No Such Thing As Liberal Zionism

Lawrence of Cyberia

March 3, 2010

Just look at these numbers.

1. This table [1] shows the population of Palestine when Zionists first arrived to pioneer their Jewish state.


(click to enlarge)

The year of the first
Zionist immigration was 1299 (Muslim calendar), or 1881/2 of the Common
Era.  You can read for yourself that at that time there were 462,465
people living in Palestine: 403,795 Muslims; 43,659 Christians, and
15,011 Jews. 

How are you going to build a Jewish state in a
land where the preexisting population is just 3.3 per cent Jewish,
except by dispossessing those 96.7 per cent of the population that
happen to have the "wrong" ethnic-religious origin? If Zionism could
only ever be achieved through denying self-determination to the
indigenous, majority population, what exactly is "liberal" about that?

2. This map [2], based on land ownership statistics compiled by the
British government in Palestine, summarizes the respective holdings of
the Arab and Jewish communities in 1945. 

(click to enlarge)

It shows that the Jewish population of Palestine legally owned less than 7% of the land at that time.

How can you establish a Jewish
state in a place where such a small fraction of the land is in Jewish
hands, except by taking over that large proportion of the land that
belongs to non-Jews? If Zionism could be achieved only by taking
Palestinian land from its legal owners because from an ethnic-religious
perspective they happen to be the wrong sort of people, what exactly is
"liberal" about that?

3. This table [3] shows
the population of the two states that the UN proposed to create by
partitioning Palestine – against the will of most of its people – in
1947. Despite large-scale Jewish immigration into Palestine under the
British Mandate – again, against the will of a large majority of its
existing population – Palestinian Arabs still comprised about
two-thirds of the population of Palestine.

(click to enlarge)

Even after drawing generous
boundaries to ensure that the influence of Palestine’s Jewish minority
population is amplified by gathering almost all of the Jewish
population into a single polity, the Palestinians’ overwhelming
numerical advantage means that the UN’s "Jewish Palestine" is
demographically not a Jewish state, but a bi-national state.  It is
called "the Jewish state" because it contains the overwhelming majority
of Palestine’s Jews, not because an overwhelming majority of its
inhabitants are Jewish. Even worse from the Zionist perspective, Jewish
Palestine is not only a bi-national state, but a bi-national state
whose large Arab minority is guaranteed equal treatment under the terms
of the partition.

those circumstances, how can you have the "Jewish state" that Zionism
envisaged? David Ben-Gurion said you couldn’t, because "There are
40% [actually 45% – ed.] non-Jews in the areas allocated to the Jewish
state. This composition is not a solid basis for a Jewish state. And we
have to face this new reality with all of its severity and
distinctness. Such a demographic balance questions our ability to
maintain Jewish sovereignty… Only a state with at least 80% Jews is a
viable and stable state."
He also knew what kind of "severity and
distinctness" was required to render 80% of the population Jewish,
specifying that the Arab population "can either be mass arrested or expelled; it is better to expel them" [4].

the only way to establish a dominant Jewish majority among a
Palestinian population that remains stubbornly diverse is by expelling
en masse those people with the "wrong" ethnic-religious background,
what exactly is "liberal" about that?

4. This table [5] shows
the population of Israel and the Occupied Territories in 2004, based on
figures provided by the U.S. State Department’s annual country report
on human rights practices.

(click to enlarge)

It suggests that despite the
exclusion of millions of Palestinian refugees, whom Israel continues to
refuse to allow home, Palestinian Arabs once again outnumber Jewish
Israelis in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Two-thirds of these
Palestinians live as disenfranchised subjects of the Israeli government
that rules over them [6], because allowing them voting rights equal to
those enjoyed by Jewish residents of Israel and the Occupied
Territories would democratically and non-violently end the Zionist
experiment in Palestine.

If the only way to maintain a Jewish
state is by exiling millions of Palestinians for generation after
generation, and keeping millions more disenfranchised in walled
enclaves in the Occupied Territories where they can be massively bombed
into compliance should they resist their collective exclusion from
equal participation in governing their own homeland, in what sense is
this "liberal"?

There is not – and never
was – any "liberal" way to create a Jewish state in a land so
overwhelmingly Arab and Muslim. There is no Jewish state in Palestine
without perpetrating the decidedly illiberal practices of ethnic
cleansing, dispossession, disenfranchisement and de-development against
the Muslim and Christian majority.

There is no other way to do it. Just look at the numbers. 


[1] Source: The Population of Palestine: Population Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and The Mandate (Ch 1, Table 1.4D) by Prof Justin McCarthy (Columbia University Press, 1990).

[2] Source: – Palestinian And Zionist Land Ownership Per District as of 1945.

[3] Source: The UN Information System on the Question of Palestine – Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem.

[4] Source: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe, via Turn The World Upside Down.

[5] Source: Electronic Intifada, Palestinian population exceeds Jewish population says U.S. government; based on The U.S. State Department Annual Country Report On Human Rights Practices (Israel and the Occupied Territories), Feb 28 2005. 

[6] "The only democracy in the Middle East"™ !

:: Article nr. 63850 sent on 03-mar-2010 23:29 ECT


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