Friday, June 29, 2012

Charles Smith Predicts the Future (and Israel's Demise) (UPDATED)

The latest red meat for the Huffington Post Jew haters is Charles Smith's article about "Israel's fateful hour". In it, this American academic takes the bold, courageous stance of...criticizing Israeli settlements. Because when the download from Ramallah says that the new cause of the conflict is the settlements, the HP publishes articles that echo that and all the readership whines about "stolen land".

Smith leads off with predictions about where the settlements will take Israel in the future, predictions that as usual don't make any sense:
"The alternative [to national suicide] was to withdraw from the occupied territories, back to the 1967 borders, not necessarily for the sake of the Palestinians but in order to guarantee the ongoing existence of Israel. Otherwise, the prospect of Israel's survival would be undermined by two factors, the demographic factor and the threat of civil war among Israelis. Israel would, if it continued to expand its settlement project, rule over an Arab population that outnumbered its Jewish citizenry. And, if settlements progressed as he foresaw, the settler zealot mentality and belief in the right of Israel to control Judea and Samaria would lead to clashes among Jews that could tear Israel apart."
So let's talk about the first fact, "the demographic factor." Israel rules over Areas A and B of the West Bank. Area C of the West Bank is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and is home to the vast majority of the WB Palestinians. Even if the settlements took up all of Areas A and B, Israel still would not "rule over an Arab population that outnumbered its Jewish citizenry." So, as usual for people predicting the future, Smith doesn't back up his predictions with anything in the way of facts.

Updated: Israel rules over Area C of the WB, the PA controls Areas A and B and that is home to most Palestinians. I mixed them up. 

Here's some more nonsense:
"The demographic prediction has come true. The Palestinian Arab populations of the West Bank and Israel are now projected to outnumber Jews by 2016; if Gaza is included, Arabs already outnumber Jews. Shimon Peres was warning of the threat of civil war in Israel in 1995, in the aftermath of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Added to these threats is the spread of lethal weaponry that can easily reach Israel's cities possessed by non-state actors as well as states, a trend that will increase."
 While it's nice that Smith admits the outlandish (for the HP) point of view that Israel's Arab neighbors have weapons and could use them on Israel, his additional demographic proof is just as unconvincing as the last. Yes, the Arab populations of the West Bank and Gaza outnumber Jews. So what? So do the Arab populations of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. They aren't part of Israel either.

Smith then quotes more from a book he read, repeats himself about Israel's imminent demise because of the settlements, describes Netanyahu as "messianic", and accuses Israel of acting like Bar Kochba, the Jewish revolt leader famous for committing suicide rather than surrendering to the Romans.

In short, another boring attack on the settlements, long on fatalistic rhetoric, short on actual facts. Perfect for the Huffington Post.


  1. Mr. Matt, Excellent analysis.
    One minor correction though: Israel rules over Area C only(Not the other way around, as you stated), whereas Areas A & B, per the Oslo accords, are subject to full civil control(and even complete control, in Area A) by the PA.
    Area B still carries some Israeli administration, in the security and military scopes of activity.
    Areas A & B do indeed contain most, if not nearly all, the Pals. in the West Bank(Judea & Samaria).

  2. Sorry Matt you have your facts in regards to who controls what and demographics in the three zoning regions somewhat backwards. I'll paste this info for accuracy.

    Area 'A' (18 percent of the West Bank) - full civil and security control by the Palestinian Authority. This area includes all Palestinian cities and their surrounding areas, with no Israeli settlements. Entry into this area is forbidden to all Israeli citizens. The Israel Defense Forces maintain no presence, but sometimes conducts raids to arrest suspected militants.[1]

    Area 'B' (21 percent of the West Bank) - Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control. Includes areas of many Palestinian towns and villages and areas, with no Israeli settlements.[1]

    Area 'C' (61 percent of the West Bank) - Full Israeli civil and security control, except over Palestinian civilians. These areas include all Israeli settlements (cities, towns, and villages), land in the vicinity of these localities, most roadways that connected the settlements (and which Israelis are now restricted to) as well as strategic areas described as "security zones."

    Most Palestinians live in area A not C. Only around 150,000 Pal'ns live in area C.

  3. Bogus, I always mix them up! Thanks, guys.


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