Many people on the left just happen to be there. They were taught false liberalism and honestly know of no alternative. Let’s talk.
We want a state with a firm Jewish majority. Such a notion was enunciated by every Zionist ideologue, from Herzl to Weizmann and Ben Gurion to Golda Meir to Rabin and even Shimon Peres. On this, there is no disagreement among Jews, save among the fringe elements.
Three questions arise. One, cannot Arabs be made loyal to Jewish state? But would an American Jew be loyal to a WASP state? The very name “Jewish” offends Israeli Arabs. If Jews and Arabs are equal, why is the state called Jewish? Why is there a Jewish (Christian, actually) emblem on the Israeli flag? Why does the Israeli anthem praise the Jewish soul rather than the Arab or Middle Eastern one? Just as a Jew would never feel equal in the United WASP States of North America, so the Arabs feel about living in the Jewish state.
Two, is the Jews’ majority status endangered? Yes. According to official data by the Israeli Bureau of Statistics, Arabs constitute 34 percent among Israel’s young. This already ensures them the largest Knesset faction in eighteen years, when all of the young reach voting age. Add the 5 percent of ultra-left Israelis who support the Meretz Party and anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jews, and the picture grows worse. Even if the Arabs don’t form a coalition government, they would still be able to demand sensitive ministerial portfolios.
Can the problem be alleviated by increasing the Jewish birthrate? No. The birth rate among secular Israelis is negative: 1.9 children per family. The highest growth rate is in the ultra-Orthodox community—which, like the Arabs, is anti-Zionist.
Our enemies have long recognized the value of demography as a weapon. Arafat called Israeli Arab women the liberators of Palestine, referring to their staggering birth rate: a tenfold population increase since 1948. Ahmadinejad said explicitly that Arab babies are the ultimate weapon against the Zionists.
Two, can the impending problem of Arab demographic dominance be resolved by palatable means? For Ben Gurion, it was perfectly palatable to systematically expel the Arabs and refuse to allow the refugees to return. At the Potsdam Conference, the Allies agreed that after World War II Poland and Czechoslovakia would expel their ethnic Germans—and they did, sending about 12 million Germans to Germany. There are many other precedents for peace through population exchange: Turkey and Greece, Cyprus and Yugoslavia. Population exchange started in Israeli-Arab relations when Jews left Arab countries; it is only natural to complete the exchange by peacefully resettling Israeli Arabs in the twenty-two Arab states which take up 99.9 percent of the Middle East.
But things are even better than that. We don’t have to resettle Israeli Arabs. The only thing we need do to solve the demographic problem is to make them equal to Jews. That’s right, we only need to make them equal. Indeed, the best platform for a political party in the next elections would be establishing Arab-Jewish equality.
Jews serve for three years in the army and afterwards attend military training almost every year. Jews risk their lives to defend the Jewish-Arab Israel. Arabs are exempted, and that should change. If Israel is to be an ethnic-blind democracy, let’s play by the rules. Like Jews, Arabs must be conscripted for three years. They should not take things easy in the non-military National Service—there are not enough sinecures there—but must fight Israel’s enemies like Jews do. When Hamas shells Ashkelon and Jewish soldiers risk their lives in Gaza, fighting urban combat so as not to endanger Gaza’s civilians with massive air strikes, our Arab Israeli neighbors should fight shoulder to shoulder with us. It is both legal and democratic to demand that Arab citizens of Israel join the Jewish citizens in fighting whatever enemies Israel currently fights. Japanese Americans fought alongside their fellow citizens in World War II. Some Israeli Arabs might not want to fight Arabs from Gaza. But note that young Americans had to fight in Vietnam whether they liked it or not, just because their country was fighting there. So the Israeli Arabs have to fight the Gaza Arabs. If they don’t want to be loyal citizens of Israel and fight her wars, they should be jailed. But, being humane, we’re prepared to offer them the option to leave Israel instead.
