demographics as identity and Israel's existence

Another piece in Ha'aretz again critically examining the myth that Israel's success lies in its demoghraphic identity:

The very term Jewish is becoming a legal fiction.

It has no common cultural, linguistic or even religious content - certainly not a "national" one. It is nothing more than a distinction between those who have full civil rights without duties in a country that they exploit, and second-class (secular) citizens, or third-class (all the rest) residents.

The only viable solution is to turn Israel into what everyone, left and right, is most afraid of - an open democratic state for all its citizens, based on the assumption that a Hebrew culture is strong enough to include Christians, Muslims, Semites and Slavs.

When we give up defining our national essence by religious criteria, and forcing conversion on people who are good Israeli citizens, and give up the effectively illegal preferences afforded to Jews, it will suddenly become apparent there is no need to worry about the "demographic threat."

as I have written before, the demographic myth is actually a chokehold on Israel. The true path towards a stable peace there is to integrate into one nation under American principles. Israel is not a democracy, and the two-state solution would only reinforce this and prolong the conflict.

I have blogged this link before, but there already exists a strong and thorough proposal for a reunified Israel-Palestinian state. It deals with all the major issues realistically and has specific prroposals for how to proceed in order to achieve that vision.

Right now, peace plans are driven by the need to "stop the violence" - but that is a cure-the-symptom approach. The reality is that any peace plan will have to accept teh grim reality that the violence will continue. The extremists control the agenda and they must not be allowed to derail a long term vision, because peace is not in the extremists' self interest.Yet as long as any idiot with a gun can hold the entire Israeili and Palestinian peoples hostage, they (the terrorists) win.

The two state solution is a failed idea, because it's central premise (stop the violence) is putting the horse before the cart. And it's central assumption (that demographics are central to identity) is flawed - Israel needs to take a lesson from America:

Most Americans are no longer White-Anglo as they were at the beginning of the 20th century. Nonetheless, indeed because of it, America is a strong and flourishing country. Israel after Oslo did not flourish because of settlements and yeshiva parasites, but because of the high technologies produced by secular, liberal Israelis, and from the education and talents of every Vassili and Ludmilla who came here and are considered second class citizens compared to "real Jews" whose "Torah is their craft."

Founding Israel on the illusory premise of "Jewishness" is as flawed as teaching kids that Egyptian Negroes (oxymoron) invented civilization. And America has shown that diversity of race and religion is an accelerant of progress, not a brake.

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