Time is not on Israel’s side - Part Two

Can Israel protect itself from the popular Palestinian uprising and reprisal by using brutal force, military power, Western protection and Gobbles propaganda, this question is often been raised by the geo-political strategists and commentators. Several factors are not in Israel’s favor. The most important factor is demographic. The birth rate of the Palestinian Muslims is much more than the Jews settled in Israel and within next 50 years the Muslim population will out number the Jews in the state of Israel [Ibrahim M. Abu Rabi, Globalization: A Contemporary Islamic Response, The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, No.3, Vol. 15, 1998, IIIT, USA. p 35. Also Lee Hockstader in The Washington Post, Sunday 16 August 1998, quoted in Impact International UK. Vol. 28. No.12. December 1998].

It appears, too, that Israeli leaders have begun to fathom the demographic time-bomb – the looming specter of an Arab majority that would jeopardize the Jewish character of Israel. Indeed, some analysts in Israel believe that this was one of the main factors behind Sharon’s disengagement plan. According to Al Ahram Weekly Gaza’s 1,700,000 Palestine population is expected to increase by 3.9 per cent annually [Samir Ghattas, Post-withdrawal Scenario, Al Ahram Weekly, Egypt, quoted in The New Nation, 19 June 2004].

In a speech delivered to the students of Israeli Academy of War and broadcast by public radio Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned that Israel needs to withdraw from Gaza Strip to maintain the “Jewish and democratic character” of the state, AFP from Jerusalem reported on 17 July 2004. “We will not be able to preserve the Jewish and democratic character of the state if we continue to rule over one million Palestinians” in the Gaza Strip, Sharon told. The argument is the strongest put forward yet by the hawkish right-wing prime minister for his plan to evacuate troops and Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip by the end of 2005. “We can’t ignore Israel’s demographic concern”, Sharon said in a reference to the Palestinian higher birth rate. According to official projections, by 2010 Israel’s 5.2 million strong Jewish population will be overtaken by that of the West Bank and Gaza, together home to more than three million Palestinians, and the Jewish state’s own Arab citizens [Israel Must Withdraw from Gaza: Sharon, The New Nation, 18 July 2004]. 

According to Al Ahram Weekly columnist Ibrahim Nafie, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is opposed to the idea of  Palestinian refugees return to their homeland “since the return of the Palestinian refugees is a threat to the Jewish character of the state” [Ibrahim Nafie, Bush Mubarak Meet, www.weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/686/opl.htm].

AP from Jerusalem on 5 December 2003 quoting Israel’s Vice Premier Ehud Olmert reported that Israel will have to unilaterally define its boarders, dismantle some settlements and withdraw from most of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and some parts of east Jerusalem. Israel is a rapidly approaching the point where Arabs will outnumber Jews in areas under Israeli control. Palestinians might then demand the right to vote, Olmet said, adding that “the day they get it, we will lose everything”, reported Yediot Ahronot newspaper [Israel Rules Out Any Deal with Palestinians, The New Nation, 6 December 2003].

Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing a conference on security issues held in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv on 17 December 2003 claimed that the Israeli Arab population posed a demographic threat to the Israel. Netanyahu claimed that if the percentage of Arab citizens rises above its current level of about 20 percent “than the Jewish state will be annulled” [Yasser El Bana, IOL Gaza Correspondent, Netanyahu’s Racist Remarks Under Fire, www.islamonline.net/English/News/2003-12/18/article04.shtml].

Neil R. Huff, Boulder City, USA writing in the New Nation on 22 April 2004 commented that “key to the Israel’s destruction lies within, not without”. The Israeli Arabs are the key to ending Israel as a pure Jewish state. A high sustained fertility rate and Islamic polygamy will raise the current number of Israeli Arabs (estimated at 20 percent) to a potent political force within 15 to 20 years [Palestinians will be next for ethnic cleansing, The New Nation, 22 April 2002].

Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, in an article pointed out that Biblical claim of Israel “may lead to a demographic time bomb in which Arabs become a majority in Palestine and demand control of the entire land … Israeli public opinion has to come to accept that the only means to prevent a demographic disaster is a Palestinian state’ [Henry Kissinger, A Thorny Road to Peace, Tribune Media Services International, quoted in The New Nation, 30 January 2004, p8]. 

Dr. Edward Tivnan, eminent journalist—contributor to The New York Times magazine, writer for Time and ABC News, pointed out that “demographic problem … already a major concern among the Israeli doves: if Israel annexed the territories … then the Arabs, as Israeli citizens, could vote to transfer Israel into a bi-national secular state; if those Arabs were not allowed to be citizens, Israel could no longer be considered much of a democracy [Edward Tivnan, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power & American Foreign Policy, Simon & Schuster, Inc.1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, 1987, p 110].

