The “demographic” argument for a two-state solution is the expressed fear that Jews will become a minority in Israel, and so the “Jewish people” will lose a claim to sovereignty.
It is explicitly a racial argument about Jews being overwhelmed by Palestinian births, or voters, and it is one that ought to be very hard to advance in mainstream U.S. forums. The scholar Ian Lustick lately confessed his shame at making the demographic argument for a two-state solution. It was a “deal with the devil,” Lustick said. “My mother would not approve.”
Well– here are two leading American Zionist organizations that consider themselves enlightened but that have recently advanced that unseemly argument.
First, Israel Policy Forum issued a report in February on possible outcomes of the conflict signed by purported liberal Americans – Obama ambassador Dan Shapiro wrote the foreword, Shira Efron and Evan Gottesman wrote the report– that says it is “important” to consider whether Palestinians are becoming a majority in the land between the river and the sea, and in Israel itself, and offered observations of Jewish and Palestinian “fertility” rates as if that’s an acceptable way to look at things.
These liberals warn that even a substantial minority of Palestinians inside Israel will “jeopardize” the country.
Whether and when the Palestinians become a majority is an important question, but Israel’s ability to retain its credentials as a Jewish and democratic state would be jeopardized even if the Palestinians only become a substantial minority. The proposals to annex parts or all of the West Bank, could add 2.6 million Palestinians to Israel’s population. If they become equal citizens, they would command immense political power, making up almost 40% of the population and changing Israel’s Jewish character.
Imagine saying that people of color jeopardize the character of the United States…. What would that make you?
Then this weekend the American Jewish Committee hosted David Horovitz of the Times of Israel for a webtalk in which he explained that he and Benjamin Netanyahu support a Palestinian state if it has no real powers to threaten Israel. And guess what, the threat is not just military but “demographic.”