Considering the European Jews' history of oppression, Jewish fear of gentiles is understandable. But when this fear is forged into active policy, it is dangerous and bloody, as the case has been in Palestine. The expulsion of the Palestinians and expropriation of their property, as a precondition for establishing the state of Israel, was a result of this paranoia. That was Ben-Gurion's doctrine, now fully documented by historians. This doctrine is still being followed. It calls for committing an actual murder for fear that the victim, if he lived, might harm the murderer.

The claim that the "Jewish character" of Israel would be threatened is commonly recited to justify the denial of the fundamental right of Palestinians to their land and property. But what is the meaning of "Jewish character"? Does it mean legal character, demograhpic, social or religious? If it entails policies that deny the return of refugees and allow unlimited numbers of Jewish immigrants in their place, these policies are best described by the noted jurists Thomas and Sally Mallison, who pointed out that "the term, 'the Jewish character', is really a euphemism for the Zionist discriminatory statutes of the State of Israel which violate the human rights provisions of the Partition Resolution... The United Nations is under no more of a legal obligation to maintain Zionism in Israel than it is to maintain apartheid in the Republic of South Africa".50 The US State Department rejected any special meaning for the Jewish citizens of Israel by stating that it "does not recognize the legal-political relationship based on the religious identification of American citizens... Accordingly it should be clear that the Department of State does not regard the 'Jewish people' concept as a concept of international law".51

This is not an isolated view. In 1998 the UN Treaty-based Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights said that Israel's "excessive emphasis upon the State as a 'Jewish State' encourages discrimination and accords a second-class status to its non-Jewish citizens... The Committee notes with grave concern that the Status Law of 1952 authorizes the World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency and its subsidiaries including the Jewish National Fund to control most of the land in Israel, since these institutions are chartered to benefit Jews exclusively... The Committee takes the view that large-scale and systematic confiscation of Palestinian land and property by the State and transfer of that property to these agencies constitute an institutionalized form of discrimination because these agencies by definition would deny the use of these properties by non-Jews."52 Israel cannot maintain this position for long. The moral and legal weight of human rights will catch up with it one day. How can this concept of "Jewish character" be an acceptable basis for peaceful relations?

Some Israelis understand the "Jewish character" as a society in which Jews are a numerical majority. But in what territory? In the whole of British Mandatory Palestine? Today, 47 percent of the population of Palestine are (non-Jewish) Arabs and 53 percent Jews. In fact, the percentage would be reversed if we take account of the fact that 62 percent of the Russian immigrants are not really Jews.

Let us examine this matter further. Israel's Master Plan for the year 2020 made a detailed study of population increase in Israel with various scenarios for Jewish immigration.53 The standard case gives a population of 8,100,000, of which 5,832,000 are Jews and 2,268 (40% of Jews) are Palestinians, in the years 2020. In the same year, Palestinian refugees will increase to 11 million.

The Jews in the world are about 13 million and decreasing at a rate of -0.50% due to mixed marriages and conversion or abandonment of religion. That is because 98% of Jews live in affluent societies and have no need for protectionist measures leading to isolation. Israel plans to have 52% of the world Jewry, or more, in Israel by the year 2020.

Sharon's aggressive plans call for removing the remainder of Russian, all South American and South African Jews from their countries to Israel. Jews in Europe and USA have no interest to immigrate save for the zealots who now build settlements and terrorize the West Bank.

Taking the most and least optimistic forecasts of Jewish immigration (1,700,000 and 800,000 respectively), it becomes apparent that there is an upper limit for immigration which may be reached before 2020 [Fig-13]. Showing the Palestinian

Fig-13: Projection of Population Increase in Israel: Immigration, the primary source of Jews in Israel, will dry up at some point in the future. Palestinians will overtake the Jews indicating that the idea of Jewish numerical superiority is a pipe dream.
Current net natural increase for Palestinians is 3.04%, for Jews 1.06% excluding immigration.54

increase in Israel on the same curve, it is clear that they will overtake the Jews in or around the year 2070 with or without immigration. That is assuming that no other factor comes into play before then. By 2070, the total number of refugees will be equal to the size of Egypt today at 61 million.

The folly of numerical superiority of Jews at all times in all of Israel or all of Palestine is very evident. [In a desperate attempt, leading defence figures and academics mentally barricaded themselves in the Interdisciplinary Centre, Herzliya discussing "The Balance of National Strength and Security in Israel".55 These, otherwise rational academics put forward proposals to overcome the 'Arab Peril' which have no honest name other ethnic cleansing or apartheid. They advocated cutting government aid to the two million in Israel who are seen as a burden (Arabs and Haredim) and directing all support to the elite Ashkenazi. Arabs would be denied family benefits or ethnically cleansed through a contrived exchange of population formula. Meanwhile Jews are to be encouraged to live in Arab or empty areas in Israel. Arabs may be deprived from voting and Israelis living abroad be given the right to vote. It is only another step to declare all Jews Israeli citizens. An Australian Jew can then vote on whether an Arab village in Galilee should have water or a school.

Fig-9: Population Distribution in Israel: Only 2% of Jews live in the refugees' land (area-C) in addition to Jews living in originally Palestinian cities. 77% of Jews live in 15% of Israel. Some of the shown towns are still Palestinian.

This desperation would at best buy some time; meanwhile it will prolong the suffering and build a legacy of injustice and desire for revenge.

The fallacy of Israeli arguments, aiming to maintain Jewish majority, is abundantly clear. They aim to attain an impossible goal: that Jews will remain a majority at all times in all territories held by Israel. This is impossible. Either the time within which this majority can be maintained shrinks or the territory in which this can be maintained shrinks. A better solution for Jews, indeed for all people, is to live with the people of the land, not instead of them.

All these examples indicate that the notion of the numerical superiority of Jews is a cruel time game in which the refugees rot in their camps until the Israelis realize, or admit, that this contention is a horrible hoax, intended to keep the conquered land empty until its owners give up or are gotten rid of by a "final solution" of the Palestinian problem.

The most incredible notion is the claim that the "Jewish character" means a socially homogeneous society in which Jews speak one language, dress and behave similarly, and uphold the same values, such that the presence of one national group as the Palestinians will 'pollute' this uniformity. It is hard to imagine that very many Israelis really believe this. There are no dominant common features between the Russians and Moroccans, the Mizrahi and Ashkenazi or the Haredim and the secular. There are thirty-two official spoken languages in Israel and about two dozen political groups with an equivalent number of newspapers for a Jewish population a little larger than Los Angeles. The problem of their fractured society is a serious one, and it is already causing internal conflict in Israel, now tenuously held together by the drummed-up Arab danger. Considerable research has already been devoted to this question.56 But the return of Palestinians to their ancestral homes would not substantially exacerbate these problems. Already, the Palestinian citizens of Israel [Fig-9] are 11 percent of the population in group-A, 21 percent in group-B and 70 percent in group-C.

If the “Jewish character” refers to religious practice, this has rarely been a problem in the Arab and Islamic world. Numerous historians have demonstrated that the treatment of Jewish minorities by Islamic and Arab societies has been far better than that by Christian societies.

There is no ethical or legal justification for the maintenance of a “Jewish character” that denies human rights or violates international law. The real reason for Israel’s racist practices is to maintain its hold on Palestinian land and keep it as a reserve for future Jewish immigration. On March 1, 2001, the Israeli media reported that Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon told the Jewish Agency that his plan is to bring 1 million immigrants from Russia, Mexico and Ethiopia, and that Israel must bring all of the world’s Jews to Israel by 2020.