I'm one ‘liberal’ Jew who believes that we should not only wave a finger at Israel but all the other states that have large Palestinian populations.

There are 1 million Muslim and Christian Arabs living in Israel proper.

The Jewish population of Greater Israel is 5 million.

The Muslim population of Greater Israel ( including the West Bank and Gaza) is 5.6 million, already larger than the Jewish population and is already the majority of the total population.

How can Israel be expected to allow 6.7 million more Palestinian refugees from other Muslim countries back into the west bank or Israel proper or both?

It's a matter of demographics and politics. Gaza already has the largest population concentrated in the smallest area.

With a 10 to 1 birthrate, in one generation the Palestinian refugee population will be 67 million. In one generation the Arab population in Israel proper will be 10 million to 5 or 6 million Jews.

A democratic ‘one state solution’ is not possible.
The Islamic countries are using their Palestinian populations as propaganda pawns.
Whether they recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state or not, they are holding their Palestinian populations as hostages in refugee camps, since 1948, not allowing full citizenship, education, property and employment rights.
A larger percentage of religious orthodox Muslim and Christian Palestinians have larger families, than do religious orthodox Jews.
A two state solution, without attending to the demographic problem, will continue to raise the fear and possibility of future conflict. Israel would lose control of the Jordanian border. Without control of the border with Jordan, Israel’s security would be drastically compromised.

If Israel allows the state to be 12 miles wide right near Tel Aviv, again, it becomes as vulnerable to attack as it was before 1967.
A secular state of Israel-Palestine with economic incentives to control Muslim population growth above one child per family is not possible.

The world’s religions must stop preaching the encouragement of large families if the planet is to survive.
As for dismantling of Jewish settlements in the west bank, Orthodox Jews want a Jewish presence in parts of the west bank for historic biblical reasons.
Why shouldn't there be 1 million Jews in the west bank?
If Jewish and non-Jewish populations had been maintained at equal numbers, a true democracy could exist.

Why are so many populations of Arab countries in revolt?

Since 1948, 650,000 Palestinians were exiled to those countries. Now, their Palestinian and majority oppressed populations are finally fighting back, only to have a dictator replaced by a more Islamic Fundamentalist despotic regime.

King Abdulla of Jordan. A Hashamite, might be persuaded to allow his majority Palestinian population full citizenship and equal rights, with some outside help.

Since the king is married to a Palestinian woman, she could eventually rule the country.

The Palestinian population in Greater Israel, in excess of the Jewish population, should be given financial incentives to relocate to Jordan and declare it their Palestinian state.

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Israel is intentionally dividing and carving up East Jerusalem to prevent it from becoming the Capital of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza and sending a clear message.

I drove all over the West bank in 1979 on new roads built by Israel and there were no military checkpoints. The economy was booming. There was construction and economic development everywhere, because for the first time since 1967, Palestinians had access to Haifa port. Before the 1967 war all exports from the West Bank had to go east through Jordan and Syria before going west to Europe.

Institutions of higher learning like Bir Zeit University were established for the first time.

West bank Palestinians could drive all over Israel proper with a special blue license plate issued by the state of Israel (Israelis had a yellow license plate). There was no 400 mile long separation wall.

I also drove through Gaza on my way to the Sinai (before Israel returned it to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty).

After the 67 war the only Israeli settlements were in Hebron, ancient home of Abraham, Maalet Adumim and Bethlehem.

In 1979 I was very optimistic from what I had personally seen for myself when I decided to live in Israel.

I don’t know why Israel didn’t offer to purchase some land in the West bank and Gaza or if they did, why Arafat, leader of the PLO, refused to allow it.

I lived on Kibbutz Yassur as a member till 1987, before the first intifada when bombs started blowing up all over Israel.

It was all downhill after that.

I think it’s time for the UN and the rest of the world to get real and stop making unrealistic demands on Israel.

Israel is surrounded 1000 to 1 by the enemy, with more Muslims than Jews now living in greater Israel, a state no larger than the U.S.A. state of New Jersey, 12 miles wide at its center, near Tel Aviv, vulnerable to attack, if the west bank were to become a Palestinian state.

Israel cannot give up control of its present border with Jordan.

Israel should meet with Jordan's king Abdullah, who is married to a Palestinian, to discuss equal rights for Palestinian refugees in Jordan, encouraging Palestinian emigration from the west bank to Jordan and, since the majority of the population of Jordan is Palestinian, making Jordan the Palestinian state.

Before the intefadas, West bank Palestinians had access to Israel proper and the port of Haifa with no military checkpoints on any of the west bank roads (built by Israel) since the end of the 1967 war.

