Cal Tzedek: The Only Demogracy in the Middle East

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Only Demogracy in the Middle East

Meron Benvenisti of Haaretz brilliantly describes the moral bankruptcy behind "peace" initiatives whose primary concerns are neither peace nor justice, but rather demographics.

I believe that Israel can be democratic (it isn't really, but it can be) AND Jewish...for a few years. But, even assuming that no Palestinian refugees are resettled in Israel, eventually Israeli Arabs will approach demographic parity to Israeli Jews. To refer to this phenomenon as a "demographic threat" is reprehensible. There is no such thing as a demographic threat in a truly democratic society. There are only demographic realities, and should the state apparatus not be prepared to accept those realities, then the state is not a democracy. Seeking to control demographics --through expulsion, obviously-- but also through enticement, and even through strategic immigration laws, is inherently undemocratic, because the aim assumes a certain danger in providing equality for all groups.

I particularly enjoyed Benvenisti's explanation for the ridiculous recent "study" which claims that, Sure-Maybe-Palestinians-Exist-But-1.4 Million-of-them-Don't:

"All the excitement came about only because the right-wing circles discovered that the demographic demon had been abducted from them, and is being used by others to justify the evacuation of the Gaza Strip; and if the demon doesn't serve the purposes of the right, one has to pretend that it doesn't exist."
Needless to say, the Zionist Organization of America has a fresh copy of this report, replete with the triumphant pedantics of Morton Klein.

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