By Ted Belman
Haaretz just published, Getting in a terrible state, by Nehemia Shtrasler where she argues against annexation because we would end up with a bi-national state with a 60% majority leaving out Gaza. She acknowledges that the proponents of annexation intend to give citizenship because as MK Reuven Rivlin put it: ’Better that the Palestinians be citizens of the state than divide the land.”
She limits her argument to one small fact as she puts it and the economic consequesces,
- “The annexation of 2.5 million Palestinians to the State of Israel means a bi-national state with a small, temporary Jewish majority – 60 percent Jews (6.3 million )and 40 percent Arabs (4.2 million ), and that is without Gaza. Thus, the end of the Zionist dream.”
The only problem is , it is not a fact but a lie. There are only 1.5 million Arabs in J&S and we would have a 67% majority with momentum favouring the Jews.
Secondly Israel won’t agree to a binational state which I take to mean two equal nations. She will annex the land based on tyhe Jewish Nation Basic Law which gives precedent to the jeewish nature of the state.
- Annexation of the territories means unification between a country whose annual per-capita GDP is $30,000 and the Palestinian Authority, where the GDP is one-tenth of that – $3,000 per person. Accordingly, the poverty rate in the new country will rise by about 35 percent! That would mean moving from the status of a developed country to a third-world country, alongside Sudan and Eritrea.
This new situation will also require a revolutionary new social policy. It will necessitate a dramatic expansion of the National Insurance budget to help the new weak people (the Palestinians). We will spend huge amounts of money sharing our child and old-age allowances, our unemployment benefits, our welfare, and so on.
Funding for rehabilitation of Palestinians injured in battle and the families of “martyrs” will have to be expanded; they will be entitled to allowances in keeping with the accepted practice in Israel. After all, they will be citizens with equal rights. Government payments to balance the budgets of Palestinian cities and towns will also be required, as these will no doubt be classified in the lowest socioeconomic cluster. After all, we would not leave them with sewage running in the streets, an irregular water supply and bumpy roads.
It is also inconceivable that we would withhold health-care benefits, and so the health budget will have to double. There is also no argument that we would have to allocate many billions to upgrade the education system in the territories, to give every Palestinian child what every Israeli child gets.
Social activist Daphni Leef, who would embark again on a protest for “affordable housing,” will know that the first neighborhoods will be built in the Hebron Hills, where people are still living in caves and tin shacks – and in a democracy we are obligated first of all to help the weakest.