The Jewish And Demographic State of Israel

Uzi Arad writes in Haaretz:

Prof. Gideon Biger of Tel Aviv University, in this newspaper, raised his plan for two states, one entirely Jewish, the other entirely Arab, based on territorial transfers in which the Triangle, from Kfar Qassam in the south to Barta in the north, would be handed over to Palestinian sovereignty, while in exchange, Israel would retain those territories populated by Jews in Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley. Later, Prof. Arnon Sofer of the University of Haifa and Prof. Sergio della Pergola of the Hebrew University made similar proposals.

[…] The idea of territorial transfers already appeared in plans that dealt with the final status agreement from the Clinton framework to the plans proposed by Israeli groups such as the [Ayalon-Nusseibeh] People’s Voice petition. According to all those plans the route of the geodemographic border was drawn according to the principle of territorial contiguity.

The idea of exchanging populated territories was also raised by people from throughout the political spectrum, from Avigdor Lieberman on the right to Ephraim Sneh on the left, and has won the support of some intellectuals. On the other hand, the response of Israeli Arabs has generally been reserved, together with their reservations about the very idea of protecting the Jewish character of the state of Israel.

“Territorial transfer” is a nice way of saying that citizens of the state of Israel will be stripped from their civic rights and become citizens of a newly formed state of Palestine. Arad presents a ‘wide consensus’ on the matter, exposing the anti-democratic attitude held by prominent academics, politicians and ‘peace groups’ from right and left. The ‘reservations’ of potential victims from this idea is mentioned briefly. But for Arad, who’s belief in the basic tenets of democracy is questionable, it probably doesn’t matter what the Israeli Arabs want. The discourse is among the Jewish politicians, Intellectuals, and yes – even ‘peaceniks’.

Any person who believes that a state has a right to strip people from their citizenship without any reason but their ethnicity or nationality, is an anti-democrat. The difference between territorial transfer and population transfer is that the trucks aren’t needed.

The fact that Israeli citizneship would be replaced by another citizenship is irrelevant; no state has a right to decide that some part of the population it governs will be stripped from their rights even if another state will give citizenship to that same population. Since a democratic state as represented in its various institutions comes to being as a supposed manifestation of the people’s will (a claim that I am willing to accept for the sake of the argument) and its democratic legitimacy originates from the citizens, it can never disenfranchise any part of its population, and still call itself a democracy.

39 thoughts on “The Jewish And Demographic State of Israel

  1. Moishe what you posted is very telling. All you “right-wingers” in confusion should start to think about this.
    Now because the situation is untenable even the left is talking about transfer-unfortunately at this point it is also transfer of Jews.
    Then we have people like Moishe who seeing that the arabs have reservations says wait! its not democratic or right to either physically move people or to remove their citizenship!
    You see moishe will always sound better than you because he makes sense he chooses democracy over a Jewish state.
    You sound confused because you say yes we must have democracy even though you still want a Jewish state.
    So Moishe rightfully says: Hey hypocrits you support democracy and you will accept stripping of citzenship!?
    For the confused I will explain what is happening here in the article:
    In Israel where even leftist Jews are being killed they are being forced to think of solutions against their will, the contradiction is forcing them to give ideas of transfer.
    The arabs though, have reservations. I quote “together with their reservations about the very idea of protecting the Jewish character of the state of Israel.” – Thats right they don’t like the idea of Israel remaining Jewish.
    Foolish “right-wingers”… wake up and understand the situation!

  2. “Any person who believes that a state has a right to strip people from their citizenship without any reason but their ethnicity or nationality, is an anti-democrat.”
    Clearly you dont understand the meaning of the word “democracy,” which contrary to what you think, does not mean “whatever mobi feels is good.”
    A states ability to strip someone of their citizenship does not speak to the democratic values of the country. Do you really think the U.S., france, england or any other country do not have the ability, under their current laws, to strip people of their citizenship or right to vote? And if you dont think race and ethnicity are a compelling state interest, you havent been following recent supreme court decisions.
    All parties of isreals keneset have been voted in by the people of israel, so any action taken by israel’s government is consistent with democratic principles.

