By any standard, the Palestinian problem involves the strangest criteria in modern history.
To begin with, refugees are defined as individuals who have been forced to leave their land of origin. A new definition of refugee status, though, was invented exclusively for Palestinian Arabs, who count as refugees their descendants to the nth generation.
All the world’s refugees are the responsibility of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, except for the Palestinians, who have their own refugee agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine. Among all the population exchanges of the 20th century — Greeks for Turks after World War I, Hindus for Moslems after the separation of India and Pakistan after World War II, Serbs for Croats after the breakup of Yugoslavia during the 1980s — the Palestinians alone remain frozen in time, a living fossil of long-decided conflicts.
Some 700,000 Jews were expelled from Muslim countries where they had lived in many cases more than a thousand years before the advent of Islam, and most of them were absorbed into the new State of Israel with a territory the size of New Jersey; 700,000 or so Arabs left Israel’s Jewish sector during the 1948 War of Independence, most at the behest of their leaders, but few were absorbed by the vast Muslim lands surrounding Israel.
Instead, the so-called refugees were gathered in camps (now for the most part towns with a living standard much higher than that of the adjacent Arab countries thanks to foreign aid) and kept as a human battering ram against Israel, whose existence the Muslim countries cannot easily accept.
Some 10 million Germans who had lived for generations in what is now Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic were driven out at the end of World War II (more than half a million died in the great displacement).
Imagine that Germany had kept these 10 million people in camps for 70 years and that their descendants now numbered 40 million — and that Germany demanded on pain of war restitution of everything from the Sudetenland to Kaliningrad (the former Konigsberg). That is a fair analogy to the Palestinian position.
It is a scam, a hoax, a put-on, a Grand Guignol theatrical with 5 million extras. Because polite opinion bows to the sensibilities of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims, it is treated in all seriousness.
As a matter of full disclosure, I want to put my personal view on record: The mainstream view amounts to a repulsive and depraved exercise in hypocrisy that merits the harshest punishment that a just God might devise.
In this looking-glass world of hypocrisy and hoax, though, the most noteworthy deception is the physical existence of the Palestinians themselves: in Judea and Samaria (sometimes called the occupied West Bank), there are perhaps half the number of Arabs as the Palestinian Authority’s census has counted, or the international community acknowledges. As Jerusalem Post reporter Caroline Glick reports in her new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, Israeli researchers have demonstrated that:
The 1997 Palestinian census was a fraud. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics [PCBS] had exaggerated the Palestinian population figures by nearly 50 percent, or 1.34 million people… First, it had inflated the existing Palestinian population base. In the 1997 census, the PCBS had included 325,000 Palestinians who lived abroad. It had also included 210,000 Arab residents in Jerusalem, who had already been accounted for in Israel’s population count.
The Palestinian census had included an additional 113,000 persons whose existence was not noted in the 1996 Israeli civil administration. When the data was compared to the voter base published by the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (PCEC) in 1996 and 2005, the PCEC data substantiated the Israeli data. That is, the 113,000 people did not exist.
Taken together, these three moves increased the Palestinian base population by 648,000 people or approximately 27 percent. Imagine if the US Census Bureau had predicted that, in 2012, the United States would have a population base of 400 million, instead of its actual 2012 base size of 314 million. The second stage of the population inflation involved exaggerating future growth. First, it predicated the projections for future growth on a population base that — as we have seen — was massively inflated. Every annual growth assessment based on an inflated population model is necessarily false and inflated.
This fundamental problem was compounded by other factors. The PCBS inflated birthrates and massively inflated immigration rates . Moreover, it ignored the high numbers of Palestinians who immigrated to Israel by marrying Israeli citizens. All told, the PCBS census claimed that the compound annual growth rate of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza was 4.75 percent — the highest population growth rate in the world. Significantly, just as the Palestinians were claiming to be the fastest-growing population in the world, the Arab world, and the larger Muslim world, were entering a period of unprecedented demographic contraction, even collapse.
The data are well known and long-debated; I took the same position as Ms. Glick in a 2011 essay for the Jewish webzine Tablet. But Ms. Glick, an American immigrant to Israel and a former captain in the Israel Defense Forces, draws a bold conclusion: Israel should annex Judea and Samaria just as it did the city of Jerusalem. Jews will comprise a demographic majority well in excess of 60% between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. As Palestinians continue to emigrate and Jewish immigration picks up, she adds, “some anticipate that due almost entirely to Jewish immigration, Jews could comprise an 80 percent majority within the 1949 armistice lines and Judea and Samaria by 2035.”
Under Ms. Glick’s plan, Israel would offer to West Bank Arabs the opportunity to apply for Israeli citizenship; all would have full civil rights, and those who chose Israeli citizenship would have voting rights as well. Israeli no doubt would earn the anathema of the international community were it to annex Judea and Samaria, but from Ms. Glick’s way of looking at the matter there is little to lose.
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