are unemployed.

“Countries around the world to accept limited numbers of Gazan families who have expressed a desire to relocate,” write the two MKs, one of whom belongs to the coalition, the other the opposition in the Knesset. “Countries around the world should offer a haven for Gaza residents who seek relocation. Countries can accomplish this by creating well-structured and internationally coordinated relocation programs. Members of the international community can collaborate to provide one-time financial-support packages to Gazans interested in moving to help with relocation costs and to ease refugees’ acclimation to their new communities.”

“The international community has a moral imperative—and an opportunity—to demonstrate compassion, help the people of Gaza move toward a more prosperous future, and work together to achieve greater peace and stability in the Middle East,” they state.

Israel taught the world a remarkable lesson on the rapid absorption of immigrants. A major wave of Jewish immigration, mainly from post-Holocaust Europe and the Arab and Muslim world, took place in the fledgling Jewish State from 1948 to 1951. In three and a half years, the Jewish population of Israel, which was 650,000 at the state’s founding, was more than doubled by an influx of about 688,000 immigrants. In 1949, the largest-ever number of Jewish immigrants in a single year, 249,954, arrived in Israel. By 1953, the country had absorbed 723,090 new arrivals.

“Global organizations with experience settling refugees should facilitate the relocation of Gaza residents who wish to move to countries willing to accept them. We simply need a handful of the world’s nations to share the responsibility of hosting Gazan residents. Even if countries took in as few as 10,000 people each, it would help alleviate the crisis,” Danon and Ben-Barak conclude their proposal.

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