July 31, 2001 No.

An Egyptian Intellectual: Arabs Must Use the Demographic Factor Against Israel

In the London based daily Al-Hayat[1], Dr. Wahid Abd Al-Magid, the editor of Al-Ahram's "Arab Strategic Report"yearbook, wrote: The way to end the Arab-Israeli conflict is through changing the demographic balance within Israel'spre-1967 'Green Line' assuming that Israel will have to resort to racist policies. Dr. Abd Al-Magid's plan is based,primarily, on Israel's Arab community stopping Jewish immigration to Israel and supporting the settlement of Palestiniansinside 'The Green Line,' in order to establish one Palestinian state with Jews living "under the umbrella of our Arabculture":

In an article titled "Arabs must take advantage of the demographic threat on Israel," Dr. Abd Al-Magid wrote:

"...The Arabs of 1948 [i.e. Israeli Arabs] may become a majority in Israel in 2035, and they will certainly be the majority in 2048, a century after their Nakbah and first defeat."

"We must establish scenarios for the crisis' management in the future. In these scenarios, there should be a special status for the 1948 Palestinians. It is not long before they become the supreme [decision-makers], who control the conflict..."

"The demographic threat does not derive solely from the 1948 Palestinians' natural increase, but also from the infiltration of thousands of Palestinians into Israel. These stay in Israel and create facts on the ground through marriage with citizens of the 1948 population..."

"Therefore, there is a possibility that Israel would have to expose its racism and try, in vain, to hide [the scale of this phenomenon] through policies of denying some of the social rights of the 1948 Palestinians, or through various oppressive measures..."

"This would require a serious Arab action... that would be difficult, unless the political elites and the security apparatuses in some Arab countries heal from the disease of suspecting and fearing the 1948 Palestinians... We must support the connections [between Israeli Arabs and Arab countries] so that better opportunities develop for Arab action whose purpose is to make use of and increase the demographic threat that faces Israel."

The first goal should be "an organized action to expose the racism of Zionism and with an effort to renew the UN resolution that equates Zionism with racism, in order to exercise external pressure on Tel Aviv that will decrease its ability to carry out domestic measures [to counter] that demographic threat. Today, there are Arab efforts to launch a campaign against Israel in the UN International Conference Against Racism that is organized by the UN in South Africa. This should be the beginning of a continuous action and not a seasonal action that will end with the conference."

"The second goal is to confront the Jewish immigration that the Jewish Agency tries to encourage once again - after the numbers of immigrants to Israel have decreased in the first six months of this year... True, the continuation of the Intifada guarantees the foiling of the Zionist efforts to increase the immigration, and may even encourage emigration in the opposite direction, but the Arab league, with the cooperation of Arab non-governmental organizations, can also have a role by starting a dialogue with the Jewish organizations in [the former USSR] states."

"Not all Jews are Zionists, and not all immigrants are Israel lovers. Some of them were forced to immigrate under the pressure of economic and social conditions that are being used by the Jewish Agency to encourage their immigration to Israel. We can act to foil the role of this Agency, through dialogue with the Jewish organization in the immigrant-exporting states. Our claims should not be limited to the moral aspect. We could describe to the Jews of Russia and its neighbors the situation of Russian immigrants in Israel, more than half of whom suffer of conditions that are no less difficult than those that had made them immigrate, in addition to the disappointment and the marginalization felt by those immigrants, a phenomenon that was mentioned by Ana Isakova in an important article in Maariv."

"A third goal, which can be shouldered by the civil economic non-governmental institutions in the Arab world and especially in Jordan and Egypt, is to support the movement of Palestinians from PA territories and from elsewhere into Israeli 'Green Line' borders. Such a movement exists, but it is random and requires organizing, especially since the Israeli authorities have increased their counter-measures."

"We are capable of increasing the demographic threat against Israel, if we demonstrate the necessary determination. It is high time for long-term planning of the management of the Arab-Israeli crisis, whose life is still long. We must give the 1948 Palestinians the status they deserve, because without them, we cannot make Palestine again Arab - and not bi-national - Arab Palestine in which Jews could - if they wish to - live strong and respected under the umbrella of our Arab culture, rather than as oppressors and oppressed."

[1] Al-Hayat (London-Beirut), July 29, 2001.