Although Israel initially attracted diverse population from many corners of the world, i.e. from Arab world, Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, the majority of the Jews from West Europe and North America have so far shown no real intention of migrating to and living in Israel. Jews are reluctant to come to settle in Israel any more. The Russian Jews now prefer to settle in USA for a better living than settle in their dreamland Israel. This is because they no more feel secure in Israel. Israelis are now holding duel nationality. According to statistics provided by the Liberty for the Muslim World UK, an organization working for the protection of human rights and democratization, a million Jews have duel Israel-American citizenship and a huge number of South African Jews hold two passports and they are ready to leave Israel any moment as they feel insecure in violent ridden Zionist state. Constant conflict has destroyed their peace of mind and most of the Jews now consider Israel as the ‘most dangerous place in the world for a Jew’. This has now become manifest from their behavior. Since 2000 some 300,000 Jews have left Israel for America and Europe because of the insecurity spawned by the Palestinian intifada [Mustafa Malik, A Crusader State Again, The New Nation, 7 February 2004]. In 1980-1981 … for the first time in the history of Jewish state, the number of Israelis leaving the country- called yordim, those who descend- outstripped the number of immigrants [Edward Tivnan, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power & American Foreign Policy,. Simon & Schuster, Inc.1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York. 1987, p 225].

Richard H. Curtiss drew particular attention to the fact that “half of each generation of American Jews end up marrying non-Jews, Arab Americans, on the other hand, whether Muslim or Christian, are increasing’ [Richard H. Curtiss, Demonstrations Test American Support, Arab News, Saudi Arabia, quoted in The New Nation, 27 April 2004]. This would, no doubt, further complicate the scenario of the demographic problem of the Israel for their will be less US Jews available willing to immigrate to Israel.

Secondly, Israel depends on the US for its survival, both political and economic. Without US backing Israel cannot maintain the high standard of living of its population and the defense expenditure for its huge military arsenal.  USA has its own problem and cannot support the Zionist state forever. At present 16 percent of Americans live in poverty and it is doubtful how long US shall be willing to support Israel with billions of US dollar, although USA has heavily supported Israel through financial aid with perennial aid packages continuously, over $3 billion per annum. No super power can survive by spending on armaments ignoring its own population. The erstwhile Soviet Union is the glaring example.

Thirdly, Israel cannot win a long drawn conventional war with the Arabs and she is not in a position to use nuclear weapons in any regional conflict between her and the neighboring Arab states as such a strike would effect Israel in the same manner as Beirut, Damascus, Amman and Cairo which all fall within a radius of 400 kilo meter of Tel Aviv. Furthermore, Israel is situated in close proximity to Saudi Arabia, Cyprus and Turkey and any use of nuclear weapons would have an adverse effect on her as also these countries and permanently close the door of peace and lasting settlement of conflict in the region.

Finally, the US would not possibly agree with the Israel to use nuclear weapons as it would threaten its vital economic interest of the West in the region and likely to bear upon Israel all the economic, political and military influence deterring her from such disastrous action. US has substantial investment in the region and should its interest ever be threatened or should there ever be a conflict between the permanent interests of the USA in the Middle East and the existence of Israel, America would undoubtedly forgo the latter for sheer self-interest. Control over the Middle East and its vital resources are essential in maintaining American dominance worldwide.

This is aptly proved by the fact that US public leader Nahum Goldmann became a nagging critic of the abuse of Jewish power. He said: The time may not far off when American public opinion will be sick and tired of the demand of Israel [Edward Tivnan, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power & American Foreign Policy, Simon & Schuster, Inc.1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, 1987, p 255].

The Jews are also being isolated. Richard H. Curtiss writing on anti-Arab and pro-Palestinian demonstrations in US commented that Washington demonstration in April 2002 in support of Israel appeared to be a ‘100 percent Jewish’ whereas demonstration in support of Palestinians was a composition of ‘not just Arab Americans but everyone, regardless of background’ [Richard H. Curtiss, Demonstrations Test American Support, Arab News, Saudi Arabia, quoted in The New Nation, 27 April 2004].

Israel is also apprehending that it is losing sympathy of the West. Reuters from Jerusalem on 14 October 2004 quoting a 10 year forecast prepared by Israel’s Foreign Ministry reported that “Israel could end up on a collusion course with the European Union and face sanctions like the apartheid era South Africa unless the Israel-Palestinian conflict is resolved” [Israel Europe could be on collusion course over Palestinian issue, The New Nation, 15 October 2004].

This is the position of Israel vis a vis US and EU. Israel is surely aware of the dictum: (States) have no perpetual friends’ only perpetual interests. Will Israel come to its sense and take lesson from the history?