Report reveals more Palestinians than Jews "between the river and the sea"
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:00 A
new economic report has revealed that there are now more Palestinians
than Jews in the territory under Israel's jurisdiction between the
Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan. Published in The Marker, a
Haaretz newspaper article says that the report virtually implies
official acknowledgement by the Netanyahu government that Jews are a
minority in historic Palestine.
Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar wrote, "In other words, in the territory
under Israel's jurisdiction a situation of apartheid exists. A Jewish
minority rules over an Arab majority." The report puts the official
statistics at 5.9 million Jews and 6.1 million Arabs.
According to The Marker report, Eldar pointed out, the Israeli Tax
Authority is trying to pass an amendment to the law for the purpose of
revising the ceiling for eligibility for tax benefits with the aim of
encouraging exports. "According to the Export Promotion Law approved in
2005, a factory is entitled to a tax break if at least 25 per cent of
its income stems from sales to a market with at least 12 million
The Ministry of Finance has stated that the population of Israel and
the Palestinian Authority exceeds the 12 million mark, which enables
manufacturers who market to these consumers to enjoy a tax break. "The
Tax Authority's diligent officials would like to raise the threshold for
qualifying for the benefit by two million residents, so that they will
not have to grant the benefit to those who sell their wares in Israel
and the [occupied Palestinian] territories."
Based on the Ministry of Finance data and a press release issued by
the Central Bureau of Statistics (which is subordinate to the Prime
Minister's Office), of the 12 million residents living in Israel and the
Palestinian Authority's areas, only 5.9 million are Jews (as of April
25, 2012). "In other words, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan
River," remarked Eldar, "there is a pretty Jewish state as far as its
laws and customs, but the reality is not so democratic."
Foreign sources, he added, reported several years ago that Jews had
become a minority in the area of the land of "greater" Israel. "From now
on, it is an official statistic." He rejected the argument that the
population of Gaza should be deducted from the figure of 12 million
following the Israeli withdrawal in 2005. "The government includes the
people of Gaza in an official statistic appearing on Ministry of Finance
In the same context, Eldar noted that the term "apartheid" features
prominently in an article published in the online Foreign Policy Journal
about a new "confidential report" prepared by sixteen US intelligence
"Franklin Lamb reported to the Foreign Policy Journal on the
'confidential report' which, he claims, compares Israel to the apartheid
regime in South Africa," said Eldar. "The document warns that the Arab
Spring and the Muslim awakening will encourage 1.2 billion Muslims to
fight against what they refer to as 'the immoral European occupation of
Furthermore, Lamb argues that the report accuses Israel of
intervening in internal US affairs through 60 organisations and some
7,500 administration officials. It advises the US administration to
leave Israel alone "as its existence sabotages American interests in
moving closer to the Arab world and the Iranian people".
Eldar sought to discredit Lamb by pointing out that he writes for the
Electronic Intifada website and is a member of the Sabra-Shatila
Foundation. Sabra and Shatila are the Palestinian refugee camps in
Beirut which were the scene of an infamous massacre 30 years ago
committed by a Christian militia with material support and encouragement
from the Israelis.
Although Eldar believes that there is no reason for Netanyahu to
worry that the intelligent report may be presented to US President
Barack Obama, "the prime minister certainly must raise his level of
concern over all aspects of US-Israel relations."
The Haaretz journalist warned that despite some "exaggerations", the
article about the intelligence report "reflects the prevailing White
House attitude toward Netanyahu". The official acknowledgment that Jews
have become a minority in the land of Israel, he added, could only
reinforce the argument against Israeli rule over the Palestinians and
boost international support, including the US, for a Palestinian state
within the 1967 borders.
"It is unnecessary to dwell on what the prime minister may expect if
Obama remains in the White House for four more years. But even if Mitt
Romney spends the next four years there, Obama will continue to hold
full presidential authority until January 20, 2013."
Eldar pointed out the implications of the issue by citing former US
President Ronald Reagan's decision to open a dialogue with the
Palestinian Liberation Organisation following the PLO's declaration of
independence on the basis of UN resolution 242. The decision, Eldar
reminded his readers, was made by Reagan during the transition period
after the 1988 US election, due to Reagan's differences with Israel's
then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Reagan believed that Shamir impeded
the peace process and the London Agreement for an international peace
"What damage would an outgoing President Obama do if the day after
the November 6 presidential election he instructs the US ambassador to
the United Nations to support Palestine's bid to join the organisation?"
A campaigning Netanyahu will not have a problem turning that into
additional proof that the whole world is against Israel and so the
country really needs a strong leader, he concluded.http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/4464-report-reveals-more-palestinians-than-jews-qbetween-the-river-and-the-seaq
In: World News, Politics, Other Middle East
Tags: Israel, Palestine, Arabs, Jews, Independence, Apartheid
Location: Israel (load item map)
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