Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Did Martin Kramer Advance the Cause of 'Genocide' for Pals.?

Here's his version:

Smear intifada

Posted: 22 Feb 2010

Ali Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada, a death-to-Israel website, says that in my Herzliya Conference speech, which I posted two weeks ago, I “called for ‘the West’ to take measures to curb the births of Palestinians, a proposal that appears to meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide.” According to the site, “Kramer proposed that the number of Palestinian children born in the Gaza Strip should be deliberately curbed, and alleged that this would ‘happen faster if the West stops providing pro-natal subsidies to Palestinians with refugee status.’” The usual suspects, Philip Weiss and M.J. Rosenberg, have jumped on the bandwagon. Being accused of advocating genocide by people who daily call for Israel to be wiped off the map of the Middle East is rich.

In my speech, I made no “proposal.” The full quote:

Aging populations reject radical agendas, and the Middle East is no different. Now eventually, this will happen among the Palestinians too, but it will happen faster if the West stops providing pro-natal subsidies for Palestinians with refugee status. Those subsidies are one reason why, in the ten years from 1997 to 2007, Gaza’s population grew by an astonishing 40 percent. At that rate, Gaza’s population will double by 2030, to three million. Israel’s present sanctions on Gaza have a political aim—undermine the Hamas regime—but if they also break Gaza’s runaway population growth—and there is some evidence that they have—that might begin to crack the culture of martyrdom which demands a constant supply of superfluous young men. That is rising to the real challenge of radical indoctrination, and treating it at its root.

I didn’t propose that Israel take a single additional measure beyond the sanctions it now imposes with the political aim of undermining Hamas. And I didn’t call on the West to “deliberately curb the births of Palestinians.” I called on it to desist from deliberately encouraging births through pro-natal subsidies for Palestinian “refugees,” which guarantee that Gazans will remain both radicalized and dependent. The Electronic Intifada claims that “neither the UN, nor any other agencies, provide Palestinians with specifically ‘pro-natal subsidies.’” This is a lie: UNWRA assures that every child with “refugee” status will be fed and schooled regardless of the parents’ own resources, and mandates that this “refugee” status be passed from generation to generation in perpetuity. Anywhere in the world, that would be called a deliberate pro-natal policy. (Stopping pro-natal subsidies isn’t an original idea, and I credit Gunnar Heinsohn for making a much more detailed case for it, in his January 2009 Wall Street Journal Europe article, “Ending the West’s Proxy War Against Israel: Stop funding a Palestinian youth bulge, and the fighting will stop too.” He also coined the phrase “superfluous young men.”)

Of course, Palestinian extremists and their sympathizers are quick to throw the “genocide” charge against Israel, and so are some Israelis...


Julia Riber Pitt said...

I'm sorry, but what Kramer advocated DOES fit the definition of genocide according to the UN. What does he mean by "pro-natalist subsidies" anyway? Is any humanitarian aid considered "pro-natal"?

You have to ask, if "preserving" Israel is so important that it would lead to extremely unethical actions taken. If Israel's existence relies on keeping a "demographic balance", say, is that ethical? I would like to see someone justify this.

YMedad said...

Checked your profile. You're not really crazy,, are you? ;->)

Anyway, I take "pro-natal" to mean encouraging birth. "Genocide" is killing something living in a mass way. Most studies have shown that an unchecked population explosion in underdeveloped societies is not good. In another few years, Arabs will be falling off into the Mediterranean Sea. So, maybe the El Arish area could be attached to Gaza? Will the Egyptians be so humane? What Kramer referred to, I think, is not endangering life but rather not encouraging extra life.

Thanks for coming by.

Anonymous said...

Everywhere, falling birth rates are associated with social security, urbanization, medical advancements, the light bulb, woman’s education and job opportunities. Do we stop all that and more?

Anonymous said...

Unchecked popluation expansion in underveloped societies is not good...sigh. And better--"not encouraging "extra" life". Is there room in your life for compassion? Who says things like that--worse, if you really believe them. Something in your picture, I dont know what (stupid me) thought maybe you had some real depth of thinking. But it is your "right word" duh...again stupid me. Rhetoric, and that has no room for decency, self-reflection or the ability to put yourself in the position of others. The "Pals" as you put it are honestly as feeling and as INTENDED on this earth as you. Shame. I won't be back

Solomon said...

Kramer's remarks are a rather non-controversial version of the typical complaint heard by many who campaign against the irresponsible application of welfare -- that it encourages child-bearing in people who shouldn't be having children because, without the welfare payments, they couldn't afford them and would make different choices. The same thing has been going on for years in Gaza and many people have been pointing it out. This is a common point of debate in the domestic political discourse of every country that has a welfare system, and no one has ever seriously called it a discussion of "genocide." Leave it to the "pro-Palestinian" activists to so stretch the language to their purposes that it loses all meaning.

There are people in the world suffering REAL genocide, they don't need people like Julia Riber Pitt and Ali Abunimah to cheapen the language and thus their very real suffering.

Anonymous said...

Planned parenthood, family planning, etc. etc have, since my days as a student of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, have always been considered to be a core component of modern public health. When I was there, I remember that the United Arab Republic—under Nasser in 1965--- sent a family planning specialist-social worker who came to study just how to introduce family planning to Egypt, where high birth rates were undoing any advances in GDP.

In the case of Gaza, the situation is even more acute. The mix of underemployment, agitation and incitement, a vulnerable market of young men with no future is a tinderbox. UNRWA subsidies to families remove any incentive to such family planning. Jihadi Islamists everywhere fight family planning and also, ,, education for women, because it exhausts their supply of young recruits for the madrasses and various militias and terror groups.

Solomon said...

Jennifer Lynn Jones (who won't be back, anyway), have as many babies as you want, just don't ask other people to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

Over the past several days, we have heard from several members of the public, and of the Harvard community, who object to the statements of Martin Kramer at a recent conference. Kramer is a Visiting Scholar at the National Security Studies Program, which is a program of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA). (Kramer is not, contrary to the understanding of some of our correspondents, an employee of the Center or of Harvard University.) Many of those who have written us have called upon the Center to dissociate itself from Kramer’s remarks, or to end his affiliation with the Center.
The WCFIA has many hundreds of affiliates: faculty members, graduate students, undergraduates, post-docs, visiting scholars and others. They represent the widest possible range of opinion on almost every subject. The Center takes no position on any issue of scholarship or public policy, nor does it attempt to monitor or control the activities of its affiliates.
Accusations have been made that Martin Kramer’s statements are genocidal. These accusations are baseless. Kramer’s statements, available at http://www.martinkramer.org/sandbox/2010/02/superfluous-young-men/, express dismay with the policy of agencies that provide aid to Palestinian refugees, and that tie aid entitlements to the size of refugee families. Kramer argues that this policy encourages population growth among refugee communities. While these views may be controversial, there is no way they can be regarded as genocidal.
Those who have called upon the Weatherhead Center to dissociate itself from Kramer’s views, or to end Kramer’s affiliation with the Center, appear not to understand the role of controversy in an academic setting. It would be inappropriate for the Weatherhead Center to pass judgement on the personal political views of any of its affiliates, or to make affiliation contingent upon some political criterion. Exception may be made for statements that go beyond the boundaries of protected speech, but there is no sense in which Kramer’s remarks could be considered to fall into this category. The Weatherhead Center’s activities are based upon a firm belief that scholars must be free to state their views, and rejects any attempts to restrict this fundamental academic freedom.
Beth Simmons, Director, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (on leave 2009-2010)
Jeffry Frieden, Acting Director, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (Fall 2009)
James Robinson, Acting Director, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (Spring 2010)