  3. “A democratic state … can never disenfranchise any part of its population, and still call itself a democracy.”
    Almost everybody considers the US of the early 20th century US to be a democracy, and yet a *majority* of its adults were disenfranchied: women (half the population) and non-whites could not vote.
    Israel should do what it needs to do, and gladly accept the whining of the “wronged” for a lasting peace.

  4. Yes, women and blacks could not vote until relatively recently in America. Since equality was extended to these folks everyone other than racists agrees it was a good thing. I cannot believe that you would use pre-civil rights America as a model for Israel. You do understand that you are advocating for a return to the racist ideas of the 18th century. The application of universal citizenship has helped Jews more than any other single group. Look at the roles Jews have in America, that would be impossible without civil rights. Just because we have power in Israel does not mean we should make Palestinians the “jews” or “blacks” of Israel. As a people with a history of suffering under oppression, it should be our duty to ensure that we do not suffer again, nor does any other minority. If it turns out that Zionism is only protecting Jews (and that itself is questionable) but is oppressing others, than perhaps we need to move to another model that will allow for equality and justice for ALL.

  5. “than perhaps we need to move to another model that will allow for equality and justice for ALL.”
    I agree. Justice i.e. if Israel is attacked from Palestine (I support the creation of a Palestinian state) they declare war and use all means necessary to put an end to the conflict once and for all. Equal…this applies to any of their neighboring countries as well.

  6. wait a moment– if a person living in an area that will be exchanged wants to keep his current citizenship, he can always move to somewhere that will not be exchanged. Granted, he might be attached to where he lives. But then, why not be a foreign national in the new jurisdiction?

  7. I think we can all agree that oofnik doesnt understand the term “democracy”, and is consistently confusing it with his own perception of what is fair and just.
    That being said, if one values the arab desire to make israel a muslim country over preserving the jewish identity of israel, then yes; population transfer isnt “just” or “fair.” Accordingly, oofnik doesnt think population transfer is fair

  8. OK so we have the battle lines drawn from this and other posts:
    Moishe oofnick, Yusul, John Brown …,Mobius and Sam agree with Free palestine. They
    choose democracy even if the Jewish state is lost as a casualty.
    Then there is Bukakke- who doesn’t seem to have a position. He both defends democracy and tries to explain that the former group doesn’t understand it but then he implies that maybe population transfer is good.
    Then there is my friend shtreimel- while not wanting to believe that arabs would really reject a Jewish state (since all people are inherently good…) but then (I suppose after thinking to himself that it isn’t the smartest thing to assume) he says if they do attack we should forcefully take care of the problem once and for all!
    Joe Grossberg, Josh, HaZeev and Ben also seems to be in this camp.
    …And then there is me.
    Me who doesn’t want to see Jews killed and I don’t want to see Arabs killed. I don’t even want to see Arabs oppressed!
    But I certainly don’t want to see our land lost or attacked!
    I see the reality and I say the arabs aren’t bad people; they are just proud people who are unwilling to allow Jews on what they think is their land. Are they wrong? Of course they are wrong! That’s not the point. The point is what they believe!
    Because of that I say Rabbi Meir Kahane is right- They must go!
    Precisely because I don’t want to oppress them and I don’t want to have to fight with them when they ultimately will attack-which is what will happen in the end after all of the second group’s good intentions…
    So it seems that I am all alone.

  9. Schmo, how can you say you don’t want to see Arabs oppressed, but you want to engage in ethnic cleansing? Is not forced transfer a form of oppression? It was when jews were kicked out of England in the 1200s and Spain in the 1500s. Why isn’t it oppression to kick Palestinians out of their homes in 2000?

  10. Because in the end there is no choice.
    Its either transfer, maybe even with some compensation, or definite war in the near future.
    The war will be started by them and in fact has started by their constant bombings and killings. If they get a state they will have better weapons to use and they will invite other countries to help them.
    I’m not a fool and I see what has happened in all the previous wars and I see what they teach their children and what they say in their speeches to their own people.
    I really don’t want to oppress them but they feel oppressed right now when we let them live with all their rights. They feel oppressed just because they know that Israel is a Jewish state. They even say that.
    Transfer is by far the better thing than G-d forbid what will happen soon under the current situation.
    In England the Jews did nothing to threaten the country. They didn’t want to make England not English. In Spain the choice we were given was convert, leave or be burnt at the stake. We didn’t try to take over Spain. We were thrown out of Israel 2000 years ago and we just wanted a place to rest when we were in exile. But even a temporary rest we didn’t get.
    How can you compare that to this situation when the arabs are intent on destroying Israel?! When they want it not to be a Jewish state?!

