The computer peace project

In discussions with some friends we came up with a very saleable way to solve the Israel-Palestinian Arab dispute. It has been generally acknowledged that the most serious threat to Israel is the so-called “demographic threat” of the high Arab birthrate. But, two facts have come to light that might provide a clue to a novel approach. The first one is that of all the Arab countries, the birthrate among the Palestinian Arabs, and particularly the Israeli Arabs, is the lowest. This trend has been noted and is continuing. The second fact is that as the affluence of a population increases, as measured by their GDP per capita, their birthrate decreases. In other words, the more well-off people are, the more educated and materially satisfied they are, the less children they have. And the Palestinians have a higher GDP per capita than their surrounding fellow Arabs.

But, this is not the crux of the matter. We decided that it is not the general result of more money, but rather the secondary effects, of having more things to do, more distractions in life, that leads to less procreation. What are the chief distractions that wealthier people have that poor people do not, televisions and computers. Now you can argue that every village in the world has a TV, but having your own computer is the critical element. We identified playing games on-line and watching illegally downloaded movies as the actual root cause of reduction in population growth. I know this sounds a bit simplistic, but short of putting anti-fertility pills in their water, this seems like the perfect non-violent way to get the Palestinians to lower their birthrate.

Therefore we are setting up a fund, entitled “The computer peace project,” to which we are asking for donations to buy computers to be installed in every Palestinian home in the West Bank and Gaza. Please send your donations directly to me. Remember it’s all for peace with the Palestinians, isn’t that a worthwhile cause? If this doesn’t work, then we can always dope their drinking water with anti-estrogens like tamoxifen. Come to think of it, we could also establish “The Palestinian anti-fertility fund,” send money to me for this too.

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.