Netanyahu on "Arab demographic threat"

Benyamin Netanyahu has pitched in his two cents in the growing debate on the Israeli right over the demographic threat that Palestinians both inside and outside Israel present:


Netanyahu added that Israel does not face a demographic threat from the Palestinians who will be under Palestinian control and will enjoy "self determination" in the future, but rather faces a threat from the Israeli Arab population. He believes that it is of the utmost importance to maintain the Jewish majority in the country and for this the economy must be improved to encourage more Jews to immigrate from the Diaspora and improve the education of "Jew and
Arab, boy and girl, man and woman." Netanyahu warned that should the Israeli Arab sector grow to 35-40 percent of the population, Israel will become a bi-national country.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said in response to Netanyahu's comments that "the day is not far off when Netanyahu and his cohorts will put up roadblocks at the entrances to Arab villages to tie Arab women's tubes and spray us with spermicide."


There has been a number of articles discussing Olmert's suggestion of a unilateral withdrawal (a concept that was the campaign platform of the Labor Party in the last election) in the Israeli press lately. But this analysis vy Zvi Bar'el says there is no real intention of ending the occupation to solve the demographic threat and that the fence may not be what it
seems.


Since the elections you can hardly find a settler who will talk against the fence. In short order they understood that it's not a security fence, and certainly not a fence that will protect them, but an original political creation: the de facto slicing up of the West Bank into cantons surrounded by fences. No one knows where the fence starts and where it ends, who's inside and who's outside. There is only one thing that's obvious to anyone who looks at its route: a Palestinian state cannot be established inside these compounds.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.