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Security and Israel’s
demographic dilemma

Nabil Al-Sahli


There have been major repercussions within Israel since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, including economic losses. The occupation state has witnessed serious divisions in society and political parties. Moreover, it is almost certain that the operation will continue a trend of reverse Jewish migration from occupied Palestine at a time when the demography of the state is a fundamental issue for Israeli governments and Zionist strategists.


This trend started before Al-Aqsa Flood, with Israeli Jews migrating to the US and Europe for greater economic stability and security. This is the most popular option among thousands of young Israeli Jews faced with Benjamin Netanyahu leading the most right-wing government in the history of the rogue state, along with a combination of ultra-Orthodox parties and religious movement and the extreme right.


Jewish immigration has always been important for Israel and the Zionist project. The factors that attract Jews to move to occupied Palestine include security, economic wellbeing and the false Zionist slogans that succeeded initially but have failed over time. As the Israeli economy shrinks, security has become the most important reason for potential Jewish immigrants from around the world. That’s why the Jewishness of Israel has been popularised and enshrined in Israeli law in a serious attempt to attract more Jews to “make Aliyah” to the “Jewish State”. The Zionist movement and its rogue state both consider all Jews to be potential human resources for their expansionist goals and a pillar of the continuation of the entire project in the Arab region at the expense of the Palestinian people.


Despite the passing of almost 76 years since the establishment of Israel in occupied Palestine, though, only 41 per cent of the global Jewish population have been tempted to move to the occupation state. Israeli leaders have to try to take advantage of every possible opportunity to attract more Jews to make the move.


In cooperation and coordination with the Jewish Agency for Israel, it is planned to finance large campaigns to attract 200,000 Jews to move from Argentina, several thousand Jews from Ethiopia and around 80,000 Jews from India and South Africa. Financial and employment incentives are offered to attract immigrants. Overall, Jewish immigration from Europe and North America has reached its lowest level due to the lack of factors pushing Jews out of their home countries and the hit that Israel’s image and reputation has taken given the genocide against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. This is despite the claims by Israel that there has been an “increased interest in immigration” from Jews in the West, the actual numbers arriving have been very small.


The Zionist strategy replacing the Palestinian population and Judaisation of the land has always depended on four things: attracting Jews around the world to move to occupied Palestine; Judaising the Arab land by seizing and otherwise expropriating it, and then settling immigrants on it; creating the right political conditions to expel as many Palestinian Arabs as possible; and building illegal settlements to change the geography and demographics in favour of the Zionist project, in violation of international law. The focus has been to create a vibrant economy that would attract more Jews with a high standard of living and growth rates.


The Judaisation of Palestinian land has required control over it in various ways. Land has been emptied of its Palestinian population through massacres and forced displacement, and the pretext of development and security issues has been used to drive Palestinians off their land. Zionist institutions such as the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Jewish Agency, as well as the British Mandate occupation, played an important role in transferring ownership of Palestinian Arab lands to Jews even before the apartheid state was established in 1948.


Nevertheless, it is a fact that when Israel declared its “independence” in that fateful year, Zionist Jews owned just 9.1 per cent of Palestine.


Today, Israel controls 100 per cent of historic Palestine, regardless of what the infamous Oslo Accords said should happen next, and the state plus the occupied territory taken for settlers and settlements cover 78 per cent of the land.


Operation Al-Aqsa Flood is viewed as one of the most successful guerrilla operations in the history of the Palestinian struggle since 1948, as it exposed the fragility of Israel at every level and has ended the notion of the invincibility of the “most moral army in the world”. It will motivate Palestinian resistance in all forms within historic Palestine as a legitimate response to the Israeli occupation.


Given the importance of security and economic stability for attracting and retaining Jewish migrants in Israel, we are likely to see an increase in the numbers of Israeli Jews leaving the country. The net migration figure is likely to be negative for the state. This happened during the Second (Al-Aqsa) Intifada (September 2000-February 2005), although official data seeks to disguise reality.


This will not deter the Zionists from continuing to displace Palestinians in any way they can and try to attract new Jewish immigrants. This will remain an important strategy at a time when the state is facing a demographic dilemma, represented by Palestinian population growth within historic Palestine, their commitment to their land and their rejection of displacement, combined with the decline in Jewish immigration, meaning that it is feasible for Jews to become a minority in the so-called Jewish state. That is the Zionist project’s biggest fear.


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This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on 17 March 2024


Source: Middle East Monitor

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of qodsna.