In one month, the citizens of Israel will decide if Israel will keep or lose its Jewish identity. As a Jew whose whole heart is committed to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel, I cannot remain quiet or apathetic. This event will dramatically affect the history of the Jewish people. I am not a citizen of Israel and cannot vote in the election, but I am a passionate committed Jew and I think I am entitled to ask my Israeli brothers and sisters to consider for a moment the anguish that is raging in my heart.
The overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews want the country to carefully safeguard its Jewish identity. Yet, the prime minister of Israel is not leading Israel in that direction. He is leading Israel in the direction of a half-Arab half-Jewish state. Whether we like it or not, Gaza and the West Bank are controlled by Israel, and the Arabs living there, in combination with the Arabs living inside Israel, are almost equal in number to the Jewish population of Israel.
In order for Israel to remain a Jewish state, Israel must make a fair agreement with the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza, an agreement that culminates in the creation of the State of Palestine for the residents of these areas.
The experience of the last six years leaves no room for doubt: Bibi Netanyahu is not working to negotiate a final agreement with the Palestinians; rather he is working to ensure that any such negotiations fail. I say this with an aching heart. I have known Bibi for many, many years. I have learned to treasure his strengths and treasure his friendship. I would never doubt for an instance his commitment to doing what he thinks is best for Israel. But good intentions aside, and to my great sorrow, he is leading Israel to a binational half Jewish and half Arab state.
The history of South Africa should prove to every Israeli that we cannot live in a Jewish state without giving equal rights to all its Palestinian residents. And yet, if Israel insists on retaining the West Bank and controlling Gaza, its Arab population will constitute almost half of the country’s population.
Professor Sergio DellaPergola of the Hebrew University, the world’s leading demographic authority on the Jewish and Palestinian populations, has concluded that if one takes into account Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jews will be a minority by the year 2020. (Even without Gaza, DellaPergola notes, by the year 2020, Arabs will comprise 44% of the people living under Israeli rule). The day that happens, Arab representatives will come to comprise half the Knesset and Israel will no longer be a Jewish state.
Again, to my sorrow, for the past six years, Israel has been led by a man who refuses to see and acknowledge this plain truth. This is a blindness of historic proportions. As former head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, has poignantly noted, these policies are leading Israel to the destruction of the Zionist dream of establishing a Jewish state, in which Jews form the large majority of the population. A similar view was expressed recently by many former IDF generals and leaders of the Mossad and Shabak, who emphasized that a political agreement is possible and its achievement will improve Israel’s security. They said the IDF is strong enough to enable the government to reach such an agreement.
When you go to the polls on March 17, the ballot you cast will determine whether Israel continues in the catastrophic direction it is now heading or changes course in a manner that will guarantee its continued existence as a Jewish state. The answer is in your hands.