“The simple truth is, if there is one state” including Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, “it will have to be either bi-national or undemocratic. … if this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”
Does this sound like Jimmy Carter? It was Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Israel was founded on the principles of Zionism. The concept of Zionism is complex one. It means different things to different people, even among Zionism’s supporters. Anti-Zionism is often a mask for antisemitism. But everyone agrees that Zionism at its core means that Israel is a Jewish nation. This is problematic for anyone wishing to keep Israel democratic as well as a Zionist.
Here are the demographics of the “bi national “, “one state” Barak is talking about. Israel has a population of about 8 million people. About 6 million Israelis are Jewish, and about 2 million are Arab. The Palestinian population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is about 2.5 million. Gaza has a population of about 1.5 million. That makes 6 million Jews and 6 million mostly Muslim Arabs. The Birth rates of the Arabs are higher than the birth rates of the Jews. A democratic Israel can not remain a Jewish state when Jews become a minority. Israel could incorporate the disputed lands and deny the Palestinians the right to vote, and remain Zionist, but no one could call disenfranchising half of a population on the basis of race or religion a democracy.
This basic problem is why many, including the United States has advocated a two state solution. But for a two state solution to be viable, each state must be viable. Every time Israel “settles” her citizens on land in the West Bank or east Jerusalem, they unavoidably lesson the viability of a Palestinian state, and therefor lesson the viability of a two state solution. Israel has so far “settled” about half a million people in the West Bank.
Map of West Bank settlements and closures in January 2006: Yellow = Palestinian urban centers. Light pink = closed military areas or settlement boundary areas or areas isolated by the Israeli West Bank Barrier; dark pink = settlements, outposts or military bases. The black line = route of the Barrier
Map from wiki commons.
Many in The United states have little sympathy for the Palestinians and support Israel uncritically. But what they don’t realize is that when the right-wing is in power in Israel, they are supporting policies that will lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish nation, or far more likely to an Israel that must permanently practice apartheid, keeping 4 million Palestinians captive . Many Americans will say “too bad. The Palestinians deserve it.” But those same Americans should realize that Israel too, will be condemned. Israel will be condemned to be hated by her neighbors. long term peace will be impossible. She will be seen by the world as an oppressor. And Israelis themselves will have lost the dream of what Israel was conceived to be, a free Zionist nation, replaced by Zionist Fascism.
It is rare to find the level of criticism of Israel in this post in America’s popular press. When it is expressed it is always countered with a frantic push back, mostly based on charges of antisemitism. Jimmy Carter is perhaps the best example. He has become a political untouchable since his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” came out.
But the Israelis are far harsher critics of themselves than anyone is allowed to be in America. Check out this Oped in Haaretz. Haaretz is widely considered to be the best and most influential newspaper in Israel.
Fear of peace will be the death of Israel by Bradley Burston.
According to the American press’ logic, Israel is full of Jewish antisemites.