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You don't control demographics

Reader comment on item: Jewish and Arab Demographics in Jerusalem
in response to reader comment: Israel Demographics

Submitted by david simms (United States), Jun 22, 2007 at 07:48

As interesting as the philosophical debate is as to whether Israel should or should not maintain its status as a "Jewish state", much of the discussion is totally meaningless other than an academic exercise. Zionists need to understand that what should be or could be is totally irrelevant. What will be is that Israel will have a non-Jewish majority this century. Very likely in the next 50 years. And hardly beyond the realm of possiblity far before that.

The reason why, simply put: NOBODY CAN CONTROL DEMOGRAPHICS. They are a force until themselves. No treaty or agreement or sitting down at a table can solve the thorny issue of demographics no matter how high a fence is built between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs or between Americans and Mexicans. When the birth of Israel occurred in 1948, nobody realized that traditonal nationalism, nationalism based on factors such as race or ethnicity, was in its last throes. Nobody realized that the next half century would be the onset of globalization, the movement of vast number of peoples world wide, the changing of more ethnically oriented states as Britan, France, and (ironically....for its part in the need for a Jewish state in Israel in the first place) Germany into states that mimicked the multicultural heritage of the United States, Canada, Australia.

Simply put, you could be a modern, advanced ethnic state in 1950; half a century later, it doesn't work. For the Jewish majority in Israel, the handwriting is on the wall: • many Israeli Jews, tired of the constant turmoil, live abroad • many of the so called Russian Jews who emigrated to Israel and padded its Jewish numers are not even Jewish • advanced Israeli Jews are not different from advanced people in Britain, Germany, the US: they have small familes • impoverished or struggling Arabs in Israel proper and on the West Bank have large families • the settlement pattern of the West Bank with splotches of Jewish settlements within a sea of Arabs defies a workable boundary. The map simply won't allow for a two state solution even if Israelis want it and the negoations it would take to create a two state solutions will lose the race of time to a non-Jewish majority between the Jordan and the Mediterrnean • Intermarraige is the rule not exception among American Jews. Secular Israeli Jews who have contact with other parts of the world are and will be subject to intermarriage, as well. Jews will increasingly become "half Jews" in Israel as well as the Diaspora. • "Guest workers", filling the low paying jobs that Israeli Jews won't take and eliminated from Arabs by fear of them, aren't going anywhere. Israel worries about Arabs being the cause of their demographic problems without realizing that Fillipinos, Africans, Indonesians, and people from the Carribean are just as likely to contribute to tipping the demograhic balance of the Jewish state • The longer Israel survives, the less Jewish it becomes and the more Israeli it becomes. Without the fear of the Arab world, for many Israeli Jews, their "jewishness" would have little meaning • The supply of Jewish immigrnats to Israel has pretty well dried up.

The vast majority of Jews outside of Israel neither look to Israel as a place to live and for many, so far removed from the Holocaust, the connections with Israel are tenuious at best. Many Jews outside Israel don't even aprove of the concept of zionism which they see as anathama to the exclsionary expiences of Jews throughout 2000 years of Jewish Diaspora.

If the US has the largest number of Jews "available" to Israel, there is little hope that Israel can tap these numbers. US Jews are so integrated, so intermarried, and so much a part of American life, they are not going anywhere. And if things changed and magically chose to go to Israel in large numbers, israel wold be doomed. Wihtout Jewish influence in the US, the American-Israeli alliance would dissolve which could spell diasaster for Israel. Could an argument be made that Israeli Jews, no matter what the peril, are still better off as a part of a "Jewish state" than face the untold dangers of falling to minority status among people who very well might hate them? Sure. But not only is the current set-up equally or even more loaded with danger, the simple fact is Jews cannot control this inevitable slide to minority status within the "Jewish State". It is going to happen.

All the pretending in the world and all the demonizing of the Arab world (which has more than its own responsiblity for this tragic situation) will not change that which nobody can change: demographics. It is a force under the power of no prson or people and it will convert Israel to a non-Jewish state just as easily as it is converting the US into a non-white one.

Submitting....

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