|A Jewish Demographic
by Uri Avnery, rense.com, October 11, 2002
"A few days ago, the National Demographic Council [in Israel] was revived, after being condemned to inactivity for some years. This is an institution that is supposed to deal with what many Israelis consider the state is most important problem--more important than the war with the Palestinians, Saddam's weapons of annihilation, growing unemployment and the economic crisis. The demographic problem is being pondered in universities, talked about in the media, expounded by politicians and commentators. Experts with computers are calculating what will be the percentage of Jews in Israel in 10, 25, 50 or a hundred years time. Will they be less than 78%? Or--God forbid!--only 75%? Will the womb of the orthodox Jewish woman, in addition to expected immigration, balance the production of the Arab uterus? And if not, what can be done? ... In reality, this is not a Jewish democratic state but a Jewish demographic state. Demography overcomes democracy in all fields of action. An Arab citizen feels at every turn, since childhood, that he has no part in the state, that he is, at most, a tolerated resident. In every government office, police station or place of work, even in the Knesset, he is treated differently from a Jew, even in times of quiet. True, apart from the Law of Return, which gives a Jew and his family (but not to Arab refugees) the absolute right to come to Israel, no law discriminates between a Jew and a non-Jew. But this is only make-believe: numerous laws accord special privileges to persons to whom the Law of Return applies, without mentioning Jews specifically. This is so self evident, that all state officials act accordingly without even being aware of it. The Israel Land Authority distributes land to Jews, not to Arabs. All state development projects include Jews only. Among the hundreds of new towns and villages set up since the founding of Israel, not a single one was established for Arabs. There is no Arab minister in the Government, no Arab judge on the Supreme Court bench."