Sunday, September 03, 2006

Time bomb: A question for settlers

You live there. You’ve seen the demographics up close and personal. Is there any truth to the theory that the Arab population in, for lack of a better description, “Greater Israel” (or Eretz Yisrael HaShalem, the entire Land of Israel, if you prefer), which includes those lands currently being governed by the State of Israel without international recognition, will eventually outnumber the Jewish population? How can the Jewish State remain Jewish if the majority is not? I’ve always believed that, in the long run, a Palestinian state was as necessary for the sake of the Jewish people as for the sake of the Palestinians: As the saying goes, home is the place where, if you go there, they won't turn you away. On the other hand, how can Israel make peace with people who won’t stop shooting at them long enough to figure out how to govern themselves?

My usual rules apply: All opinions are welcome, but they must be stated in respectful language. The only thing that I won’t tolerate is intolerance. Insulting comments will be deleted.

The floor is open.


Blogger treppenwitz said...

I haven't offered my opinion about the "Demographic Time-bomb" in the past, but this is probably as good a place as any.

So, for the record... I'm against it.

In all seriousness. The only way to begin an intelligent discussion of the relative future growth of the Jewish and Arab populations is to decide whose data you trust. The Palestinians stated population numbers are tied directly to the amount of international aid they receive(d). I have yet to see a credible outside census of the Arab community living under Israeli rule. Until such a census takes place we're simply debating how many fairies can dance on the head of a pin.

Sun Sep 03, 05:07:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Call me naive, but, to be perfectly honest, it had never occurred to me that the population statistics might have been manipulated. Thanks for pointing that out.

Mon Sep 04, 01:04:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shira: This website has a very good roundup of the issue David raised. Over the past 2 years, the factual data is pointing in the direction that the entire "demographic bomb" is a non-issue.

The "Palestinian" problem will never go away as long as Israel continues to exist. Those who used to live in Haifa, Yaffo, Tiverya, Tzefat, Tel-Aviv, in villages and on lands the Takam Kibbutzim were built on top of -- will never give up their dream of returning.

Did you know that the Israeli Knesset and Tel-Aviv University are built on former Arab villages?

If anything, the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza were not built atop the ruins of any Arab village, and in almost all cases, the lands used were public Jordanian land.

The Palestinians have claimed since the early 70's that the point of a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza is to provide a springboard to destroy the rest of Israel -- making the entire region, "Palestine."

The daily Qassam rocket attacks on Southern Israel from Gaza are ample proof of their intentions -- Israel already abandoned 100% of Gaza, yet the attacks only increased since we left.

Iran is now preparing for a war with Israel, and they will continue to use the Palestinians and Hizbolla as their proxy.

How will dismantelling settlements and leaving the West Bank provide more security for Israel, when the second we leave, the terror will increase, and the strategic threat will grow?

Mon Sep 04, 03:40:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Jameel, thanks for the link. So maybe the doomsday forecasts are off the mark.

For me, the war brought home one reality, and it's pretty depressing--at 57, I won't live long enough to see peace in the Middle East. What a legacy my Israeli nieces and nephew will inherit. :(

Mon Sep 04, 11:55:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shira: Redemption and Mashiach can come at any time...I'm convinced that peace in our region will have to come through Divine Intervention, since it's just too complex to work out on our own.

Tue Sep 05, 11:32:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Jameel, unfortunately, I don't have your faith, which is one of the reasons why I can't imagine peace in my lifetime.

Tue Sep 05, 09:25:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Ittay said...

As long as the Palestinians and Israelis keep giving each other history lessons, there will never be peace. I agree with jameel that we have more of a historic right to be in the west bank than in Tel-Aviv University. But that doesn’t really matter to the Palestinians. The facts are, that both peoples know that the best way to achieve peace between us and the Arab world is signing an agreement agreed by both sides. The only way to do that, as far as I can see, is for Israel to return to the 67 borders, give or take.

Wed Sep 06, 12:16:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erm, no, Mr. Treppenwitz, that's not true.

The Palestinians conducted a census of the West Bank and Gaza in 1997. And independent analyses after the fact confirmed that it was well conducted. There are ways to check these things, you see--ratios of women of certain ages to children of certain ages, checked against other estimates of historical fertility and gender ratios...there are ways to tell if a census has been falsified. It wasn't. Yes, there was a box on the census for each family to report the number of relatives in other countries who might want to return--but that was separate from the main questions on the census. Furthermore, the total enumerated population of Gaza was very close to the population estimated from Israeli gov't registers.

(I was assisting a demographer hired by the US gov't to check into that census).

The demographic time bomb is VERY real.

Wed Sep 06, 02:19:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

*Now* do you see why I usually avoid politics like the plague? *I'm* supposed to figure out which set of facts is correct? Sigh.

Maybe another shot of cough syrup and nasal spray will help clear up my so-called thinking. Or maybe not. (Sniff. Please pass the tissues.)

Wed Sep 06, 09:04:00 AM 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

Shira - Not only is there a controversy about the data available now, but predictions for the future are just theories at best. Childbirth rates and emigration rates change for a number of reasons, as do immigration rates. Given what is happening in Europe now, I do not think it is farfetched to believe that Israel will absorb hundreds of thousands of Jews from France and other European countries where the anti-Semitism rates are getting to an alarming rate. If Nefesh b'Nefesh really takes off then we will see more and more immigrants from north America. Given the fact that the center of Israel is already overcrowded, the areas of Judea and Samaria are very attractive places to move to. Our settlement has a waiting list of at least twenty families who want to move here.

Thu Sep 07, 02:30:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

WestBankMama, perhaps, with so many variables involved, the future demographic is hard to predict.

Thu Sep 07, 09:14:00 PM 2006  

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