  11. The discussion of democracy and disenfranchisement was quite interesting. The fact is that at least 9 states in the US today disenfranchise any person who has been convicted of a felony. (This was a big issue before the Presidential election, as a disproportionate number of people who are affected by these laws are of minority status in the US.) Additionally all of the citizens of US territories (such as Puerto Rico and American Semoa, and Washington DC) are to some extent disenfranchised in the US. All are citizens, but none have a representation in Congress, and none have a vote for the President.
    The other point is that the US is not a democratic state, it is a republic, though a republican form of government is democratic, it accomplishes this through the use of representatives that (theoretically) fulfill what the majority of the population believes is best for the republic as a whole.
    That ramble having be said, the question of disenfranchisement comes down to two things, does a government get to choose who is enfranchised and who isn’t? And does creating a group of the population that is not enfranchised AUTOMATICALLY cause to state that the government is not democratic? The answer to the first question is yes, any country has the right to determine which of its citizens are enfranchised. It not an issue of morality, dispite what people may want to make it, it is an issue of policy. As such, by policy the US Federal government has said that the citizens of the US, who live in terretories, are not enfranchised because of the location in which they live, I doubt many people who are discussing the issue even consider this an issue, yet a segment of the US citizenry is disenfranchised by public policy.
    So the US by public policy has determined that a segment of the population (residents of territories of the US) do not have the right to choose the President or to have representation in Congress. Is the United States now not a democratic state because of this. I would say the US is still a democratic republic. The State of Ohio, choosing just one, states that any citizen who has been convicted of a felony crime looses the right to vote. Is the State of Ohio no longer a democratic republic? Once again I would be forced to say that the State of Ohio still is a representational democracy.
    So the final question, if the US has the right to state that a portion of it’s population is disenfranchised for public policy reasons, does any country have the right to do the same and still maintain its’ standing as a democracy? The answer once again should be yes. If any democracy has this right, the Israel has the right to determine that a segment of the citizens of the country does not have the right to vote.
    The issue is not one of enfranchisement/disenfranchisement. It is an issue of whether or not Arabic members of the Israeli society/Jewish members of Palestinian society have a right to participate in the government which controls the territory on which they live. My question is this if the Jews who are living on land that is scheduled to be transfered to the PA stayed on that land, who the PA protect their rights and keep them safe. I don’t have a definite answer on this, but I can guess that the answer is no.
    Final question: If it is wrong, for what ever reason you believe it to be wrong, to transfer the Arab populations from within the border of current Israeli control. Then why is is okay to transfer Jews who are within the same border to satisfy the Palestinians? If transfer is wrong, then it is wrong for both sides. And if transfer is a viable option for one side, then it should be equally considered for both sides. To not look at the issue as being equal for both side is where the democracy trains begins to jump the rails.
    Oh well. I’ve rambled more than enough.

  12. On the surface, the principles of majority rule and the protection of individual and minority rights would seem contradictory. In fact, however, these principles are twin pillars holding up the very foundation of what we mean by democratic government.
    Majority rule is a means for organizing government and deciding public issues; it is not another road to oppression. Just as no self-appointed group has the right to oppress others, so no majority, even in a democracy, should take away the basic rights and freedoms of a minority group or individual.
    Minorities — whether as a result of ethnic background, religious belief, geographic location, income level, or simply as the losers in elections or political debate — enjoy guaranteed basic human rights that no government, and no majority, elected or not, should remove.
    Minorities need to trust that the government will protect their rights and self-identity. Once this is accomplished, such groups can participate in, and contribute to their country’s democratic institutions.
    Among the basic human rights that any democratic government must protect are freedom of speech and expression; freedom of religion and belief; due process and equal protection under the law; and freedom to organize, speak out, dissent, and participate fully in the public life of their society.
    Democracies understand that protecting the rights of minorities to uphold cultural identity, social practices, individual consciences, and religious activities is one of their primary tasks.
    Acceptance of ethnic and cultural groups that seem strange if not alien to the majority can represent one of the greatest challenges that any democratic government can face. But democracies recognize that diversity can be an enormous asset. They treat these differences in identity, culture, and values as a challenge that can strengthen and enrich them, not as a threat.
    from: “Principles of Democracy – Majority Rule, Minority Rights” – U.S. Department of State

  13. I love this line from the state department’s blatant pc propaganda
    “But democracies recognize that diversity can be an enormous asset. ”
    Yes, because democracies began to value diversity, for the past, oh, 10 or 11 years. At most.

