Monday, November 14, 2005

 

From Israel by Arlene Kushner, November 14, 2005

I've been posting Arlene's "From Israel"'s because they provide news you're not going to find in any paper. I highly recommend reading to the end.
Batya

From Israel by Arlene Kushner
To subscribe contact: akushner@netvision.net.il

November 14, 2005

I have been asked by a reader the very fair question as to what leverage in real terms Israel, which has pulled out of Gaza, has for setting the standard for surveillance at Rafah. (This question is totally aside from the moral terms I was addressing yesterday: we pulled out unilaterally and without return, we ought have the right to determine what a secure situation for us is.) The answer, with a tip of a hat to Aaron Lerner of IMRA: Israel, if unhappy with how things are moving from Egypt into Gaza still has the capacity to stop movement of people and goods from Gaza to the West Bank. What is more, we could remove the PA from our "customs envelope," charging duty on anything from Gaza coming into Israel. Thus, while there is great discontent with our security demands, there is considerable hesitation to cross us.

Update on this issue (as predicted): Sec. Rice, speaking at a joint news conference with Mahmoud Abbas today said a resolution to this issue is "in sight." Quartet envoy James Wolfensohn has proposed "compromises." I have no details on this as I write, nor is anything firm.

[] Yoram Ettinger (http://yoramettinger.newsnet.co.il/Front/Tools/homepage.asp) in his latest posting of "From the Jerusalem Cloakroom" (#185) addresses the demography issue. Ettinger recently co-authored a study on the Palestinian population (www.pademographics.com). He now says that this study, which was reviewed by American demographers, indicates that:

"the alleged number of Palestinians in Gaza and Judea & Samaria is inflated by more than 50%."

According to the study:

Some 2.5 million Palestinians reside in Gaza (1.1 million) and Judea and Samaria (1.4 million), and NOT 3.8 million as contended by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). The higher figure is a 1998 PROJECTION, and not a tangible figure. It has been embraced by the UN, the Department of State and by the CIA WITHOUT SCRUTINY.

In order to adjust the figures, work was done with the Palestinian Ministries of Health and Education, the PA Election Commission and Jordan’s Bureau of Statistics, which all provide numbers that sharply depart from the PCBS projection.
Some details:
-- 325,000 overseas Palestinians are included in the projection, according to the PCBS web site, and according to a March 1998 statement by the PCBS director.
-- 210,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who benefit from Israel’s social security, are doubly-counted (as Israeli Arabs by Israel and as West Bankers by the PA).
-- Some 238,000 Palestinian babies that the PCBS projection had said would be born 1997-2003, simply do not exist. This information was determined by comparing the PCBS projection to the documented births by the Palestinian Ministry of Health (from midwives to clinics and hospitals deliveries).
-- The projection said there would be a positive migration of 236,000 persons 1997-2003. The reality is that there was a negative migration of 74,000, meaning that 310,000 persons must be deducted from the population figures.
-- 105,000 Palestinians received Israeli ID cards via marriage (since Oslo 1993) and are doubly-counted (by the PA as well).
There are two reasons why this information is significant. One, funds are donated to the PA by the US and other nations based on population: these donors are, in essence, overpaying.
More significantly, the demographic time-bomb is used as a reason for withdrawing from (in the past) Gaza (and now) Judea and Samaria, so that Jews do not become a minority in Israel. According to Ettinger: Because of a systematic decline in Arab population growth, the 59%:41% Jewish majority west of the Jordan River (including Gaza) was more sustainable in 2004 -- when these figures were compiled -- than it was in 1967 when there was an initial rise in Arab population growth. It could be upset by a significant net positive Palestinian migration, which has not occurred since the early 1940s.
I do not have exact figures, but now that Gaza does not figure into the equation -- as it did in 2004, the ratio of Jews to Arabs in the remaining territory from the Jordan river to the border of Gaza is even greater (i.e., the percentage of Jews is higher) and the ability to sustain that Jewish majority even stronger.
It is important to note that the greatest increase in Arab population has occurred during periods when Israel was in control. For all of the shouting about "occupation," Arabs moved to Judea and Samaria after 1967 because life was better under the Israelis and there was a greater likelihood of securing work. In recent years Palestinians have been voting with their feet, leaving the area because the corruption, lack of order, unemployment, etc. under the PA has made life intolerable. This situation is likely to simply deteriorate further in the near future.
[] Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami or the Islamic Liberation Party was originally founded by Palestinians many years ago, but now has cells in many countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Advocating terrorism and subversion in order to achieve a world-wide Caliphate that would require adherence to Shari'ah, or Islamic law, it has been outlawed in many places.
According to a report in yesterday's Arutz Sheva, Hizb ut-Tahrir is found on the Temple Mount and in Judea and Samaria. A recent sermon given on the Mount by Sheikh Issam Amira, who is connected with this group, requires note particularly in light of recent discussions regarding the reasons for the riots in France. The sermon, which reflects a focus on Denmark, included the following:“Listeners! The Moslems in Denmark make up three percent [of the population], yet constitute a threat to the future of the Danish kingdom. It’s no surprise that in Bitrab (the ancient name of Medina in Arabia) they were fewer than three percent of the general population, but succeeded changing the regime in Bitrab. “It’s no surprise that our brothers in Denmark have succeeded in bringing Islam to every home in that country. Allah will grant us victory in their land to establish the [Islamic] revolution in Denmark.”According to the Sheik, after subduing Denmark, the party will carry the revolution to Oslo and change its name to Medina. “They will fight against their Scandinavian neighbors in order to bring the country into the territory of the revolution. In the next stage, they will fight a holy jihad to spread Islam to the rest of Europe, until it spreads to the original city of Medina where the two cities will unite under the Islamic flag.”

Note: for all intents and purposes, the PA is in control of the Temple Mount and horrendous anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sermons are delivered there frequently.

[] Yet another reader has asked me about the visit to Israel for the Rabin memorial of former president Bill Clinton (known here as "Cleentone), and his wife, the presidential aspirant. In candidness, I had consciously chosen not to mention him yesterday, as all his visit here meant to me was snarled traffic when I tried to commute across town. But perhaps there are many reading this who are interested. Mr. Clinton, of course, implored Israel to continue Rabin's legacy (however that legacy is interpreted these days). There is a common impression that Clinton, who professes enormous love for Israel, was a great friend to our country when president. I will dispute that, and maintain that he did Israel enormous damage: Every time Arafat failed to honor a commitment, Clinton invited him to the White House -- Arafat visited more often than any other foreign official, which is an incredible fact when you consider it. What Clinton did, while trying to "softsoap" (i.e., flatter or wheedle) Arafat, was deliver to this terrorist absolutely the wrong message: That Clinton would find him acceptable even when he didn't deliver.

As to Hillary Clinton, who "found" Israel when she ran for the Senate from NY, I ask readers to remember this: In Ramallah in 1999, she sat as a guest at a gathering while Arafat's wife, Suha, delivered a talk that included a blood libel on Israel -- a charge that we were using carcinogenic poison gas on Palestinian women and children. When Suha was done, Hillary came forward and publicly kissed her.

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