Thursday, June 18, 2009

Call Israel’s Bluff on “Natural Growth”

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote last week in the Washington Post concerning the US demand to stop the "natural growth" in settlements:

What's the issue? No "natural growth" means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining. It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them -- not even within the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that. The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns -- even before negotiations.

Charles Krauthammer has written some very stupid things in the past. But he is smart enough to know that the "natural growth" line is a BIG LIE that the Israelis have used since Oslo to justify the expansion of settlements. Nobody, on the left or on the right in Israel, could write that paragraph and get it published here by a mainstream paper. The "natural growth" (nudge-nudge-wink-wink) argument is designed exclusively for external consumption, for dumb goyim, and for dumber American Jews.

A well-written rebuttal to Krauthammer/Israel's disinformation campaign about Bush Administration policy appears in today's Post by somebody who should know – Daniel C. Kurtzer, the former US Ambassador to Israel. Read it here.

But…you know…maybe I am being unfair. Maybe Krauthammer and the Israeli government have a point about "natural growth." Granted this point seems to apply ONLY in the settlements. (Palestinians on both sides of the border have babies, but I guess that doesn't qualify for "natural growth.")

So I am prepared to support "natural growth" in settlements, provided that it is truly "natural growth". And here's my proposal.

Any Jewish baby born over the Green Line since 2000, say, will be allowed to stay there. Housing can be be built for them, but only for them. Houses that have been built since 2000 and populated by people who moved into those settlements, but who are not first generation of descendants of those living there, will be evacuated. Their vacant houses can be used for the "natural growth."

The pre-2000 settlers can continue to have lots of babies.

OK, so this was not one of my better ideas. It insults the intelligence.

Like "natural growth."


Anonymous said...

Jerry, one point that nobody seems to make - what right exactly did the U.S. have to "allow" Israelis to build on occupied Palestinian land?

Unknown said...

Or, put another way: if the traffic cop says its ok to drive 70 mph when the sign says 60, does that make it legal? Simply, the occupied lands do not belong to Israel. Period.
Further, Israel alone has a right to 'natural growth?' Population density in Palestine is 521 (West Bank & Gaza) vs. 312 in Israel - is there provision for Palestinian growth?