Likud Announces Greater Israel
14 million Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River
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The second point made by Rivlin was new. He claimed that, in the year 2040, there will be fourteen million Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River living under one sovereignty, the Israeli one. A few days ago, he claimed that the Israeli government should apply Israeli law in the West Bank without announcing this publicly; this meant an unofficial annexation of the West Bank. Now, he went further in his vision, declaring this a preliminary step to a formal unification of the territories west of the Jordan under Israeli Administration.
The number he quoted has a serious political implication. He didn’t expand so I will make a basic assessment of the demographics in the relevant areas. By the end of 2012, Israel has roughly 8 million inhabitants, 6 million Jews and 2 million Palestinians. The West Bank has an opposite ratio, of its 2,5 million inhabitants, 2 million are Palestinians and the remnant are Jewish settlers. Gaza has almost 2 million Palestinians and no Jews. Mr. Rivlin didn’t expose the math behind his demographic vision, but it is astounding. He claims that in less than 30 years, the Jewish population will grow up from its current 6.5 million to 14 million. Considering that the growth rate of the Secular-Jewish population—roughly 80% of Jewish population is secular—is low, the more than doubling of the population in a generation means that Rivlin plans a mass immigration of Jews to Israel. From where will they come? He wasn’t kind enough to reveal this. What will happen to the over six million Palestinians living in the same territory? Their number almost matches the number of Jews and their population growth rate is higher than that of the Jewish population. Israel’s density population is a misleading number. Formally it reaches almost 400/km2 (almost 1,000 per square mile), but the reality is different. The Negev desert is sparsely populated; this means that the real density is roughly double the mentioned number. This makes Israel one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Rivlin plans to more than double it, which is difficult unless he is planning to remove the Palestinian population. In that case, the total population will feature a reasonable growing rate in the next 30 years. Considering that Rivlin didn’t specify the fate of the Palestinians, it is difficult to be more accurate in the analysis. That was the purpose of his ambiguity.
Let's be even clearer. Likud wants a Jewish state. Likud wants to unify all the territories west of the Jordan under one Jewish sovereignty. Likud preaches for democracy. The actual situation is of a highly dense territory populated by an almost equal number of Jews and Palestinians. Unifying it in a single, democratic country, you get a binational country. Jews will have no preference there. In other words, either the Likud is presenting contradictory policies or is hiding from the people its evacuation plans for the Palestinian population.
A long time ago, one of my readers complained about a comment I made regarding Rabin's commitment to peace. "He committed crimes himself," he said (he was much bolder). That is true, but Rabin changed. In 1995, he was serious about achieving a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians. He was so serious that he was assassinated for that with the court-proven involvement of the Israeli Shin Beth (political secret police) in the crime. This implies that somebody in the political level signed the operation's approval. At that moment, the Israeli political upper echelon killed the Oslo Accord. Rivlin's words brought the formal annulment of the agreement a bit closer. His words announced war. In typical Israeli sarcasm, he did that at the memorial of he who tried to bring peace.
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