Israel should annex the west bank and eventually tear down the wall while encouraging migration of Palestinians to the vastly larger country of Jordan.

The time I spent in Israel has given me an opportunity to observe one of the most critical places on Earth, being the land of the three religions descended from Abraham, at a very transitional time. The Jews being the stewards of the Holy Land for Christian pilgrimage.
After the 67 war the last vestiges of Jews, whose descendents go back 2000 years, were deported from Arab countries like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Yemen.
Most immigrated to Israel. I did ulpanim (Hebrew classes) and the army with new emigrants after the Iranian revolution, also Russian (Georgian) and Ethiopian emigrants.

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As an electrician on kibbutz I worked with Arab Israeli and Palestinian construction workers. We all had lunch together in the kibbutz dining hall. They joked about the modestly small housing they were building for Kibbutz residents that could fit in the kitchen of the houses they built for themselves and their large families.

“Over 850,000 Jews were driven from Arab countries, most of them in 1948, at the birth of Israel. Most of the remainder were chased out during or immediately following the Six-Day War in 1967, when, in a fury about the disastrous defeat, the “Arab street” erupted and subjected its Jewish population to bloody pogroms. Israel received every one of those Jewish refugees from Arab countries…”.

-FLAME (Facts and Logic About the Middle East) an advertisement in The Nation magazine 2/4/2013.

Those anti-Arab Israelis mostly constitute the right wing coalitions in the Knesset, the settlers in the West Bank and those most eager to kill Palestinian rock throwers, in the Israeli armed forces, today.

When Rachel Cory stood in front of the bulldozer that crushed her to death two years ago she probably couldn’t have imagined the intense hatred behind the controls and probably thought the driver would stop and she would be arrested.

Maybe the growing insane, destructive, racial and religious bigotry in the world today will bring us to our collective senses and save us from self annihilation or not.

Comments

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 6 years 49 weeks ago
#1

Russ, you anoint yourself a liberal Jew. These kinds of labels confuse me and I expect others as well. Suppose a line with Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein on one end and Alan Dershowitz on the other as on this simple scale:

-10…………………….........……0………….......……………..+10

Alan Dershowitz Neutral Noam Chomsky

Norman Finkelstein

If you would be so considerate as to place yourself on this scale then interested readers might have a better idea of just where you stand.

Zenzoe 6 years 49 weeks ago
#2
Quote Russ Rubin:

As for dismantling of Jewish settlements in the west bank, Orthodox Jews want a Jewish presence in parts of the west bank for historic biblical reasons.
Why shouldn't there be 1 million Jews in the west bank?

It's unclear if you accept uncritically that "Orthodox Jews want a Jewish presence in parts of the west bank for historic biblical reasons." In your view, are "historic biblical reasons" a sufficient excuse for settlement expansions into Palestinian territory? I wonder if you've considered what Palestinians may want as well? Do you think about that?

Quote Russ Rubin:
If Jewish and non-Jewish populations had been maintained at equal numbers, a true democracy could exist.

I hear a lot of fear in that statement. It's a fear based on the possibility that if Jews in Israel become a minority, living in coexistence with an Arab majority population, then Jews will be at risk for the same ol' discrimination they've faced in the past. Thus, the dream becomes a wish for equal numbers of all factions, to protect against discrimination. Short of that, the reality becomes oppression by a minority against the majority via military occupation and brutality, enabled and financed by the United States.

The trick is not to have equality through equal numbers; the trick is to have a Constitution that protects minorities from discrimination. In a democratic republic, that's the way it will work. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether Israel is ready to accept a true democratic republican form of government, in place of its current theocracy.

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 6 years 49 weeks ago
#3

Fine comment, Zenzoe. Do you suppose Russ Rubin would reveal for us his nationality?

Zenzoe 6 years 49 weeks ago
#4
Quote Alberto Ceras 2:

Fine comment, Zenzoe. Do you suppose Russ Rubin would reveal for us his nationality?

Thanks, Alberto. I don't know. I assumed he was an American, but I had no basis for the assumption.

One must bring all one's powers of compassion to both sides of this issue. I have to struggle with that, because I feel the human rights plight of the Palestinians gets short shrift in the U.S., to put it mildly. I need to see a balance of compassion, but it's nowhere to be seen. It all goes to Israel. I think at some point American policy toward the situation needs to acknowledge Israeli fears and residual wounds of WWII, while not giving permission to them to use such as an excuse to commit human rights crimes themselves. The ironies!

I hope Russ will return.

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