  14. Interesting how the definition of democracy is based on the ‘expirement’ in democracy called the United States. And that it is based on the the United States in the last 40 years, yet ignores that it is only the most recent definition of democracy.
    The English democracy, in theory, goes back to the signing of the Magna Carta. In that instance, democracy was only for the landed aristocracy. The democracy in the US was originally only for the landowners.
    Rarely in history has a democracy truely involved a majority of the population over which the government ruled.
    If a government treats the minority population well and provides them with the basics of human rights, but doesn’t give that minority right to enfranchisement does that make it a non-democratic government.
    The modern definitions of something are not necesarily the only, or the best definitions. As an example: slavery. We in the US think of slavery in terms of the evil that existed in the US prior to the Civil War, but in most cultures and in most regions of the world slavery was much more less brutal. The slave generally had rights, and in some cases may be set free for supporting the master, and they could not be just killed if the master was not pleased with them. For an example, look at the story of Joseph in the Torah. Parts of Ancient Greece were democratic, yet they also had slaves.
    Just remember because WE see something through modern, or American, eyes and definitions doesn’t make it the only way to see that as the answer.

  15. All this potification is nonsense and doesn’t speak to the issue. In America the minorities basically have similar value systems as the majority. The differences between them are small details that they can agree to ignore. In the Middle East the minority and majority have different value systems and the minority will never agree to the majority.
    Not only that but the arab “minority” is in fact the majority. There are arabs inside and outside of Israel. They don’t act like a minority. A real minority won’t attack the majority they would have to be fools to. But in Israel they attack because they know that the rest of the arabs outside of Israel are with them – they are really the majority.
    So what John brown says here is irrelevant and nonsense.
    …and as if america is so righteous. As soon as America feel any sort of threat they take away rights. Hey John Brown whose quoting teh state department did you forget about the japanese during WWII? Did you forget about the communists who were hounded in the Mccarth era during the cold war? Did you forget about the hundreds if not thousands of araba and others they held and are holding now without trial? Did you forget how made war against two countries recently and killed thousands of civilians? Finally did you forget about the American Indians?
    So quit quoting a government who espouses “rights” only when it suits them.
    Enough hypocrisy.

  16. To Rivkah from above,
    You see these characters here don’t want the arabs to have to change citizenship OR to have to physically move. The fact is that the only honest solution is to tranfer the arabs outside of our land. All the other answers are doomed to failure and ultimate war-started by them.

  17. Joe Schmo wrote: “Hey John Brown whose quoting teh state department did you forget about the japanese during WWII? Did you forget about the communists who were hounded in the Mccarth era during the cold war? Did you forget about the hundreds if not thousands of araba and others they held and are holding now without trial? Did you forget how made war against two countries recently and killed thousands of civilians? Finally did you forget about the American Indians?
    The internment of the Japanese, McCarthyism, anti-Arab bigotry and the treatment of the Indians are all anti-Democratic and wrong, and any real honest Democracy-loving Americans will readily admit it
    I’m arguing in favor of Democracy, not whatever un-Democratic things America has done
    So what Joe Schmo says here is irrelevant and nonsense.
    While democracy per se implies only a system of government defined and legitimized by elections, modern democracy can be characterized more fully by the following institutions:
    * A constitution which limits the powers and controls the formal operation of government, whether written, unwritten or a combination of the two.
    * Election of public officials, conducted in a free and just manner
    * The right to vote and to stand for election (also see Universal suffrage)
    * Freedom of expression (speech, assembly, etc.)
    * Freedom of the press and access to alternative information sources
    * Freedom of association
    * Equality before the law and due process under the rule of law
    * Educated citizens informed of their rights and civic responsibilities
    Some summarize the definition of democracy as being “majority rule with minority rights.”
    from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy

  18. This John Brown guy is unbelievable. John you are adept at copying and pasting like a robot while simply ignoring what I wrote.
    The point is that democracy will never work unless the minority will peacfully go with the majority.
    In America when the minority didn’t or was feared not to follow, America took your “democracy” and tossed it into the trash because it doesn’t work in that case.
    In Israel it is clearly not the case that the “minority” is or will listen.

