I asked Mike Wise, the driving force behind AIDRG, to comment on Isseroff’s article, Is there an alternative to the two state solution? and he did below.
It soon became apparent as well, that explosive Arab population growth and perhaps significant immigration would eventually create an Arab majority between the (Jordan) river and the sea.
As is now well known that threat was real until 1995. It is no longer a consideration. Certainly not for Israel and the west bank.
The one state solution has never been abandoned by the Arab side. With the addition of millions of refugees who claim “right of return,” they reckon that they would have a majority in this state very soon.
The Jewish One State solution will allow immigration for Jews only. That is the primary definition of a Jewish State. Others can migrate based on immigration policies. The Arab claims of right to return will be handled on a case by case basis through monetary compensation. Migrant Arab workers with no land deeds etc., would have no right to compensation for property that they did not own. In any event, the issue would be resolved by independent third party courts.
Faced with the prospect of losing the West Bank, some extremist Jews (not all Zionist, perhaps) have also taken up the cause of the “one state solution”. This would involve annexing the West Bank to Israel.
On the contrary, the vast majority of Arabs living on the west bank would clearly prefer to have the status of east Jerusalem Arabs. None of whom became suicide bombers during the intifada.
The west bank Arabs will vie with the Israeli Arabs to benefit from their participation in the Israel democratic Jewish state.
The proposal rests on three ideas:
Ignoring Gaza – The proposal to annex the West Bank assumes that the Arabs of Gaza – well over a million persons, can simply be ignored. This is not realistic. Those people will not evaporate. Gaza is not mentioned.
Gaza will not evaporate. It will become the home of the peace now movement, and those who do not wish to obey the law and live in the apartheid, Zionist, Jewish racist state. Of course, Egypt or the Ottoman Empire can renew their claims to Gaza and pacify the population there as they see fit. Or possibly the UN can remove itself from NY and relocate in Gaza. A lovely seaside tax free enclave. Or maybe Egypt will give Gaza a chunk of the empty Sinai peninsula and resolve the land and population issue. In any event, it is none of Israel’s business. Just close down the rocket factories.
Apartheid State – In this state, Israeli “democracy and law” would supposedly be extended to the West Bank, but the Arabs of the West Bank would not immediately be given citizenship.
Correct. Just as 3% of the Arabs in east Jerusalem are now citizens, eventually others will become citizens. The first stage, some will qualify for full citizenship and the vast majority will become permanent residents (like Jerusalemites) and receive blue ID cards and full benefits. Provided they accept the law of the Land.
If the Arabs are not given citizenship, then of course, Israeli democracy and law are not extended to the West Bank. A democracy in which some people cannot vote is not a democracy by modern standards, and by Israeli law, everyone who lives in the country can become a citizen and vote.
Wrong. A democracy must accept the full and equal civil rights of all its residents and accept the rights of minority groups provided they do not commit acts inimical to the well being of the democracy.
According to the scheme, representatives would somehow be elected from the West Bank on a district basis. This is a charming idea.
It sounds like the electoral process in that charming country called the USA. California has 2 senators as does Wyoming with 1/60th the population.
One wonders if each West Bank district will be apportioned representatives on the basis that 1 Arab = 3/5 of a person, as was done for African slaves in the original United State constitution. Even if the Israeli supreme court would be forced to accept such a plan, it is hard to imagine that any civilized country in the world would do so.
One Californian equals 1/60 of a Wyoming. By the way, nothing happens in the USA without the approval of the house and senate. House appropriations, senate finance. No one in the world complains….
It is hard to imagine that in this situation there would not be a huge Intifadah. This time the perpetrators would be able to cross into Israel with no problems and no controls. Hundreds of bombings and shootings would take place. Could anyone, indeed, blame a people who are thus disenfranchised? They would certainly get the vote — sooner rather than later.
The intifada will be started by Yossi Beilin, Yossi Sarid, Meretz, Ami, and Uri Avneri. The Arabs will be delighted with the end of chaos, violence, weapons, and tribal feuds. The west bank Arabs complain to this day bitterly. Why did Rabin bring 40,000 animals into the west bank to destroy their period of peace and prosperity. (we know why: Rabin was terrified by demographics. But there has been a sea change and the fear is gone.)
