Demographer: Beware Bibi's Plans for PA
(Israelnationalnews.com) Demographer Yoram Ettinger warned Thursday that plans discussed the day before by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and several of his ministers are likely to encourage Arab growth in Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu's plans could tip demographics in the PA's favor, thus posing a security threat to Israel, he said.
Demography is an important component of the Arab war on Israel, and plays a role vis-a-vis Israel's long-term security, he explained. Israel's policies should take demographics into account, he said.
"For Palestinians, the emigration factor is more important than the birthrate. If we want a Jewish majority west of the Jordan, we have to understand that projects like these [supported by Netanyahu] encourage Palestinians to move here, which could endanger the Jewish majority in Israel," he said.
Israel is largely responsible for the rapid growth of the hostile Arab population in Judea and Samaria since 1967, Ettinger said. Prior to 1967, when the area was under Jordanian rule, tens of thousands of residents left each year for more developed areas, he said. Since 1967, when Israel provided infrastructure and jobs, the population has steadily grown.
Currently, Arab emigration from Judea and Samaria is relatively high following Hamas' victory in the most recent elections and a demand for labor in Gulf states. However, by creating tens of thousands of jobs for PA Arabs, as Netanyahu hopes to do, Israel will encourage Arabs to immigrate to the area, Ettinger warned.
The results could be significant, he said. Sixty percent of the people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea are Jewish at the present time, he said – 67 percent if Gaza is not taken into account. By encouraging Arab immigration to the area, Israel could risk losing the Jewish majority in the region.
Ettinger also warned against turning control of crossings between Jordan and Judea and Samaria over to Arab or international control. "On the day that Israel gives control of the crossings to international or Palestinian bodies, what will happen is that one million Palestinians will enter Judea and Samaria, not because of long-term financial considerations but due to money that they'll be given by terrorist organizations... This will create an automatic flood to within the 'Green Line' [pre-1967 Israel] as well."
PA Birthrate Dropping
Ettinger's warnings came shortly after the PA admitted that the Arab birthrate in Judea and Samaria has dropped dramatically in the past 12 years. The birthrate in Judea, Samaria and Gaza stood at 6.0 in 1997, but dropped to 4.6 by 2009, PA officials said.
The PA claims that 2.4 million Arabs live in Judea and Samaria, and another 1.5 million in Gaza. Their claims have been disputed by several Israeli demographers, who point out that PA estimates ignore negative Arab immigration, and double-count hundreds of thousands of PA Arabs living in Jerusalem and pre-1967 Israel.
PA statisticians found that unemployment among those seeking work is currently 25 percent. Despite this, almost all families reported possessing basic electronic devices including a refrigerator, an oven and a television, and more than 82 percent had satellite television.
Porush: PA the Boss in Jerusalem
(Israelnationalnews.com) The Palestinian Authority is acting as if it were the sovereign power in eastern Jerusalem, Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush warned Thursday. Despite official Israeli rule in the city, the PA is openly holding events and greeting diplomats without interference, he said.
As an example, Porush described an official PA ceremony greeting a visiting Egyptian diplomat. Senior PA officials and leading members of Fatah participated in the ceremony, which was held in a Jerusalem hotel.
During the ceremony, the Egyptian diplomat told assembled PA officials, "The Arab world will not allow the Judaization of Jerusalem."
The ceremony was meant to send the message that, sooner or later, Jerusalem will be under PA control, Porush said. "And the fact that this was publicized in the media with no significant public response proves that an erosion has begun, a gnawing away at the Israeli consensus that sees united Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people," he added.
Porush, of the hareidi-religious United Torah Judaism party, ran for mayor of Jerusalem in the most recent city elections, but lost to current Mayor Nir Barkat.
Porush blamed the current situation in Jerusalem on the Kadima-led government under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert offered the PA control of much of Jerusalem, he said. According to United States media, Olmert even offered to give up Israeli sovereignty over holy sites in historic Jerusalem and turn control of the area over to an international authority led in part by the PA and Saudi Arabia.
"Who knows what else Olmert promised them?" Porush asked.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government must immediately work to fix the damage Olmert caused with his promises to the PA regarding Jerusalem, Porush said. He called on the government to crack down on activities conducted by the PA and Fatah in the capital city.
In addition, Israel must begin a public relations campaign aimed at repeating the message that united Jerusalem belongs exclusively to the Jewish people, he said.
Preventing the PA from creating the image of Arab sovereignty in Jerusalem is particularly relevant right now, as the Jewish people enter the traditional three weeks of mourning for the fall of the first and second Temples, Porush said. "We must remain faithful to the spiritual and physical unity of the city," he concluded.
PA Police, Fatah Forces in City
Porush's warning follows several recent reports of PA and Fatah activity in Jerusalem neighborhoods. In March, Jerusalem police admitted to allowing PA forces to operate in some Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem in order to solve clan disputes and similar matters.
In June, Ichud Leumi MKs Aryeh Eldad and Uri Ariel, and Jerusalem activist Aryeh King, were attacked by PA officers in an Arab neighborhood inside the Jerusalem municipal boundaries.
Two weeks ago, Fatah officials were involved in preventing Jews from entering a Jewish-owned home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem.
On Saturday, heavy fighting broke out between rival Arab clans in the Mei Shiloach (Silwan) neighborhood of Jerusalem. According to Arab residents of the neighborhood, plainclothes PA police attempted to intervene in the fighting.
Watch this video too, which shows you exactly what this supposedly right-wing government, elected to conduct right-wing policies, is up to: the danger it is exposing Jews to on a daily basis, its abdication of responsibility for Jerusalem or Israel as a whole, and of Yesha in particular, soothing words uttered notwithstanding.
"ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS"
2803. NEMAN RICHARD A,, 1988 annual rpt
2804. NETANYAHU BENJAMIN,, 1988 annual rpt
2805. NEUMAN STEPHANIE G,CFR '92,
More on the topic: somebody agrees with me!
July 08, 2009
Will Netanyahu Change Israel Forever?
By Moshe Phillips
While keen observers of Israel's political scene clearly understand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel's most Americanized prime minister in its history, little is ever discussed as to what this means for the future of Israel's political system.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has spent more time in the U.S. than any of the previous twelve prime ministers in Israel's history. Because of this, his perception of the world has clearly been affected.
In a starkly American way, he is an enthusiast for democracy, egalitarianism and civil liberties. Netanyahu, in his well publicized June 14, 2009 speech at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, stated, "I share the desire of the President of the United States to bring about a new era of reconciliation in our region." Netanyahu believes that if the Islamic states that surround Israel will just embrace post-modernism as it regards democracy, egalitarianism and civil liberties and put the Koran on the back shelf that there will be peace. In Netanyahu's fantasy, a vibrant regional economy -- central to his vision -- and western education will remake the conflict. Ultimately, his view differs from Obama's in nuance only.
While often depicted in the media as a hardliner, a rightist, or a hawk, he is no more these things than was former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Netanyahu is, in the realm of ideas, a post-modern disciple; there is nothing essentially conservative or classical in his world-view. He sees religiosity as something best left in the past; he is the consummate pragmatist.
From his previous stint as Israel's prime minister from 1996-1999, Netanyahu should have learned that the political structure of Israel must be fundamentally changed if he and his Likud party are to ever achieve the kind of hegemony in Israeli politics and culture that the socialists held from 1948-1977.
We should expect the following from Netanyahu:
1) A radical expansion of executive powers. This expansion will be highly difficult to roll back when the power shifts back to the leftist parties. (See Public Policy and Electoral Reform: The Case of Israel by Gideon Doron and Michael Harris for Netanyahu's record on this in his first term.)
2) An increase in the use of American political strategists such as Arthur J. Finkelstein, a New York based Republican consultant. Finkelstein has worked on Israeli campaigns for over ten years and has advised Netanyahu in the past. More time and money will be spent protecting popularity ratings than substantive progress. Netanyahu will also encourage his admirers to continue supporting sycophant think tanks. Ideas will be trumped by image.
3) Netanyahu will once again push for the return of direct election of the prime minister-- a particular personal fixation that allowed his election in 1996. This effort will be paired with a renewed and sustained effort to move Israel to personality based election campaigning.
4) Tighter control of the Likud primary election system. Netanyahu will want to avoid, at all cost, any efforts by the right wing of Likud to make the Likud into the nationalist party that its Herut party forefathers intended. He finds the rhetoric of the Orthodox Jewish and pro-settlement nationalists to be embarrassing and distasteful. He wants the Likud to be portrayed as analogous to the blue-blood, pre-Reagan Republican Party in the United States. It matters not that Likud's platform is much closer to the Democratic Party on far too many domestic issues.
5) Party governance in the Likud will become even less democratic. A purge of the religious and nationalist elements of the party will be carried out. The internal party courts and apparatuses will be fully deployed in this effort. Primary elections in Likud will become rubber stamps.
6) The Netanyahu camp will insist on a dramatic increase in the minimum Knesset election threshold as a centerpiece of their political system reboot. The lasting effect of reengineering the Knesset election threshold will be to permanently destroy all small and medium size parties and those renegade Likud elements through marginalization.
The goal is to manipulate the Knesset landscape so that the current twelve parties will be whittled down significantly. The change in the threshold will cause one combined far left Jewish / Arab list and one combined far right / Orthodox Jewish list to be created. Netanyahu's goal is to create a system with just two parties within the next two to four elections. Likud and Labor will be increasingly portrayed as Republicans and Democrats. Factions will develop within each party just as has taken place within American politics since Teddy Roosevelt. Netanyahu will make moves in the future to change the system even more. Both Tzipi Livni's Kadima and Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu parties will be placed into the vise and, if at all possible, eliminated or forced to negotiate a merger. The settlers in particular would have their political clout diminished to a potentially fatal level.
Netanyahu, however, with his obsessions of all things American, will not support a constitution for Israel and will continue to marginalize this fundamental flaw within the Israeli body politic. As constitutional scholar Dr. Paul Eidelberg has pointed out, there is an enduring "myth that Israel is a functioning, free democracy with a constitution, representative districts and a balance of powers similar to the U.S. system." Netanyahu will do nothing to destroy that myth while maintaining the status-quo after all; he has been one of its greatest beneficiaries.
Postscript: The book The Myth of Israeli Democracy: Toward A Truly Jewish Israel by Paul Eidelberg is a must read. Order the book and share it with everyone you know who is concerned about Israel's future. Eidelberg has long sought the introduction of a bicameral legislature and the direction election of members of Knesset. Those innovations will go a long way in revitalizing Israel's wellbeing.
Moshe Phillips is a member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel / AFSI. The chapter's website is at: phillyafsi.com and Moshe's blog can be found at phillyafsi.blogtownhall.com
In a statement, the Council ( of leaders of communities in Judea and Samaria) said that "since the establishment of the current government, which its voters were sure would act as a nationalistic government, there has not been one improvement in the field. In the 100 days since the government was formed, not only have there been no new housing starts authorized, but there has been no progress on existing projects," the statement said.