Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kramer's Lösung: let Palestinian have fewer babies

Martin Kramer, a rightist authority on Islam and Arab politics (he works with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the offcial Aipac think tank, and is also a visiting fellow at Harvard),
“called for ‘the West’ to take measures to curb the births of Palestinians, a proposal that appears to meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide.”
That at least is what Ali Abunimah of the Electonic Intifad accused him of.

Kramer on his blog, Sandbox, takes isssue of it. He write that he's accused:
of having “proposed that the number of Palestinian children born in the Gaza Strip should be deliberately curbed, and alleged that this would ‘happen faster if the West stops providing pro-natal subsidies to Palestinians with refugee status.’
And he adds that 'he did not say such thing, in fact he said' (and here he quotes himself from his speech at the Herzliya conference in February): 
Aging populations reject radical agendas, and the Middle East is no different. Now eventually, this will happen among the Palestinians too, but it will happen faster if the West stops providing pro-natal subsidies for Palestinians with refugee status. Those subsidies are one reason why, in the ten years from 1997 to 2007, Gaza’s population grew by an astonishing 40 percent. At that rate, Gaza’s population will double by 2030, to three million. Israel’s present sanctions on Gaza have a political aim—undermine the Hamas regime—but if they also break Gaza’s runaway population growth—and there is some evidence that they have—that might begin to crack the culture of martyrdom which demands a constant supply of superfluous young men. That is rising to the real challenge of radical indoctrination, and treating it at its root.
 Fo you to decide who was right, Kramer or Abunimah.

PS.  The American professor Stephen M. Walt does not think that what Kramer said was in fact a call for genocide, although he came into close range of the 1948 definition of genocide. But says Walt:
What word you use to describe his comments is actually not that important, because their substance is so offensive to any decent person that you don’t need to worry much about getting the right label for them. To illustrate this point, just imagine how Kramer would react if the Iranian government announced that it was worried its Jewish population (some 25,000 or so) was a potential “fifth column,” and that it was therefore imposing measures intended to discourage Iranian Jews from having more children?

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