Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Two-State Solution Question

The question that is on the table in relation to the future of Judea and Samaria is not the "Double D" - either lose Israel's democracy or via Arab demography lose Israel as a Jewish state - but rather this one, as expressed by Raphaella Segal here and slightly rephrased by me:

what is more manageable - a threat to Israel from annexing the area, which has 700,000 voting-age Palestinians, or the security threat stemming from a two-state solution with the topographical domination the new "Palestine" would control?

Ron Breiman, a friend, has published this today:

If we weren't slamming our heads into the wall but were rather opening them to new ideas, it would be possible to set the Jordan River as the border between Israel to the west and Jordan/Palestine to the east.  There are some who are scared of a demographic threat, claiming that if we don't withdraw from our land there will soon be an Arab majority west of the Jordan River. However, it is precisely for this reason that supporters of a Palestinian state should ensure that such a state won't absorb Arab refugees, who would cause there to be an Arab majority west of the Jordan River.

And there are those who utter the catchy slogan "them there, us here," referring to the Arabs who live in the land of Israel. This phrase is of course false and misleading. It means a "peace" based on the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria and while keeping Israeli Arabs in Israel. Enlightened individuals and peace seekers should rule out ethnic cleansing, both of Jews and of Arabs. Anyone who advocates a ban on Jews living in Judea and Samaria isn't enlightened and isn't a peace seeker. Ultimately, such a "peace" would turn Israel into a non-Jewish and non-democratic country, and therefore devoid of peace.

There also other concerns that mitigate against the two-state solution, among them -

Will the Arabs recognize the Jewish national ethos?

Will they implement, until the arrangements are signed, peace consciousness educational programs to raise a new generation more willing to accept Israel and Zionism?

Will the "Palestinian identity narrative" of Israel's Arabs be rejected and reversed?

Will the PA's President Mahmoud Abbas drop the insistence that Israel must return fully to the June 4, 1967 borders and thus refuse to acknowledge that "territorial compromise" applies to both parties?

As for demography, which I have dealt with numerous times (here; and here, recently) this is from today:

The population of Israel is expected to reach 11.4 million people by the end of 2035, according to an updated forecast published by the Central Bureau of Statistics. According to a more optimistic estimation, it is possible that the population could reach 12.4 million people.
• 73% of the entire population will be Jewish by 2035
• 23% of the entire population will be Arab by 2035

...[out of a total of] 8.8 million. The Arab population will be 2.6 million -- 23% of the entire population (nearly one in every four Israelis). There will be 8.3 million Jews by the end of 2035 (73% of the entire population); the Muslim population will be 2.3 million (20% of the population); the Druze will count for 1.6% of the population with 185,000 people; and Christian Arabs will account for 1.3% with 152,000 people.

and supports to prognosis of data.

Here is Jeff Jacoby, writing about The myth of the inevitable Jewish minority in Israel in the Boston Globe:

Yasser Arafat liked to say that the ultimate weapon in his arsenal against the Jewish state was “the womb of the Arab woman.”...

...As the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics began its first census in the West Bank and Gaza in 1997, the bureau’s director, Hassan Abu Libdeh, assured The New York Times that the results would amount to nothing less than “a civil intifada.” In 2005, the bureau predicted that Jews would be a minority in “historic Palestine” (i.e., west of the Jordan River) by 2010. Now it says the tipping point will come by 2020.

Don’t count on it.

Arafat’s boast notwithstanding, Palestinian women, like women throughout the Muslim world, are bearing far fewer children than they used to. Within Israel proper, the birth rate among Muslims has trended steadily downward and stands now at 3.5 children per woman. It is even lower for Palestinians in the West Bank — just 2.91, according to the CIA Factbook...But while Palestinian birth rates have dramatically declined, Jewish birth rates in Israel have been heading up. Israel now has the highest fertility level of any modern industrialized nation. The fertility gap between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, a yawning 5.8 in the 1960s, is just 0.5 today. Defying longstanding conventional wisdom, writes former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger, it is Israel’s Jewish population that is undergoing a remarkable surge, rising from about 80,000 births per year in 1995 to 130,000 in 2012. (The annual number of Israeli Arab births has held steady at between 35,000 and 40,000).

Don't gamble with Israel's future on unreliable statistics.

Or as Zehava Englard wrote:

Not only is the price of the One State Solution affordable, Israel can’t afford NOT to implement this plan of action.


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