Photo: Zum 77
Prof. Arnon Sofer
Photo: Zum 77

Realignment or extinction

More withdrawals crucial to fight demographic threat

In the 1930s, Czechoslovakia and Poland ceased to exist, but even without sovereignty their citizens (not including the Jews) continued to live there.


The current Israeli situation is different: If, God forbid, the Jewish state would lose its sovereignty, which may happen through a combination of developments such as a conventional or nuclear military clash, terrible acts of terrorism, grave economic decline, or losing our demographic majority – there's reason for concern this will be accompanied by the extermination of our citizens.


That is the real meaning of existential danger. Unfortunately, various elements are indeed threatening Israel's existence. Some of these threats are immediate while the other ones are at our gates. If we fail to prepare for them properly, those elements may crush us within10 to 20 years.


Remote threats:

The Iranian threat is nuclear but also a direct military threat, as we learned in the last war, when we encountered the extent of investments, sophistication, and challenge posed by Teheran in southern Lebanon.


There's a reasonable chance that Iran will also take Syria, Gaza, the West Bank, and global terror under its patronage. The revival of radical Islam in general and the Shiite kind in particular, from Teheran through Baghdad and on to Beirut, constitutes a genuine danger.


In addition, we cannot ignore processes of Islamization in Europe that lead to a new kind of hostility on the continent and result in the odd partnership between radical Islam and radical Left against Israel.


Neighboring countries:

The high birthrate in Israel's neighbors gradually increases their populations and density. They need resources like water, some of which come at Israel's expense, and produce sewage that is partly spilled into Israel.


In addition, the poverty on the other side of the border leads hundreds of thousands to infiltrate Israel in an effort to improve their quality of life. By doing so, they're unofficially realizing the "right of return."


The unsealed borders allow for, in addition to such infiltration, wide-scale criminal smuggling activity. The investment of resources and manpower on our end could seal the borders with Egypt and Jordan. In addition, Israel is required to boost the IDF's capabilities in light of the boosting of Syria's and Egypt's military capabilities as well as the strengthening of Lebanese and Palestinian terror groups.


Palestinian territories:

Gaza Strip is currently home to about a million and a half Palestinians, most of them poor. Their average salary ranges between 700 to 800 dollars a year (compared to about US 20,000 in Israel.) They are desperate, hopeless, and willing to commit suicide, and therefore, even though they are not well armed, constitute a serious enemy.


In five years, Gaza will be home to two and a half million people and the conditions there will only worsen. What will they eat? Where will they live? Who will rehabilitate them? The pressures will likely be directed at Israel. We'll have to defend ourselves and then we'll be blamed for the tragedy by various hypocrites.


In Judea and Samaria the situation is better at this time, but we can see deterioration there too. The number of Palestinians in the West Bank currently stands at two and a half million, with another 250,000 Israelis living in their midst. In five years, there will be four to five million Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and 500,000 Israelis. What's awaiting us there? Terrorism, clashes, and war.


Demographic changes:

Within the Green Line there's a noticeable phenomenon of internal migration in the direction of the Tel Aviv area. The Jewish population in outlaying areas is replaced by a Palestinian population (partly made of up Israeli Arabs and partly comprising Palestinians who infiltrated Israel.)


Jerusalem too is becoming less Jewish, and in the southern Negev desert those who can afford it leave while leaving behind mostly weak population sectors. At this time, the south of the country is home to about 250,000 Bedouins, Israel's poorest minority that also boasts the world's highest birthrates.


This minority is filled with bitterness and anger, which are also manifested through criminal and terrorist behavior. Notably, this geographical region is also home to three strategic airports.


However, quickly changing Israeli governments lack the courage and determination to fundamentally address this loaded question. Meanwhile, and unrelated to the last war, the north is also being deserted, and promises such as "the nation is with the Galilee" are empty words hiding disastrous lack of action.


In the western Land of Israel, the Jews constitute a minority already. Without the Gaza Strip, they comprise 60 percent of the population and will go down to 50% within about 15 years.


At the end, in 2020 we'll have six million Jews living amidst 14 million Palestinians in the Galilee, through the West Bank and on to Jordan. The latter may serve as a noose tightening around the Tel Avivian concentration. This is a certain, genuine existential threat that can only be prevented by immediately spreading the Jewish population across the country while at the same time choosing between losing the Jewish majority and a second disengagement.


The demographic changes are already leading to another harsh reality: Israel is becoming the world's most crowded western country and as a result its functioning and quality of life are quickly declining to a third world level. This leads many of its young citizens and immigrants to get up and leave or declare their intention to do so.


We need to immediately set up modern transportation systems, build high-rises, educate the population to crowded living conditions while respecting the rights of others, simplify planning processes, and most importantly, enforce the law and end the current reckless abandon.


Rule of law crumbles

For more than a decade now, police officers are busy hunting down suicide bombers, while facing cutbacks and disappearing from the streets of our cities. In light of all these grave developments, we desperately need a government that functions, plans, builds, acts, educates, and enforces the law. We also need media that devote a little less time to rating and gossip and a bit more time to closely monitoring the functioning of authorities.


In practice, governments come and go, no minister has enough time to plan, and if something was planned those plans cannot be realized. We're lacking an orderly decision-making procedure and the country is facing chaos and paralysis. This may indeed be the gravest threat facing the country at this time, and in order to address the problems we'll need some unpopular measures as well.


It's highly doubtful whether with the current regime we'll be able to carry everything out, and the conclusion is that we need a change to presidential rule where the person elected is given the required tools to pull us out of this mess.


פרסום ראשון: 09.15.06, 13:27
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