Crib by Guillo Cinque [Pixabay License] via Pixabay
Dr. Benny Morris, a leftist Israeli historian, recently wrote in a weekend newspaper that within 30-40 years there will no longer be a Jewish majority in Israel, and the “Palestinian” population will do all it can to make life impossible for the Jews.
As a result, he predicts that all of the Jews who can emigrate to the U.S. and other places in the West will do so.
It is unclear where he gets his demographic data and projections from. There is an interesting discussion of late about the demographics of this area.
The Jewish birth rate is, of late, higher than the Arab one — this is new. This new generation of Jewish babies is marrying and having their own large families. And it is not only the Haredi and national religious sectors having large families; secular couples in Israel have the largest families in the Western world. Arab families are having less children than they previously did, and less than the religious sectors in Israel.
There is a yearly positive net Jewish migration (aliyah) into Israel, and there is a pool of millions of potential Jewish immigrants who could make aliyah at any moment. Israel and the world were taken by total surprise when a million Russian Jews flooded into the country in the early 1990's. The same was true of the Ethiopian aliyah. Who is next?
Meanwhile, many thousands of Arabs leave the Palestinian Authority annually — those who can.
The above notwithstanding, there unquestionably is a demographic concern. Living together with a considerable number of people who share an unbridgeable animus to the country they live in or next to is indeed a real problem. Even if it is not an existential problem in the immediate short-term future, it is a serious one nonetheless.
Israel is a country fighting constantly for its safety, if not its survival, from without and from within its borders. A large belligerent population in and on those borders is certainly a problem.
The left is correct to warn of a demographic problem threatening the Jewish character of the state. Ironically, the left battles for the right to stay for tens of thousands of Africans who illegally infiltrated Israel, making their high concern for demographics puzzling.
The classic right-wing in Israel is against ceding our land to the Arabs on ideological and security grounds. But the left cries: “Demography! We have no choice but to part with chunks of our ancestral lands and expel hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes if need be.”
To this challenge, the mainstream right-wing has never proposed a solution.
In order to better understand this problem I have studied Arabic. I have had the opportunity to meet Arabs living near me, some of whom I have learned to like. I do not believe that these particular individuals want to kill Jews, or would aid in doing so. But their narrative is the same as the killers.
No amount of arguing the facts and logic will change their narrative. I can prove to them very quickly that Israel was not born in the theft of Arab lands — but they simply will not listen, including the well-educated ones. I am sure that I do not possess the psychological, sociological, and theological knowledge to explain exactly why this is so; I suspect it would take the finest of all three to make any sense of it at all.
In any case it remains a fact that they believe that the Jews stole their land. It does not matter to them that "their land" was a desert, and now they live in a paradise which is Israel. "But it was MY desert!” they will tell you.
We share our home with this resentful, unappeasable population. No matter how good they have it in Israel and how unwilling they are to live under an autocratic, backward, corrupt, and cruel Arab regime, they will always hate the country they live in (for those with Israeli citizenship) or next to (for those living under the Palestinian Authority) even more.
So what is to be done?
Today, many years after the publication of that seminal work, some Israeli politicians are discussing the problem and offering similar solutions — ones that the classic right-wing never dared invoke because they were deemed completely politically incorrect.
Israel could allow the Arabs of Gaza to leave to Egypt and then to points beyond; many just want to go. Egypt would need to open its border with Gaza to allow this free-flow. Israel could also allow the Arabs living under the corrupt Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas free passage to Gaza as they try their luck abroad. U.S. President Donald Trump might help convince the embattled and broke Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to cooperate. Israel could help with the finances — this would be money far better spent than the current endless expenditure on watching and securing this very population, and better spent than on expelling Jews from their homes.
It is ironic that we are lectured by the left about how it is totally moral to remove Jews from their homes for a higher political end, but not when it comes to Arabs. Israel need not even forcefully expel any Arab, unlike what was done to thousands of Jews in 2005 by Israel. Polls repeatedly show that approximately half of the Arab population living under the PA and in Gaza would love to leave for abroad if they could. Millions of their brothers and sisters live all over the world and are envied.
We should do all we can to help them on their way: buy their property if they have any, and provide every possible monetary and administrative aid in making their exit a success.
The above is the carrot. There is a stick.
A new Israeli policy of zero tolerance for violence or the threat/support of violence against the Jewish state or Jews for national, political, or religious reasons. Expulsion without compensation would be the milder of the punishments for these types of crimes.
Prison would no longer be where terrorists ensure their financial future, gather academic degrees, and gain weight. It would be a place that they really want to avoid.
Israeli universities would no longer be local branches of Arab terror groups. Strict security screening would be required for entry; after all, we are at war.
Instead of military service, civilian national service for Arabs would be required wherever the state deems it necessary. This could include construction or any other physical labor, if so decided by the state. Possessors of illegal arms would be hunted down and violators expelled.
Taxes would be collected with the same zeal as in the Jewish sector today; the same applies for illegal construction. The current massive agricultural theft targeting Jews will be eliminated and prosecuted harshly. This rampant and audacious rampage is a national war that has been waged against Jewish farmers for too long. No more looking away for the sake of "quiet.”
Israel would celebrate Jewish culture constantly. The "world village" "progressive" attitude with which Israel marginalizes its Jewish character should be scrapped.
A tiny example: I heard of Dr. Morris' alarmist writings on a Friday morning radio program. The radio announcer wished his audience a "pleasant weekend." The Israel that will survive is the one that wishes “Shabbat Shalom.”
We must educate our people that we have a weapon that is more powerful than any in our vast military arsenal: it is called justice, and it is totally on our side. We must explain why!
Israel needs to unapologetically teach our glorious history and about our heroes, to teach the proud facts. There is a right and a wrong. We are right, and must start acting like it.
Contact Shalom Pollack, veteran licensed tour guide, for upcoming tours at Shalom Pollack Tours: Personalized Tours in Israel. Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.