Israel’s Demographic Nightmare
“Our intention is to finally establish such a society in Palestine that Palestine shall be as Jewish as England is English, or America is American. ” Chaim Weizman, first president of the World Zionist Organization and First president of Israel.
Responding to their long-standing fear of a population explosion in Israel’s Arab population, the Zionists in both the Knesset and Israel’s Supreme Court had responded, first, by denying Palestinians their internationally- recognized Right of Return and more recently by interfering with sexually-active Palestinian couples meeting one-another, gaining Israeli citizenship or even settling in Israel. The Jews are playing a losing demographic game.
Zionism, the political movement for a pure “Jewish ethnic state,” has expressed itself in violence ever since European Jews in large numbers began migrating to Palestine after WWI, during the British Mandate. To achieve a pristine religious state, and counter the Mandate’s restrictions on Jewish immigration, Zionists such as Menachim Begin and his underground Irgun forces, initiated a campaign of terrorism against the British. This bloody campaign included the assassination and even hanging of British soldiers. Their underground terrorist movement: Irgun Zwai Leoemi, of which Menachim Begin (later, Israel’s Prime Minister) was one of the leaders, on 23 July 1946 bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem where the British military headquarters was housed, killing 91 people.
British public opinion became hostile to their increasingly-dangerous Mandate, and British armed forces were withdrawn in 1948 and the Mandate dissolved. The League of Nations had partitioned Palestine in 1947. There had been no intent in the 1947 Partition Plan to remove indigenous Arabs from Palestine. The Zionists, however, in a surprisingly well-organized campaign of warfare and terror, (termed the “1948 War” ) drove Palestinians from their homes, farms and businesses, and destroyed their villages.
Robert Maxwell the British publishing magnate had been covertly supplying arms to Israel. In 1948 Ben-Gurion’s double agent in Soviet intelligence (Richard Kauder, code name Klatt) coordinated crucial arms transfers from Czechoslovakia through Maxwell’s contacts through MI-6 (British intelligence) in the Czech government. Thus formerly small-scale underground Israeli units were transformed into a fledgling modern army.
These Czech shipments included rifles and machine guns, Messerschmitts and Spitfires. Money for these arms shipments was raised by Golda Meir and David Ben-Gurion from wealthy Jews in the United States. Disorganization and political corruption within the Arab forces, however, guaranteed a Jewish victory. By the end of the 1948 War some 750,000 Palestininas had been driven from their homes, and 412 Arab villages destroyed , many along with their olive orchards and even graveyards where generations were buried.
To fill the demographic void left by displaced Arabs, Israel’s Ben Gurion not only welcomed Jewish immigration, but sent his secret police into Muslim countries such as Algeria, Libya, Morocco, to create Antisemitic violence in peaceful Jewish enclaves, scaring these Jews into emigrating to Israel. Ethiopian Jews were even offered free air-lifts into Israel. Sharon’s savage 1982 invasion of Lebanon also served the demographic goal, by killing off thousands of Palestinian refugees. Six-hundred and eighty-nine Palestinian children have been killed since 2000 by Israeli snipers, and missiles. (www.ifamericaknew.org) Today, fifty-seven years and 3 generations later, 3.4 million displaced Palestinians, denied return by Israel survive in refugee camps in Lebanon and other Arab counties with UN and other NGO assistance. Though the Geneva Convention, of which Israel is one of the signatories, demands repatriation of such war-displaced populations, Israel has refused to allow their return.
On August 1st, 2003, with Intafada II as an excuse, the Knesset passed a law which prevented Palestinians who married Israelis from living in Israel and even prevented West Bank Palestinians from joining or visiting their relatives in Israel. The ban has kept thousands of Palestinians from joining their spouses, who are Arab citizens of Israel. In May 2005 the Israeli Supreme Court revised the Knesset ruling: “Under the new rules, Palestinian women older than 25 and men older than 35 will be eligible to join family in Israel and eventually received citizenship. Palestinian women tend to marry relatively young, and keeping the limit at 25 would presumably deter many Palestinian women from seeking spouses inside Israel .” ( S F Chronicle, May 2005)
On 17 June 2005, under a new law rushed through the Knesset, ( passed 53/25 with 1 abstention) Palestinians alone will be excluded from obtaining Israeli citizenship or residency. Anyone else who marries an Israeli will be entitled to Israeli citizenship. As a result, Israeli Arabs who marry Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza will either have to move to the Occupied Territories or live apart. Their children from the age of 12 will be denied both citizenship and residency and be forced to move out of Israel. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the Knesset saying: “banning family reunification is profoundly discriminatory… violates international human rights law and treaties which Israel has ratified and pledged to uphold.” (www.canadiandimention.mb.ca )
Many Israelis fear they are living on a “demographic time bomb.”
The present Israeli Arab community represents 20% 0f the population but is growing faster than the Jewish population. Since 1993, more than 100,000 Palestinians have become Israeli citizens through marriage. (www.canadiandimention.mb.ca ) Today some 30% of Israel’s population are Russian immigrants, half are non-observant Jews. (WRMEA)
There is a growing concern throughout the international Jewish community regarding the future of Israel as a State. With continuing violence, the result of Sharon’s illegal wall, his covert extension of illegal settlements, Israeli military killing, suicide bombings and the Israeli-planned destruction of the Palestinian economy, thousands of Jews each year have been leaving Israel. Though up-to-date figures are not available, according to representatives of the Central Bureau of Statistics, testifying before the Knesset’s Committee on Absorption, 270,000 Israeli citizens emigrated between 1990 and 2001. Thus, a third of all immigrants in the same period returned home.
A recent survey, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute ( March, 2004) and reported by Haaretz, noted that some 27 percent of Israeli teenagers do not think they will remain in Israel, compared to 13 percent of adults, and this June, following a “brainstorming session” held at the Wye Plantation near Washington, DC., by members of the Jewish People Policy Planing Institute and 20 Jewish leaders, most agreed that: “the multiplicity of identitiesÉis the greatest threat facing the Jewish people.” “The group praised the Orthodox denomination for high birth rates and low intermarriage rates.”(www.haaretz.com 6/12/2005)
With public support for Bush’s Iraqi Occupation failing, the US economy in obvious trouble, and even Republicans shying away from the Bush Social Security Package, the Palestinian-Israeli issue has been pushed off the front page. However, it remains a ticking time bomb, which Washington had best address in a more even-handed fashion with active support for a truly viable Palestinian State.