It is not hard to imagine that “with time” these Palestinian Arabs will grow to be “loyal citizens” of Israel. Of course, their concept of Israel will be different from that of the Jews somewhat. They will vote to abolish the Jewish Law of Return. They will vote to make the official language Arabic, and perhaps to put a crescent and a green stripe on the flag. They will vote to change the national anthem to “Biladi” (“My Homeland”). These are the sort of things that loyal Arab citizens of Israel would like to do, so we can assume that the Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank would back the same ideas. The state could be either a state of the Jewish people or democratic, but even if there is only a large Arab minority, it could not be both. Of course, provided that they observed Muslim strictures, Jews would be allowed to practice their religion. It would be a “Jewish” and “democratic” state in the same way as Syria or Egypt or Iran are “Jewish” and “democratic.”
The basic law if not the constitution would require a 75% majority to change the structural foundation of the Jewish state. Furthermore, it is doubtful that all west bank Arabs will qualify for citizenship until there is genuine peace with all of Israel’s neighbors including Saudi Arabia. That genuine peace will define Israel as a Jewish state.
Demography – The scheme tells us, referring to the American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG) studies, that “Israel and the West Bank have been demographically stable since 1967 and with proper governmental initiatives its Jewish majority will grow.”
That statement is approximately correct regarding the ratio of Jews to Arabs in Israel. We have the many graphs.
From 1990 to 2006, the ratio of Jews to Arabs in Israel (excluding “others”) “only” declined from 81.9% to 79.2%. In this period, however, about 1 million Jews from former USSR immigrated to Israel. When we consider that this huge one-time immigration did not put a dent in the ratio of Arabs to Jews, we can better appreciate the demographic problem in Israel itself, without even considering the West Bank. We cannot expect any such mass immigration in the foreseeable future.
Arab births in Israel have been stable since 1995. Jewish births have increased 37%!!!
Aliya has stabilized at 20,000 per year. Arab fertility continues to decline. Jewish fertility continues to rise. The prophets of demographic doom have retired.
The AIDRG group makes two major claims about demographics that are at variance with “accepted wisdom” and published statistics. The first is that Arab birthrate is falling dramatically whereas Jewish birthrate is rising, and this somehow accounts for the stabilizing population ratios, rather than the one million immigrants from former USSR.
Just look at the numbers for each and every year since 2000. no Russian migration required to support the evidence of Jewish demographic momentum.
The second claim is that there are far fewer Arabs in the West Bank than there are generally assumed to be. The number of Arabs in the West Bank in 2006 cited by this source according to estimates accepted by the United States, is 2,385,615. .
Those numbers are taken directly from the PA. see CIA, World Bank, UN, EU. They all use the phony PCBS numbers.
AIDRG claims that there are actually 1.35 million Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank – a discrepancy of over a million!!! (see here slide #82). They claim that the difference is due to over-counting by the Palestinian authority, to double counting of Arabs in Jerusalem, counting of non-resident Arabs etc.
What are the facts? At present there are about 576,000 eligible Arab (including Druze) voters in Israel (see here, page 5). The Arabs of East Jerusalem, double counted or not, cannot vote. In the Palestinian authority elections of 2005 there were 968,362 eligible Arab voters (see here, p 78). We can see immediately that adding 968,362 eligible voters to the existing 576,000 Arab voters would revolutionize Israeli political life.
We have previously explained the proper numbers for the number of eligible arab voters on the west bank. If the adult population is a max of 1.4 million, the number of people 18 and over is over 50%.
Moreover, these are not our friends from Abu Ghosh, or the Druze of Carmiel or Daliyat al Karmil or the Arabs of Nazareth, who vote for the the Arab parties or for the Labor party or Meretz or Likud in about equal numbers. I don’t bet there are many Likudniks in Nablus! In the best case, if they will vote for people like citizen Farouk Kadoumi, and citizen Omar Barghouti – Palestinian radical in the Fatah.
Over time as the situation stabilizes, people will vote for their pocketbooks etc. they will not vote for their religion. Just as the haredi will vote for their best interests as individuals and families.
Nor should we imagine that those Palestinian Arabs living abroad, as refugees in Iraq or working for a pittance in other countries, would not return, along with the Palestinian intellectual leadership living in the United States and Europe. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Nadia abu El Hajj, Joseph Massad, Rashid Khalidi and many other lovers of Zion would all become Israeli political leaders. That is the political reality of the vaunted Jewish one state solution.
