Playing with the numbers [Archives:2004/705/Opinion]

January 22 2004

There is a lot of talk these days about the number of Jews vs. the number of Arabs, who are living in the Holy Land and there is a continuous warning that Israel will be drowned by the horrifying thought of Arabs outnumbering Jews and Israel losing her not so genuine “Jewish” nature. To the observer, such talk only lends credence to the obvious ethnic prevalence to the chauvinistic movement that Zionism really thrives on. The fact of the matter is that the Arab World as a whole already surrounds Israel and that Israel is no more than a mutation of Twentieth Century “nationalist” dogma forcefully planted in it. For one thing, there is no such thing as a unique “national” character to Israel and as far as back in time as anyone knows there has never really been any, whether in Palestine or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Oh sure there were Hebrew tribes that roamed like many of their Arab cousins in the ancient world, but for reasons no one can explain, the Israelites just never settled anywhere for any succeeding span of generations. The phenomenon that is today Israel is of no real link to any of the roaming tribes of the sons of Jacob and we have yet to see any modern Jews (from outside the Middle East) able to substantiate their lineage to any breadth of time, let alone to the age of King Solomon. Moreover, most likely the majority of the existing adherents of the Jewish faith are really descendents of converts and if there were any Jews of the Jewish communities of Europe who might have been migrants from the Middle East, one who has delved in history for many years finds it difficult to find the records that speak of these migrations in a substantive way. In addition, the adherents to the faith, who predominate in Israel have none of the ethnic features of the indigenous inhabitants of the region, while the Middle East Jews (who are more like second class citizens in Israel) are much more closer to their Arab cousins and may have a more definitive claim to their Semitic origin. The reader is to be reminded that Semites entails the Arabs as well and therefore the term anti-Semitism is misleading when only applied to discrimination against Jews.
Back to the numbers game. One wonders why the people who bring out the numbers scare would think such horrifying thoughts as the Jews loosing their character, if they became outnumbered by “wild Arabs” in their midst. The fact of the matter is that the only ethnic features that characterized the Holy Land were those of the Palestinians and later the Arab Jews, who went to Palestine. The latter have never found it really troubling living amongst their Arab cousins even at the heyday of Arab/Moslem power and in fact were in some cases more prosperous than the overwhelming majority of their Arab cousins. So what is the worry, then? When a state is based on a chauvinistic creed, there is bound to be a perpetual phobia hanging over its domain, especially if that domain is not by all means legally theirs. If the Arabs outnumber the Jews in Palestine, the rightful owners could insist on what is rightfully theirs, if we assume that all the people would be living in a democratic environ. But we all know, what is occurring in Palestine now could never be, but an effort to make sure that the Arab populations have the hardest time in the world to eke out any sort of normal livelihood and to ensure that the demographic balance and territorial snatch shall always be in favor of the Israelis. Look at the Gaza Strip that miniscule strip, that is for all intents and purposes no more than a concentration “refugee camp”, with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian living under the worst conditions imaginable. The numbers in Gaza have literally no meaning because they are so helpless, and merely trying to survive has been their major preoccupation. Besides this squalor, within a few meters, one can see the extravagance of Israeli settlements, with all the amenities of modern life at their disposal, while the third most powerful armed forces protects them from any encroaches by the entrapped Arabs in their misery and discontent, with every movement well under the control of the most modern human surveillance apparatus sprouting all around.
We are not sure why the numbers game is being raised so vehemently these days. Chances are it is an effort to lend some legitimacy to the Zionist claim of ownership to real estate that is not theirs to start with. But more likely it is to keep the Jews in Israel and their backers elsewhere on the horrifying thought that they will have to forget about any thought of a peaceful end to the Middle East conflict, because peace means Jews will be outnumbered and that is simply not in any Zionist agenda we know of. So all those Israelis in Israel, who may have become convinced that peace is a viable conclusion to all these years of endless conflict, should throw out their horrible imagination. The constant reminder of a prevailing Arab population could never acceptable to Zionist creed, because the Jews will then have to live with rightful claimants to the land. Keep those numbers ticking.