  19. Joe Schmo wrote : “The point is that democracy will never work unless the minority will peacfully go with the majority.
    Oh right, just get in the cattle cars, and don’t raise a fuss – this is Joe Schmo’s ‘democracy’ in action
    Yisrael the Libertarian wrote: “Brown thinks democracy are those things he believes are good, while those things he thinks are bad are undemocratic.
    The state department and Wikipedia definitions of democracy aren’t mine are they.. So it looks like you’re not arguing against my definition of democracy per se, but in fact a widely held notion of liberal democracy.
    ” So you see in Aristotle the organic relationship in modern terms between democracy and liberalism. Liberalism, as the guarantee of certain essential freedoms for the individual, can exist without a democracy. But you cannot have democracy without liberalism. You cannot have democracy without minority rights. For democracy without minority rights is exactly a totalitarian democracy. Or as Aristotle puts it, “an autocracy.”
    Thomas Jefferson said during his first inaugural in 1801, “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”

  20. Yisrael,
    We are wasting our time with him.
    John Brown doesn’t care if Israel is destroyed.
    I doubt that John Brown is even Jewish…

  21. Joe Schmo – I’m afraid you’re missing the point. I support minority rights as an essential part of any liberal democracy because I’m a Jew. Whether you want to admit it or not, your position legitimizes the anti-semitic case for an ethnic state which marginalizes Jews and that’s a position that I am unwilling to take.
    No matter what you say, equal protection under the law for minority groups does not equal the destruction of Israel.

  22. John:
    I will repeat something I said earlier, by defining democracy through the modern American definition, you are limiting what is isn’t a democracy. Minority rights should be respected, but does that give the minority the right to work toward the destruction of the state in which they live. There are groups in the United States today that are actively engaged in planning the downfall of the US. I remember a candidate that ran for President as a ‘third’ party candidate in the early to mid 80’s who actively supported the abolishment of the Constitution. (Always thought it was a little strange they were running for President, but that is off the point.) This person has the right to espouse what ever they believe up to the point that they take action to bring down the state. No right in a constitutional state should be absolute, otherwise someone will ulitmately abuse it and destroy it.
    Having said that, the situation in every democracy is different. The key is to protect minority rights, but that protection can not sensibly extend to a point that the state itself becomes threatened by the right of that individual or group.
    Joe Schmo:
    While it is true that large groups of minorities have similar priorities and values as the society as a whole in the US, there are still many minorities who do not accept that the overall values of society are the proper ones. You also said “A real minority won’t attack the majority they would have to be fools to,” and while this is a sensible appearing attitude history is filled with minority uprisings. There are also different ways that a minority can attack the majority, the civil rights movement in the US is a way that a minority can attack the majority. Many thought that was foolish at the begining as well. That having been said, I do agree with much of what you have said in this thread. And I will add that I agree, as I stated above, John Brown seems to want to use the most up-to-date definition of democracy as being the only foundation of it, and not look at the past ot see that the major democracies of today developed and evolved to what they are, and every democracy must go through that evolution, they are not going to spring full made from the cloth of there creation, just as the other didn’t.

  23. Little Wolf,
    The civil rights movement was supported by the average american majority. They were able to sway the public who then voted for them. Remember there was a whole civil war which shows how sympathetic people were towards them.

  24. John,
    The fact that this “minority” is in fact a very very large majority in the region, and the fact that they want to destroy Israel
    you ignore.
    That simply doesn’t come into your equation.
    It does equal the destruction of Israel and your repetitions of what you say without addressing the explicit PLO charter that I gave links to above and this “minority’s” overwhelming support for the PLO and many other points shows that you have a position that you will never change whether right or wrong.
    People should know, in general, that whenever you get into a discussion and the other person does not address your points but rather simply repeats his own position – you then know that there is no point in discussing it further becasue that person has a set idea in his mind and nothng will change it.
    The readers of the messages in this post and in others previous posts will decide who is right.
    I am confident that anyone who goes back and reads all of the arguments I presented both in reference to you and to other writers will understand just how right I am.
    They will also understand the terrible injustice Israel commited and continues to commit to itself by banning Rabbi Meir kahane who understood then what we see today.

