Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lies... Damn Lies... and Israel's Demography...

Miriam of Bloghead seems to fall prey to siren song of how Israel must "disengage" from the "territories" and the Arabs, as a result of the demographic threat that they pose to Israel's continued existence as a Jewish State. She bases her case on an article from Ha'aretz that states:
For the first time, the proportion of Jews living in territories under the country's control has dropped below 50 percent, standing slightly more than 49 percent .The results are based on figures supplied by Israel and the Palestinian Authority's official statistics bureaus. According to the figures, following the upcoming disengagement, the proportion of Jews in territories under Israeli control will jump to 56.8 percent. As a result of this development, demographic expert Prof. Sergio Della Pergola of the Hebrew University said the country is ensured of a Jewish majority within its territories for the next 20 years.

Did you hear that... If we "disengage from Gaza, then we can claim to be both a Jewish and "democratic" state for another 20 years!!! Yet, let's follow this argument through to the very end...

There is no doubt, that basing our future according to demography, Israel will need to "disengage" from Judea and Samaria in the not too distant future. This will be followed by Israel "disengaging" from the Galil and the Negev (both within the pre 1967 borders) where Jews are currently a minority, and much of eastern Jerusalem. Israel will continue to exist as a Jewish State in western Jerusalem, the Jewish communities between Jerusalem and the coast, and then, along the Mediterranean coast, from Ashkelon to Haifa... We will have safe passage to Be'er Sheva and Eilat (the Golan will have been ceded to Syria...).

Most importantly, though, no one will be able to say that Israel is not both a Jewish and democratic state. Although, one wonders how many Jews would want to live in such a state.

Let us not forget, that when the modern day Zionist movement began, and Jews began settling in greater numbers in Palestine, the Jews were a demographic minority. had Zionism's founding fathers taken demographic concerns into account, we would still be in Europe. The right of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel does not come from our demographic superiority, nor because we are "the only democracy in the Middle East", but from G-d, who gave this Land to the Jewish People for eternity. If we choose not to "buy into" this idea, well... then we have no choice than to play the demography game - a game which we can't win, so long as we pretend to be a democratic state which grants equality to all its citizens.

However, if we believe that the Land of Israel truly belongs to the Jewish People, than we will begin to take the steps to ensure that the Jewish People not only remain a majority in the Land, but that we continue to flourish, while taking measures to ensure that the Arab population decreases in size. Is this racist? Hardly. Not so long as one believes that G-d gave this land to the Jewish People. If not, well, then yes, the Jews have no greater claim to the Land of Israel than Arabs do, and taking steps to ensure a Jewish majoirty would be racist and discriminatory against Israel's non-Jewish citizens.

Israel's best kept secret over the last few decades has been that it's only a matter of time before the Jews will be outnumbered, not just over the Green Line, but within it as well. It is for this reason that Israel decided against annexing Judea, Samaria and Gaza which were liberated in the Six Day War, but as we see today, has not solved the issue.

It is not too late for Israel to save itself from impending disaster. All that is required is for us to decide who we are, and why we are here. Are we Jews or are we Israelis? Are we striving to be a Jewish State, or a nation like all others... Time is running out... If we are to remain a Jewish State with a flourishing Jewish majority, we must begin implementing a policy that will serv to strengthen Israel as a Jewish State without feeling the need to apologize for it. (If we choose to be Israeli's and be the "only democracy in the Middle East", within the next 50 years, the Israeli Knesset will vote to turn Israel into Palestine, and have the Law of return apply to Arab refugees and not Jews).

The future is in our hands... we must decide which future is to be ours, and we must act... and act fast!


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