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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Israel and the Final Solution for the Arab question

Genocide has been defined as deliberate efforts to annihilate a group of people or decrease or halt the growth of their population.

The UN describes genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, racial, or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

The establishment of a "Jewish state" in a country with mixed Muslim, Christian and Jewish population has been based on the principle of "the majority should rule".

In the past six decades the population of Arabs has been declining due to their displacement or violence-related deaths under Israel's suppression.

At the same time, the immigration of Jews into the occupied territories has changed the demographic status of the country and currently, only 23.6 percent out of 7,282,000 people currently living in the country are non-Jewish.

Tel Aviv has been alarmed by the high rate of population growth among the Arabs as well as the reluctance on part of the new generation of Jews to immigrate to Israel.

In fact, after the first wave of the so-called Aliyah (immigration to Israel) subsided and a large number of the Jewish people realized that no Utopia awaited them in "the promised land", the immigration rate declined.

On Feb. 22, 2007, the Israeli daily Haartez reported that only 19,264 people immigrated to Israel in 2006.

Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics says since 2002, in which a major wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union ended, the rate of immigration has been declining. "In 2006, immigration was down to 1980s levels, during which time 9,000-24,000 people immigrated annually," the daily added.

On the other hand, Jewish youths have increasingly been detaching themselves from Israel and the goals of Zionism. They no longer feel a spiritual link between themselves and Israel. The concerns about this issue have been reflected in the remarks made by conservative Zionists. They deplore the fact that the era of "the Six-Day War heroes" is over and the youth have lost their fighting spirit.

In fact, any demographic change that causes the Jews to lose their majority will shake the fundamentals of "the Jewish state" which is already grappling with a crisis of legitimacy.

To achieve this end, Israel has been resorting to several strategies:

1) Attempts to increase the Jewish population through encouraging immigration into Palestine:

Tel Aviv has been using several tactics-ranging from issuing Israeli ID cards for all Jews across the world to offering considerable incentives to encourage the immigration of the Jewish people into occupied Palestine.

2) Exerting pressure on Arabs to force them into leaving ethnically mixed regions:

Everybody has heard the story of assaults on Arabs by extremist Jewish settlers. Arabs are harassed or physically and mentally abused by extremist Jews with impunity. The Israeli government has apparently been turning a blind eye to violence on the part of Jewish settlers because it might force the Arabs to leave their homes.

Most of the Arabs have been subjected to a racial discrimination and even many Jews in Palestine acknowledge the fact. The establishment of NGOs by Jews to defend Arabs in Palestine reflects this reality.

3) Denying Palestinian refugees the right of return:

Israel is the only government in the world which does not recognize the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land. If the Palestinians who were displaced in the wake of the foundation of Israel return to their country, Israel's demographic map will change and Jews will lose their majority.

That is why Israeli negotiators have been adopting a firm stance on the issue and far right parties and pressure groups do not allow Israeli politicians to make concessions in this regard.

4) Getting rid of the parts of the country which is inhabited by Arabs:

For example Tel Aviv has divided Jerusalem into two parts based on ethnic lines: the city therefore has an Arab section and a Jewish section. The regime also prevents Gazans from immigrating into the West Bank occupied in the 1967 Mideast War. If Israel officially annexed the West Bank, it would mean that the regime would have to accept more Arabs as its citizens. In the other words the regime would have to risk an undesirable demographic change.

In 2003, former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, shocked Israelis after announcing that the regime intended to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank behind "the demographically defendable lines".

The announcement by the hawkish Israeli politician indicated the regime's strategy of "defusing a demographical time bomb," through getting rid of regions with undesirable population structure.

The settlement work in the West Bank is in line with the same policy. Through expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Israel tries to neutralize the demographic pressure by the Arab community in the area.

In this way, Tel Aviv can pave the way for the annexation of the West Bank.

In Gaza however, the situation is different. The coastal region has clear borders.

Any construction of settlements in the populated strip is also impossible. This situation gives Israel no choice but ethnic cleansing to decrease the momentum of demographic change in the occupied territories. Therefore, the more women and children that are killed the better this goal could be materialized.

It is obvious that Israel is breaking every rule in the book to keep the imposed Jewish identity of Israel. Many of these strategies obviously fall within the definition of genocide.

However, the international community is declining to declare what is happening in Palestine as genocide. They showed the same reaction when the Rwandan Tutsis were massacring the Hutu militia in 1994, in which thousands of people were killed over almost 100 days.