  25. Hi guys. Sorry to break in like that in the middle of such an argument. I´ve been having the exact same argument with my father, who is a good old labor humanist left winger. I´m no kahane lover either, and have great respect for arabs and palestinians, wish them well and want to see all of them living safely in a land of their own. I´m not an Israeli (altough i was born there ) but i´m sure Israelis have no problems whatsoever living, working, studying, trading or socializing with arabs, and I guess the problem for the mainstream is not living side by side. The problem is the definition of state. American democracy is not a good model for Israel, for America´s reason to exist is not to be a safehaven for a specific people, rather for people who accept a common set of rules. That is not a possible scenario in Israel. No arab, no matter how benign, modern, westernized, etc. will ever cease to be an arab, an that is only fair. The hard fact is that if arabs enjoy equal civil rights in Israel, Israel will cease to be a jewish state, whatever that means. No amount of intellectual acrobacy will change this simple fact. I do not like to treat different people as second class citizens. I much rather prefer to treat people as first class citizens of another country, even if I forced this option upon them. I dont mind at all arabs living, working, praying studying, etc in Israel, but it seems to me hypocritical allowing them to decide over the jewish peoples future. This I think we must avoid, to avoid the lebanonization and eventual destruction of Israel. Tough, but that´s the scenario I see.

  26. But can you justify a Jewish state on universalist, not particularist grounds? If not, then we have no write to impose it on others.

  27. The hard fact is that if arabs enjoy equal civil rights in Israel, Israel will cease to be a jewish state, whatever that means.
    I question what you mean by “equal civil rights”. I suspect you mean “identical laws in all respects”. But that’s never been the issue. Germany has the right of return for ethnic Germans, for instance, and Armenia for ethnic Armenians, while India has a whole ministry for people of Indian origin who aren’t Indian citizens. Yet this hardly threatens those countries’ commitment to rights — it only acts on special responsibilities those states have to certain peoples.
    So I think it’s misleading and perhaps incorrect when you say that no amount of intellectual acrobacy will change this simple fact, because acrobacy is already underway here. Namely, the idea that either all rules are the same, or you jettison the idea of minority rights. In Israel, national minorities have significant rights and, indeed, the challenge for progressives — which I distinguish from those who seek to exacerbate discrimination in a bit to discredit the Israeli state — is to ensure the exercise and extension of those rights.
    Which is something radically different from doing away with a Jewish state. But can you justify a Jewish state on universalist, not particularist grounds? Sure — states are cultural machinery; Jews have no less right to that machinery than any other people; the deployment of that machinery is under the same constraints, rules, and obligations as everywhere else. Democracy, human rights, and the rest of it.

  28. Yusul, I don’t really understand what you mean. Can you elaborate?
    8opus, I suspect that Ian meant to say equal “political” rights, i.e. the right to vote. (Is civil different than political?) The main point here is the right to vote and decide policy.

  29. Right Joe,that´s what I meant. 8opus, great respect for your views, but in the end, I don´t see it adding up to Israel continuing to be a jewish state, if all rules are the same. I think the worldview you express stems from a perception very much alive in the generation now in power in Israel, the concept that Arabs will always be a minority. Data does not point to that. No amount of state machinery changes that. My point is that a clear cut strategy, with less ambiguity must be agreed upon and executed to its full extent, be it either the de-judaization of Israel or the forced change of nationality of Israeli Arabs ( have no wish to see phisical transfer in any way ), either in the form of some constitutional apparatus. Democracy will not mean much to jews in Israel if they are not in charge, so I guess we better face this problem sooner rather than later. I dont propose this out of hate of arabs or anything, it´s just that I live in the diaspora already and I dont see much point in having a “jewish” state where people in power will, understandably , have no special interest in our national well being ( our, meaning the jews ), even if no hate. Ah, and about “the deployment of that machinery is under the same constraints, rules, and obligations as everywhere else. Democracy, human rights, and the rest of it. “comment, maybe that´s the way we´d like to go ( I surely would ) but history seldom works so harmoniously, and is full of examples where displacement and conquest were necessary for proper establishment of power ( benny morris wrote bout this). Not pretty, but true. Sorry to put things so bluntly, wish i could come up with alternatives, but I cant. Hope the intellectual acrobacy bears fruit 😉

