Racism in Israel
The increasing racial tension inside Israel is a worrisome development. But what really struck me is the Israeli government projection that in 2025 inside current Israeli borders, 30 percent of the population will be Arab, and only 70 percent Jewish. That’s only twenty years from now, i.e. as near to us on the other side as Gorbachev becoming Premier of the Soviet Union was in the past. And if that is true in 2025, what will be the situation in 2050? What will happen if Russia’s economy takes off and any substantial number of the one million Russian immigrants to Israel who came in the early 1990s (and about half of which were not Jewish) go back to Russia? Barring very major changes in population growth statistics or large-scale movements of people, don’t you end up with a bi-national state in 50 years?
That is, is there an analogy between the Lebanese Christians, who went from a majority to only 40 percent during the past century, and the Jews in Israel? (Lebanese Christians became upscale, had smaller families, and emigrated abroad more frequently, whereas Shiites had large families and mostly stayed home.) There are about 100,000 self-reported Israelis in the US according to the 2000 census, and retention of new immigrants in Israel has fallen somewhat during the most recent Intifada. The likelihood of any further major Jewish population flows to Israel is low barring some global catastrophe. The likelihood of substantial Israeli-Arab emigration is also low, unless the Far Right implements its dreams of Transfer. The latter development, however, would end any chance of continued Israeli relations with Europe, economic, scientific and political, which would deeply hurt the Israelis.