A few days ago, I reposted my article Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. In it I referenced a New Demographic Study and a One Jewish State Plan that would involve annexing Judea and Samaria.
Yesterday, I asked â€œPalestineâ€, to be or not to be? and linked to two articles both critical of it.
Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST picks up the ball in her latest article Column One: Where Israel went astray
[..] On Wednesday, one such option was presented in Washington at the American Enterprise Institute. There, the American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG) presented a plan for Israel’s future called “The Fourth Way.”
Led by American economist Bennett Zimmerman and former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger, the AIDRG first burst onto the screen in early 2005 when it presented the first comprehensive analysis of Palestinian population data.
[..] This year the team members took their data to the next logical step by offering their best shot at a national strategy for Israel, based on true population data. While one can agree or disagree with the viability of their strategy, the fact that it is based on truth rather than lies already places it in a different league from the “peace” plans that have held Israel intellectually hostage since 1993.
The plan is predicated on electoral reform in Israel that will set the course for a democratic absorption of all or parts of Judea and Samaria into Israel while securing the political rights of all Israelis – both Jewish and Arab. Israel today is governed by a proportional electoral system that treats the entire country as a unitary voting district. The plan recommends changing the electoral system to a direct, district-based voting system divided along the lines of the Interior Ministry’s administrative partition of the country.
Given Israel’s 80 percent Jewish majority outside Judea and Samaria, it is unsurprising that Jews form massive majorities in every administrative district in the country except the northern district. In the North, Arabs comprise a bare 52% majority. But the internal migration of just 52,000 Jews to the North would overturn that majority.
Within Judea and Samaria, the sparsely populated sub-districts of Western Samaria and the Jordan Valley are vital for Israel’s national defense. As the study shows, an internal migration of approximately 150,000 Jews to these areas would give them strong Jewish majorities. Given that the Tel Aviv district has a 99% Jewish majority and the central region of the country has a 92% Jewish majority, a national plan for populating the areas could easily facilitate such a migratory trend.
In the Jerusalem district, the population trends are in flux. The erection of the separation fence has driven tens of thousands of Arabs from Judea and Samaria into the city to avoid PA rule. Conversely, the high real estate prices in Jewish neighborhoods are forcing Jews to leave the city.
Today Jews make up a 67% majority in the capital. The researchers demonstrated that if the capital’s boundaries are extended to include Jerusalem’s western suburbs, the Etzion bloc, the Adumim bloc, and the Givon bloc on the Jewish side as well as Abu Dis, Beit Hanina and the north Jerusalem bloc on the Arab side, the Jewish majority of the expanded city would be 66%. The flow of Arabs into the city’s center to get away from the PA would abate. Real estate prices throughout the city would drop with the increase of land supplies and so the capital would again be affordable to young Jewish families. If Bethlehem is added to the municipal boundaries of the capital, the Jewish majority would be reduced to 62%.
On the other hand, with the separation fence bringing about an effective partition of the city, “Arab Jerusalem” around its truncated and walled-off boundaries will enjoy a 72% Arab majority and the Jewish population within the shrunken, expensive capital will continue to dwindle.
NEXT WEEK Israel’s premiere policy conference, the 7th Annual Herzliya Conference, will take place. The “Who’s Who” of Israel will again present their “visions” for the country. In most cases, the speakers will regale us with tales of how they will make peace with the PLO and will warn us that we have to be nice to Abbas, (and eat our peas and carrots,) or be destroyed by
Iranian nuclear bombs.
At last year’s conference, the AIDRG team presented the data they had painstakingly compiled. They were greeted with unabashed hostility. Many walked out in the middle. Others groaned or chatted loudly with their friends trying to drown out the presentation. The audience of elitists
didn’t want to hear proof that for the past decade, Israel’s national debate – which they themselves have led – has been based on a lie aimed at destroying the Zionist idea.
This year the team will return to the conference. But rather than being allowed to present their newest data and their plan, they were given a mere three minutes to speak at the end of a session about something else entirely.
Halutz’s resignation was a good and necessary thing. But in and of itself, it will have little significance for Israel if it remains a lone incident. For Halutz’s exit from the scene to be a harbinger for a better, safer future, it needs to be followed not only by the resignations of Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
Our failed and delusional leaders must take their mendacious and defeatist national debate along with them. As they depart, we must regain control over our national conversation and build it upon the firm foundations of reality and a renewed commitment to advancing and securing Israel’s national interests.