Israel project destined for ruin – Azril Mohd Amin

There is no civilised response to the violence of the Israeli military against non-violent Palestinian protesters except moral outrage; and there is no rational reaction to the United States’ unilateral decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem except condemnation. However, it is important, particularly in times of provocative crises, to maintain a sense of perspective.

In the final analysis, Israel is an unsustainable experiment; it always has been. As a Jewish state, it simply cannot be demographically maintained. The transfer of the American embassy can have no real impact on the viability of the Zionist vision in the long term.

Ultimately, we believe that the “Two State Solution” is not a solution at all, but rather it is the only formula that can ensure the perpetuation of a conflict that, if left to a natural trajectory, would most likely resolve itself within the next few decades. The integration of Palestinian territory, and the resident Palestinian populations, as well as those in the Diaspora seeking to return, into a single state, would oblige “the Middle East’s only democracy” to transform into a genuinely pluralistic, multicultural state in which all citizens would have their rights and equal standing before the law. If Jerusalem were to be recognised as the capital of that state it would not be controversial.

Israelis celebrate the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem recently

The source of the controversy over the move of the American embassy is, after all, the “Two State Solution”. How can Jerusalem be recognized as Israel’s capital when the Palestinians insist on the Holy City being the capitol of a future Palestinian state? Well, this can only be a conflict if we are determined to avoid the most obvious solution: a single, inclusive state in which Jews and Palestinians enjoy equal citizenship.

The total population of Israel is about 8.5 million, almost 2 million of whom are Palestinians. There are roughly another 5 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and the birth rate among Palestinians easily outpaces that of Israeli Jews. As it stands now, Palestinians are already a majority in the overall territory of Israel and Palestine; clearly the most sensible position for Palestinians should be integration into a single state, not a demand for a separate state. And, frankly, this is what Jewish Israelis should be pushing for as well, if they hope for their country to take its place in the world as something more than a colonialist experiment endlessly dependent on external aid and in a continuous state of conflict.

There is no other way this can go. The “demographic problem” that plagues Zionist true believers has no demographic solution. The Zionist ideology is rapidly colliding with reality, and reality is unlikely to flinch. The global Jewish population is only about 14 million; this precludes the possibility of solving the “demographic problem” through emigration.

Britain’s Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles and Home Secretary Theresa May hold up signs reading “I am Jewish” during a Board of Deputies of British Jews event in London, January 18, 2015.

The entire Jewish population on earth is roughly equivalent to the population of Istanbul. Jews have one of the lowest birth rates in the world. At current rates, their numbers will only increase globally by 2 million in the next 30 years. Even if we imagine that every Jew on earth moves to Israel by the year 2050, the Palestinian population will likely have doubled by then to almost 10 million in Gaza and the West Bank, and 4 million inside Israel. So, that’s 16 million Jews with a comparatively low birth rate, and 14 million Palestinians whose population is growing faster; and again, that is assuming that every Jew in the world decides to emigrate to Israel (which will never happen).

If we assume that Jewish emigration will remain approximately as it is now, with about 60% of the global Jewish population choosing to live elsewhere; by 2050, we are looking at a total Palestinian population (within Israel and the Palestinian Territories) twice the size of the population of Israeli Jews. Now, they can either live in a developed, modern, democratic, integrated state with Jerusalem as its capital; or they can live in the Bantustans of the West Bank and the open-air prison that is the Gaza Strip; calling these fractured, dominated, divided, impoverished, and wholly dependent territories a Palestinian state, with no recognized capitol.

Which of these two choices is optimal should be self-evident. When you look at these kinds of numbers, it is hard not to conclude that the wisest long-term strategy would be for the Palestinian Territories to voluntarily integrate into Israel, let the Palestinians become full-fledged citizens, and promote through the democratic process the return of Palestinians from the Diaspora. It is possible that the transfer of the American embassy may eventually be regarded as the move which provides the impetus to the call for a one state solution; and this is our hope.

Azril Mohd Amin
Chief Executive, Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA)
Chairman, Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the UPR Process (MACSA).

*Turut disiarkan dalam Malay Mail Online.

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