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Israeli official proposes to buy Greek islands, turn them into “Safe Haven for Jewish People”

An Israeli politician has reportedly floated the idea of purchasing Greek islands as a contingency plan for the evacuation of Israelis in case of an Iranian missile attack.

Avri Steiner, a representative of the Blue and White party (Kahol Lavan) led by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, suggested the idea during a board meeting of Heimanuta, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), according to Israeli media reports.

According to several sources present at the meeting, Steiner, who is a member of the board of directors of Heimanuta, argued that the islands should be purchased “to create a haven for the Jewish People in case of emergency, as a place for Jewish refugees in times of war.”

The Israeli politician claimed that there are 40 uninhabited islands in Greece, which Israel could buy and build infrastructure.

He referred to data from Greece’s privatization fund Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, which, as he said, in 2012 had identified 40 uninhabited islands and islets in the Greek territory that could be leased for up to 50 years, to reduce the country’s debt.

“It simply came to our notice then. “This is a market for humanitarian purposes,” Steiner said of his proposed plan, which Haaretz called “surreal.”

The Israeli politician added that it would be possible to create a framework with the Greek government to later transfer sovereignty to Israel.

“It does not have to be just islands, for me the idea is to purchase vacant land to create another Iron Dome,” Steiner reportedly argued.

The proposal was met with sweeping opposition.

The suggestion was rejected by the Himnuta board, who ruled that buying land outside the land of Israel is “not KKl-JNF’s mission.”

The JNF is a non-profit organization founded in 1901 to buy and develop land in Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine for Jewish settlers. The goal was part of the bigger plan named “land redemption”. Jews in Israel and worldwide have been encouraged to give to the project, often in the form of donations.

Could the State of Israel purchase Greek islands in the Mediterranean? According to attorney Avri Steiner, the islands would become another Iron Dome amidst increasing ballistic threats from Iran that reportedly has 3,000 ballistic missiles as he said he had read.

Speaking to daily Maarev, Steiner argued that the prospect of the KKL-JNF subsidiary purchasing Greek islands is a necessity for evacuating Israelis in case of a missile attack or natural disaster events.

“I came up with the idea that the state, or an independent Zionist body, should look for unpopulated land that can be purchased and establish the infrastructure needed to evacuate citizens in times of need.”

Israel needs to have property or lease on large areas” and Greek islands, which are “largely unpopulated” according to Steiner, are perfect due to their proximity to Israel.

“It’s a humanitarian purchase,” Steiner argued.

Daily Haaretz described the proposal as “surreal.”

other sources: JerusalemPost, MiddleEastEye

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  1. michele lavender

    Of course it would not be in the best interest of Greece or its citizens to hand over sovereignty of some of its land or islands to any other nation state on this planet. Another Israel would undoubtedly be formed on Greek soil,the usual story…lets get land belonging to another country..I suppose we will have to pay this time though…What dirty deeds are in the pipe line for Greece,and later they will say…excuse me,this is not Greece,its Israel…

  2. Israel has nuclear weapons to render any attack by Iran as suicidal.

    Israel also has unsurpassed defensive capabilities.

    Besides, Greece and America would back Israel in the event of military confrontation or conflict so this consideration is somewhat mute and foolish to consider. Mind you, they are most welcome guests and have been buying property in Greece in droves lately.

  3. If Israel is a target for Iranian missiles or other conflict, and if these Greek islands became part of Israel, then by default they also become a target. If nuclear, this threat extends to Greece territory. Also, would Israel own the sea and rights to natural gas around those islands? And how will that play out politically?

    It seems like it’s opening Pandora’s box…and could potentially make the Eastern Mediterranean even more tumultuous than it is now.