Advocates of unilateral withdrawal admit that there won’t be peace, but “conflict management” (an acceptance of something less than an all-out attack on Israel). They envision that Arabs on the other side of a separation barrier will no longer be able to work or study in Israel and will then emigrate. 

But what if it doesn’t work the way they anticipate? Should Israel continue to allow Palestinians to work in Israel? Prime Minister Sharon recently doubled the number of work permits of West Bank residents from 40 to 80,000. Some “disengagement!”


What if millions of Arabs from the refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan flood into the West Bank? Think about the explosive potential of those demographics! And what about the ecological disaster that will ensue?

When Palestinian terrorism explodes on an even larger scale, this time aided by more deadly weapons and troops from foreign countries and other terrorists (like Hizbullah), how will Israel be in a better position to respond?

There are also internal Israeli issues in dealing with the dramatic leap in its Arab population, such as the inept policy of supporting Bedouin families with multiple wives and many children in violation of Israeli law and (in the last decade alone) allowing more than 240,000 Palestinians to enter Israel via legal and illegal marriages and “family reunifications.”

In addition, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have moved to East Jerusalem (areas which Israel annexed to Jerusalem after the 1967 War).

If the demographic argument is applied to the Galilee, where more than half the population is Arab (“Palestinian”) and volatile Arab towns like Umm el-Fahm increasingly support terrorism, and parts of the Negev which are exclusively Bedouin, should Israel abandon these areas? Recently, MK Ehud Olmert suggested that East Jerusalem (which includes the Old City, Mount of Olives and Temple Mount) with its predominant Arab population, become part of the Palestinian entity.

Unilateral withdrawal and the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank may postpone but won’t solve Israel’s “demographic problem.” It will not solve the Palestinian problem, since there will be no “justice for Palestinians” until Israel itself is destroyed and all the “refugees” returned; only then will the perpetual “victims of Israeli aggression” be vindicated.

The “demographic” argument is but a thinly veiled support for unilateral retreat, forced transfer of Jews (only) from their homes and the creation of a terror-based Palestinian state. Supporters of this policy have yet to show how this is in Israel’s strategic interest.


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Moshe Dann is a Ph.D. historian, writer, and journalist living in Jerusalem. His book of short stories,“As Far As the Eye Can See,” was published by the New English Review Press in 2015.