Jonathan Power is a former international affairs columnist for the International Herald Tribune and has written columns for major newspapers. He is also the author of various books on international topics.
His knowledge of the Middle East, however, is rather lacking.
We last looked at him in 2009 when he wrote a bizarre column recommending that his daughter, looking for a safe place to vacation in the summer after high school, shoudl go to – Egypt. He based this on Egypt’s low murder rate, not really too worried that the chances that his daughter would be sexually abused in Egypt over three months was pretty much 100% (and the chances for actual rape and sexual assault would be quite high, too.)
His poor grasp of facts is evident in his latest column, published (so far) in the Jordan Times.
Within the boundaries of the Holy Land, there are just over 6 million Jews and 6 million Palestinians. The Palestinian birth rate is almost three times that of Israeli Jews. If anything, the Jewish population is starting to fall as an increasing number of Jews decide that Israel has no future for them and emigrate.
The Arab and Jewish birthrates in Israel are equal at 3.13 children per woman. The most recent official birth rates for Palestinians in the territories is from 2013, at 4.1. But newer statistics indicate that for Arabs in the West Bank the number is at 2.8.
Power is using statistics from the 1970s.
Perhaps we are witnessing the death of Israel by a thousand cuts, the friction of conflict and the attrition of population.
Maybe, after all, the rabbis of Vienna who were sent in 1897 on a fact-finding mission to Palestine to investigate whether it was a suitable place for Jewish settlement were right. They reported back that the “bride was beautiful but married to another man”.
The quote is fiction.
The Zionists still have the bit between their teeth on the creation of Israel, even as they face long-term self-destruction.
A few can see it coming, and among the few is the former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert.
In an interview he said: “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights then, as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.”
For the Zionists this would be a terrible end. But need it be for rank and file Jews who just want to bring up their families and live in an atmosphere emptied of violence?
But, unmistakeably, this is the direction events and demographics are moving.
Probably the best thing that outsiders can now do for Israel is to stop trying to help organise the creation of two states and let the Israelis themselves look the Palestinians in the eyes as the demographics bite.If the white South Africans can do it, so can the Israelis.
If this became the solution, the Israelis would find that the only thing most Palestinians would now want is a prosperous, capitalist economy and to live in peace with their neighbours.
Where is the evidence that Palestinians would be kind to their minority Jewish population? Besides the rampant antisemitism in Palestinian media every day, all one need to look at is what has happened to Christians under Palestinian rule since Oslo – they have been fleeing.
But that is exactly what Power wants Jews to do, too:
The Jews would not be driven into the sea. But those who want to return to Europe, America or even Russia would be more than welcome.
Both Germany and Russia, the great centres of anti-Semitism in the past, have seemed to have flushed that horror away and treat their Jews well.
Power in one breath says that Palestinians would treat the Jews just fine, but in the next recommends that Jews go back to the places where their great-grandparents were massacred because things aren’t so bad there now.
Now, why would they want to move to countries that have nothing but bad memories – unless life under Arab rule would be worse?
This is hate – disguised as concern for Jews.
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