Citizens’ rights are preconditioned on citizens’ obligations. “Don’t ask what your country can do for you; rather, ask what you can do for your country.” Obligations come first. Israel, a country in a state of belligerence with almost all Arab regimes, demands from her citizens first and foremost that they fulfill their obligation to protect their country. Those who fail to serve in IDF should not be able to vote in the Knesset elections, take government jobs, or receive state subsidies. Democracy is for the responsible, loyal citizenry only.
Israeli Arabs must be equalized with Jews in terms of taxation. Jews pay taxes but Arabs don’t. The Israeli government has adopted a quasi-official policy of not bothering the Arabs lest they riot, and therefore taxation is unenforced in Israeli Arab towns. Their economy is almost entirely tax-free. Those who employ Arabs without paying relevant taxes should be sentenced to exemplary jail terms, and tax authorities should investigate Arab businesses as zealously as they investigate Jewish ones. Economically inefficient Arabs would lose their tax-free competitiveness, and many would emigrate in search of better employment opportunities abroad. Israeli Arabs are unused to the kind of tax accounting necessary for tax cheating, and many would end up in jail for tax evasion. As a humane state, Israel would offer them an option to leave rather than serve jail sentences.
The law should be enforced in Israeli Arab towns just as harshly as it is enforced in Jewish ones. Police avoid entering Arab villages for fear of riots. Arab riots break out for myriad reasons, such as enforcement of municipal payments in Lod or arrest of criminals in the Druze village Pkiin. Rioting is a crime of disloyalty to the state. Some Jews serve long sentences for participating in anti-government protests, but Arabs are not jailed even for rioting. All citizens should become equal. Police must re-acquire the unconditional right to use firearms against rioters, and every participant in a riot should be subject to imprisonment. Again, we are willing to commute jail terms in exchange for banishment.
Arabs must pay for municipal services just like Jews. Israeli Arabs are virtually exempt from paying for electricity and for increasingly scarce water. Government avoids pressing them for payments or disconnecting delinquents for the fear of rioting. Power and water suppliers, accordingly, continuously increase the tariffs to make law-abiding Jews pay the suppliers’ losses from Arab delinquents.
The government must stop the sprawling illegal construction by Arabs. They have illegally built hundreds of thousands of housing units, mostly detached houses on public—and even private—Jewish land. The Israeli government stringently enforces building codes against Jews, and often demolishes Jewish housing—but not even 1 percent of illegal Arab construction is demolished each year. When Israel simply enforces the building laws without regard to the offender’s ethnicity or religion, half a million Arabs will be left without a roof—and many will leave Israel.
Enforce treason laws on Jews and Arabs alike. Israel is in a state of belligerence with Palestine and Syria. Israel forbids Jews to travel to Palestine, but Israeli Arabs travel there with practically no restrictions. Rather, the same prohibitions should apply to Israeli citizens of Jewish and Muslim faith alike. the
Jews should be made equal to Arabs in legal terms. When Muslims and Christians are free to pray at the Temple Mount, Jews cannot be forbidden. Jews can pray in Rome, Washington, or Moscow—but not on the Temple Mount in Israel’s capital? Should Arabs riot, all rioters must be punished. Also, when Arabs have a huge Al Aqsa complex at the Temple Mount—which is mostly an empty yard—Jews should be similarly entitled to build a synagogue there.
Jews and Arabs should have equal settlement rights. If Arabs can live in Kfar Qasem under Israeli jurisdiction, Jews should be allowed to live in Kfar Tapuach without infringing on Palestinian jurisdiction. If Arabs are allowed to buy houses in Jewish communities, Jews should be able to live in East Jerusalem and Pkiin without worries—and police must severely repress those who oppose them.
Israeli Jews constitute 2 percent of the Middle East’s population, but reside, together with Israeli Arabs, on 0.1 percent of the land. A twenty-fold increase in our country’s size would be entirely justified.
Democratic, liberal means suffice to achieve Jewish ends.