The Daily Mail claims that Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, called for concentration camps in Gaza. Israeli official calls for concentration camps in Gaza and 'the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters'

An Israeli official has called for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’.

Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, posted the inflammatory message on his Facebook page at the weekend. [August 2-3 2014]

In case the Daily Mail is not notable, this claim was repeated by Nassim N Taleb:

Israeli official calls for concentration camps in Gaza... but wait: Gaza IS a concentration camp! http://dailym.ai/1ueKM89

Elsewhere in the Daily Mail article, it's written that he called for camps for Gaza residents to be located until they leave Gaza:

In the letter he expresses his desire for the IDF to find areas on the Sinai border to establish 'tent encampments...until relevant emigration destinations are determined.'

Did he advocate for concentration camps, in the meaning that is usually interpreted in modern times? That is, death camps like the ones set up by Nazi Germany for many racial and other groups, as opposed to internment camps such as those used for the internment of Japanese, German and Italian ethnicity people in the United States.

  • 1
    FYI: I looked up the definition of "concentration camp", to understand why US internment didn't count: "a place in which large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labour or to await mass execution."
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 14:50
  • @Oddthinking A "relatively small area with inadequate facilities" sounds like it might also be a 'refugee camp', mightn't it? Is the best/only answer to this question to quote what he said, and provide/find a reliable translation of that into English?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 17:03
  • 1
    Technically 'concentration camps' would include internment camps and many other places where people are grouped against their will. However people nowadays always assume that it means Nazi-style death camps. Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 20:56
  • @OddThinking: the very next sentence in the definition you quoted: "The term is most strongly associated with the several hundred camps established by the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe 1933–45, among the most infamous being Dachau, Belsen, and Auschwitz." oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/concentration-camp
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 21:03
  • 3
    @DJClayworth - the meaning of the term drastically changed over the 20th century. That's the downside of working with a non-dead language.
    – user5341
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 21:21

2 Answers 2


You can read his Facebook post (1 August) with an initial line starting ב"ה

His main point is to kill all the radicals in Gaza, and force all the civilians to emigrate, or to declare loyalty to Israel and be treated like Arabs in East Jerusalem, then rebuilding an Israeli Jewish city like Jaffa in what is currently Gaza City and the previous Jewish settlements. The key paragraph for this question is

א - צה"ל יגדיר שטחים פתוחים על גבול סיני ובסמיכות לים בהם תתרכז האוכלוסייה האזרחית- הרחק מהשטח הבנוי ואזורי השיגור והמנהור. באזורים אלו יוקמו מחנות אוהלים עד לאיתור יעדי הגירה רלוונטיים. אספקת החשמל והמים לאזורים שהיו מאוכלסים – תנותק.

which might roughly be translated as

A - The Israel Defence Forces should identify open spaces on the Sinai border and close to the sea to gather the civilian population away from built-up areas, rocket launch areas and tunnels. These areas will be established as tent camps for relocation and relevant migration objectives. Electricity and water supply to inhabited areas should be disconnected.

You can find description on English-language Israeli sites like the Times of Israel or the Jerusalem Post, with the latter describing and linking to Feiglin's interview with CNN explaining what he meant:

... his controversial proposal, in which he advocated for massing Palestinians into "an open space near the border with Sinai and adjacent to the sea" so that Israel could avoid civilian casualties and strike at rocket launchers ...

When pressed by Blitzer as to whether Feiglin had urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to establish "concentration camps" for Palestinians, Feiglin said that he had pushed for a plan that would create "sheltered areas" for civilians in Gaza so as to provide a "humane" option that would allow Israel to more effectively crush Hamas rocket-launchers.

"I want to give the Arabs in the Gaza Strip three choices," Feiglin said. "Those who are fighting against us should be killed. Those who are launching rockets from kindergartens should be shot. Those who wish to leave the Gaza Strip – and our surveys indicate that 80 percent want to leave – should get the support from us and the international community to find a better place." "Those who want to stay can stay," Feiglin said. "This is a plan [that allows] Israel to win this war."

When Blitzer asked Feiglin whether he supported "tent encampments" for Gazans before they are "helped along to another destination," the Likud MK replied: "Definitely."


Chrome (my web browser) translates his Facebook entry for August 10 as saying the following,

According to UNRWA's official site, of the 1.5 million residents of Gaza, 1.2 million already formally defined Refugees "and treated as such by the UN. therefore, be handled by the United Nations elsewhere, for example, as I suggested camps on the Sinai border, and the empty areas in the Gaza Strip. refugee is a refugee, or where he is now fighting there, be moved away for the sake of security. then you can conquer the Gaza Strip and Hamas to eliminate using the full force of the IDF fire, without going into tunnel

Z and houses booby-trapped - with minimal risk our soldiers. , but we - as usual - let our enemies have it both ways - both sovereign status in our country and refugee status at the same time. 's no wonder that we also eat the fish (missile) cheesy - that allegedly harmed sovereignty When we dropped them under siege - and expelled from the city (PR) as our response leads to damage in the "innocent refugees." problem is they - not Hamas, not the world - the problem is us

A reasonable human could presumably provide a better/clearer translation than this, but IMO it's clear that the "camps" or "concentration camps" that he's "calling for" are not Nazi-style death camps: rather, they're United Nations-style refugee camps (or perhaps internment camps of the style used by the "Allies" in WW2).

As for how it was understood by its audience, consider the following comment with 51 likes (again, translated into English by my browser):

Smart just clear evidence of reality. Indeed, a refugee who like everywhere else in the world should be regulated status and get refugee status in a country that can absorb it, I do not see any problem with it I'm sure the people of Gaza get refugee visas happily in other countries

Moshe Feiglin replied to that comment with the following,

Instead of spending billions of new terrorist state of Gaza, should take the trouble of donor countries, will invest 0, and absorb the refugees in their fields while generous support of Israel. It should Israel talk all the time. Difficult situation for you? Some refugees (rich!) Any country willing to receive

... which IMO opens him to the charge of wanting "ethnic cleansing" in the sense of "forced migration"; but not of "ethnic cleansing" in the sense of "killing, genocide".

The Daily Mail article in the OP was published August 4 and says "He posted the message on his Facebook page at the weekend", which presumably means his Facebook entry of August 1. If you read that (in translation), the "tent camps" he's suggesting are intended to be zones of safety for civilians, which (removing or concentrating the civilians) would leave the IDF free to unleash destruction (to shell previously-populated or recently-depopulated) areas with maximum firepower.

Therefore "concentration camp" in the strict/literal sense of the term (avoiding its Nazi connotations), which I understand as meaning "a camp into which a population is geographically concentrated (whether by threat or by force)", is indeed what he called for.

The word "concentration camp" has a long history, and doesn't only mean a Nazi-style death camp: for example, they were used in the Boer war; see also this Wikipedia article on the meaning[s] of the term.

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