[Marxism] Ilan Pappe on the "demographic danger" to the state of Israel

Lüko Willms lueko.willms at t-online.de
Fri Apr 14 02:27:24 MDT 2006

Ilan Pappe is a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa and one of 
the so-called "new historians" who dared to describe the actual 
atrocities of creating the state of Israel. His most recent books are 'A 
History of Modern Palestine' and 'The Modern Middle East'.

  His recent article in the London Review of Books (the same review that 
published this article by US-professors Mearsheimer and Walt calling the 
US alliance with Israel a "liability" for US imperial policies) 
"Ingathering" subtitled by the LRB editor "Ilan Pappe on the Israeli 
election and the 'demographic problem'" is found here: 

> http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n08/papp01_.html

  Some excerpts: 

---- quote -----------------------

  From left to right, the manifestos of all the Zionist parties during 
the recent Israeli election campaign contained policies which they 
claimed would counter the "demographic problem" posed by the Palestinian 
presence in Israel.


  Apart from the ten members of the Palestinian parties and two 
eccentric Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox Jews, all the members of the new 
Knesset (there are 120 in all) arrived promising that their magic 
formulae would solve the "demographic problem".


   None of this is new. The population problem was identified as the 
major obstacle in the way of Zionist fulfilment in the late 19th 
century, and David Ben-Gurion said in December 1947 that "there can be 
no stable and strong Jewish state so long as it has a Jewish majority of 
only 60 per cent."  


   Israel boosted its population with two massive Jewish immigrations, 
each of about a million people, in 1949 and in the 1980s. This kept the 
Palestinian proportion of the population down and today Palestinians 
account for nearly 20 per cent of the population of Israel (not counting 
the Occupied Territories). Ehud Olmert, the leader of Kadima and acting 
prime minister, thinks that if Israel stays in the Occupied Territories 
and its inhabitants are included in the Israeli population, Palestinians 
will outnumber Jews within 15 years.


   In the run-up to the election, pundits discussed this question using 
language akin to that employed in Europe and the United States in 
debates over immigration. Here, however, it is the immigrant community 
that decides the future of the indigenous population, not vice versa.


   On 31 July 2003, the Knesset passed a law prohibiting Palestinians 
from obtaining citizenship, permanent residency or even temporary 
residency when they marry Israeli citizens. The initiator of the 
legislation was a liberal Zionist, Avraham Poraz of the centrist party 
Shinui. He described it as a "defence measure". Only 25 members of the 
Knesset opposed it and Poraz declared that those already married and 
with families "will have to go to the West Bank", regardless of how long 
they had been living in Israel.


   In the dead of night on 24 January this year, an elite unit of the 
border police seized the Israeli Palestinian village of Jaljulya. The 
troops burst into houses, dragging out 36 women and eventually deporting 
eight of them. The women were ordered to go to their old homes in the 
West Bank. Some had been married for years to Palestinians in Jaljulya, 
some were pregnant, many had children, but the soldiers were 
demonstrating to the Israeli public that when a demographic problem 
becomes a danger, the state will act swiftly and without hesitation. One 
Palestinian member of the Knesset protested, but the action was backed 
by the government, the courts and the media.

---------------- unquote ----------------------

  Read the article in full at
> http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n08/papp01_.html

Lüko Willms
Frankfurt, Germany
visit http://www.mlwerke.de Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotzki in 

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