There was no reason for the shocked reactions in Israel following the disclosure that the suspected perpetrator of the bus bombing in Tel Aviv last week was a Palestinian Arab who had been granted Israeli citizenship to facilitate a “family reunion.”
This category of Arab Israelis had been implicated before in terror, espionage, assorted conspiracies to undermine Israeli security and a surfeit of random crime.
Hence, any sense of surprise is misplaced. If anything, this should serve as a reminder. Too many have, for example, forgotten Shadi Tubassi, the suicide bomber who murdered 16 Israelis at a Haifa restaurant a decade ago. He too was allowed here for “family reunion.”
The danger is so potent that even our ultra-liberal High Court of Justice had seen fit – on several occasions, despite its proclivities – not to disallow government attempts (via citizenship legislation provisions) to stem the tide of Palestinian migration into Israel proper. That migration is seen by many as the implementation by the back door of what the Palestinians dub their “right of return.”
One of the most frequent arguments in favor of relinquishing beyond-the-Green-Line territory is the need to safeguard our Jewish majority. That’s why Jerusalem so steadfastly rejects the Palestinians’ insistence on their right to inundate Israel with the progeny of purported Palestinian refugees.
Yet while demographic apprehensions are regarded as cogent on the territorial issue, Israel has incongruously flung the door open to the precise demographic peril that dominates our polemics.
Unbeknownst to most Israelis, the Oslo Accords made possible a steady stream of Arab immigration via family reunion schemes, directly adding well over 140,000 Arabs to Israel’s population in the 1990s. Additionally, untold thousands likely reside here illegally. Israel’s Arab communities are awash with illegals and the police fear to crack down.
Some 100,000 Palestinians work in Israel. It’s time to revoke and/or discontinue their work permits. Anything less puts us all at risk. The general public is unaware that the numbers of Arabs from beyond the Green Line employed in Israel has nearly reached levels that existed prior to the 2000 intifada.
Arguments that the Palestinian Authority’s economy depends on giving its population jobs here are unconscionable both from a demographic standpoint but all the more for pressing security needs. The argument, from our end, that these laborers are essential for construction and agriculture are equally as unacceptable when weighed against the danger to Israeli lives.
The security fence notwithstanding, scores of thousands of Arabs are allowed to visit here and many don’t leave.
Moreover, for years post-Oslo, when a Palestinian married an Israeli spouse, his/her entire extended family moved here as well and was accorded Israeli citizenship.
In many cases, especially among the Beduin, polygamous marriages are involved, with dozens of children per one oversized pseudo-nuclear family.
It must be stressed that nothing prevents mixed couples from setting up joint households beyond the Green Line.
Demographers reckon that by now substantially more than 400,000 members of Israel’s Arab sector were added on in the aftermath of Oslo.
They’re also enticed by the living higher standards here and greater economic opportunities – as Arabs flocking in since early on in the 20th century have been throughout, despite waging uncompromising war against this country’s Jews. Though viciously demonized by the Arab media, Israel curiously remains an ever-attractive destination.
In view of all this, maintaining its current demographic balance isn’t a matter of preference for Israel but of life and death.
Arabs may have very forceful reasons for preferring Israel to their native domiciles, but Israel’s fear of being overrun is no less of a good reason to assiduously maintain legal bulwarks to preserve the continued existence of the world’s only Jewish state. The Arab world, with over 20 states and combined territory greater than the entire European continent and the US put together, should suffice for those seeking to emigrate.
As former minister Amnon Rubinstein wrote in the Jerusalem Post years ago, “Those who claim that human rights demand Israel commit national suicide – because without a Jewish majority, there is no Israel – are also endangering the standing of human rights.”