See above for right of return.
It is an optimistic picture, provided that the Arabs of the West Bank would be given the right to vote and would all be content to work through the ballot box? These same people who want a one-state solution insist that a Palestinian state would be a state of terrorists.
If you pursue a strategy of occupation you will create terrorists. If you pursue a policy of withdrawal and concession to terrorism you will encourage and create more terrorists. Hizballah learned a great lesson and they refer to occupied Haifa and Tiberias.
But what will make the Palestinian Arabs NOT be terrorists in a state where they are disenfranchised?? Wouldn’t they all be eager “customers” for Syrian army intelligence, for the Iranian Basij and Al-Qaeda? How many votes does a suicide bomber have, and how do you count them?
As long as they hear the whispers of peace now, that just a little more violence will lead to a terrorist state on the west bank, you will get terrorists and terrorism. As long as you support fatah and terrorist corrupt leaders from Tunisia and elsewhere on the west bank you will get violence.
From the figure of 968,362 eligible voters in 2006, we can also estimate the total population of the West Bank, because we know that those under 18 are about 51% of the population. Therefore, by those Palestinian election figures given by AIDRG for 2005, we can estimate that there were 1,976,249 Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank, and not 1.35 million as they say.
I thought AMI read appendix F and understands how he was duped. Suggest a reread. If there are any questions, please let me know.
Together with Israeli Arabs (1.15 million after subtracting 250,000 in Jerusalem) we would have about 3.1 million Arabs in Israel and the West Bank, and those from the West Bank would have a large number of Hamas and Islamic Jihad sympathizers. That is the static picture today.
Wrong picture. Even Arnon Soffer stated at a Knesset hearing that the number is 2.7 million in the West Bank and Gaza!!! I can send the transcript or find it online.
But we must add a few facts to this. After the great rise in fertility of Israeli Jews and decline in that of Israeli Arabs, the situation, as we can see here that in 2005 there were 105,200 Jewish birth and 38,800 Arab births in Israel – But there are far fewer Arabs! That means that the Israeli Arab birth rate per thousand, is about 1.5 times that of the Israeli Jewish birthrate. That is in Israel.
Now we can begin to understand why it is entirely clear that there is Jewish demographic momentum. 1995 there were 80,000 Jewish births and 36,000 Arab births. Wow!!
In the West Bank, the Palestinian Arab birthrate is even higher. While Israeli birthrate overall is about 18 per thousand, in the West Bank, birthrate is over 33 per thousand. We cannot safely anticipate a rising Jewish birthrate and a falling Arab one, because while only about 41% of Israeli Jews are in the 0-24 age group (see Israel CBS Data), About 62% of Palestinian Arabs are in this age group in the West Bank, according to the AIDRG group’s own data (see slide 104 here). Over the next 15 years that very young population is going to be having babies. No matter how much anyone might wish it to be otherwise, and despite biblical miracles, few women over age 39 give birth.
There will be a bulge, but it is not significant and only impacts the overall data by 1 or 2 percentage points. But within 20 years the tide turns dramatically.
As I would not want to live as part of a disenfranchised minority – or majority – in an Arab state, I do not think that it is fair to wish that fate on the Arabs of the West Bank, nor would I be willing to abide by such an arrangement for long.
The Arabs will control their local politics and environments. A far cry from what they have today with hoodlums and gangsters with guns roving the streets. Go take a walk in gaza and let me know how things are. Even the western press has run for cover. Furthermore, israel society must be committed to equality of all, civil and human rights for all (even women!!) and equal justice for all. And of course social benefits, education, jobs and modernization.
Moral considerations aside, even the most gung-ho Jewish “patriot” who has no regard at all for the wishes or rights of the Palestinian Arabs, has to understand that a Jewish one-state solution that incorporates the West Bank in Israel would be the end of Zionism.
The end of post-zionism!!! The sooner the better. The hadera to gedara model will lead to the next holocaust of the jewish people.
It all comes down to this: you can’t have a democracy where a large number of people are not allowed to vote, and you can’t get more babies just by screwing with the data.
All vote for local affairs. Over time all vote for national affairs of a democratic Jewish state.