  30. Ian, (finally I have someone on my side. 🙂 )
    You should know that what you just said is exactly what Meir kahane said.
    He also had respect for the arabs. I will paraphrase what he wrote in “They Must Go.” He spoke of those who wonder why the arabs are making an intifada. The people who say “But the arabs in Israel have a much higher standard of living than in any other arab country, Look what we did for them – so they shouldn’t rebel.” Rabbi kahane explained that you can’t buy a person’s national pride with a nice indoor toilet. The arabs say “yes you turned the wilderness to a garden-but it was my wilderness and now its your garden!”
    You see it’s those who can’t understand why the arabs revolt who have the real contempt for the arabs. They think you can simply pay someones national pride off. They themselves don’t have their own national pride so they don’t understand the arab’s national pride. I do have national pride and I understand the arab’s national pride. Rabbi Kahane did not have contempt for them.
    It is because we understand that you cannot buy a person’s national pride that we know that this conflict will never be settled and that is exactly the reason that they must go.
    Just stripping them of their right to vote works only while they are small enough in number to control. Take a look at all teh countries that colonized others. England in America before independance, Spain in south america, England in India and in the Middle East…all these colinizong countries have been forced out. You can only control a large population for a limited amount of time. Thats also the sad truth.

  31. Besides I would feel like crap stripping people of the right to vote and them having nothing in return. I believe they should be full fledged citizens of palestine, even if living in Israel with civil rights (as a foreigner) . I do not feel good in my gut when someone says that my opinions match kahane´s, in fact it revolts me. But , maybe out of a different motivation I am reaching the same conclusion. Yusul: Good question ( about universalism/particularism), albeit quite a theoretical one in the current scenario. If jews are not a majority in Israel, a jewish state wont have to justify its existance in any philosophical terms, because it will not be there. About wether we can or can not force nationality upon others, I see France dealing with this issue right now with its muslim population ( not all of it, but the poor and uneducated that mostly come from north africa ). They have no connection with french national ideals, are not willing to fight for france, and see the status quo as something to be overcomed. Yet they enjoy the same civil liberties as the rest of the population. I guess for a minority to be aptly considered one there must be some kind of implicit “contract” over the reason of existance of a certain society, and agreement upon that. In Israel´s case, this seems to me quite impossible, given the particular nature of Israel´s proposition. I fail to see common ground.

  32. February 16, 2005
    Gush Katif–The Gaza Gan Eden
    Twenty-two settlements are up for destruction in the next year.  One of
    these settlements is the remarkable community Gush Katif.  Gush Katif has a
    population of 8,000 Jews.  It is nestled along the coast and is responsible
    for producing a large percentage of the nation’s agriculture. 
    The media makes Gaza look like a Arab inhabited wasteland.  Take a moment
    and see for yourself what the Jewish people have built in the Gaza Strip! 

  33. Ian, What can can I tell you…it is the same as kahane. Truth is France does have a major problem on its hands and we haven’t begun to see its final outcome.
    Ian just terminology: I think civil is the same as political. You should say personal rights not civil rights as a foreigner.
    Ian we both realize that keeping a large population as foreigners only lasts only so long. We have enough examples: south africa, afganistan, all the colonies of the last century…. It just can’t remain.
    Hmmm what is you rmotivation and how is it different in your opinion? That would be interesting to hear.

  34. Um… fellow Zionists, can we please stop with the cognitive dissonece. This moment of truth for Zionism has been many decades in the making. For better or worse, the pioneers of Zionism preatty much ignored the Arabs in Palestine and their growing nationalism when they started their push for a Jewish homeland. Israel is slowly being faced with a momentous choice: Remain 100% democratic and loose its Jewish charecter, or curtail some civil rights and retain it. Bearing in mind that curtailin these rights does not mean Israel is no longer a democracy (as the US and many others have shown). We just have to honest with ourselves, what is more imporatnat Jewish Character or minority rights. As admititaly distateful as clear violations of civil rights are, a choice must be made and we must be honest enough to admit it. I for one choose Judaism, and honesty.

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