The Daniel S. Abraham Center for Peace, a prominent liberal Zionist Israel lobbying group, purchased a full-page newspaper advertisement in Friday’s edition of the New York Times, calling for the immediate separation of Israelis and Palestinians into separate countries to keep Israel as a Jewish majority state.
“Separation between Israelis and Palestinians is Essential. No separation today means a Palestinian majority by 2020,” warned the public service announcement.
Israel’s population is about 20 percent Palestinian, so what the ad rejects is Israel having to be responsible for millions of more Palestinians who are now living in-not-their own state. At the same time, the head of the organization, Clinton ally former Florida Congressman Robert Wexler, denies that there is something called an occupation in the West Bank. There is the not-so-subtle Trumpian suggestions that the Palestinian citizens of Israel will be living elsewhere if the two-state solution happens. Maybe they’ll go willingly to live in a country now foreign to them. Maybe not. Remains to be seen. But this suggests large, (maybe coerced who knows?) transfers of people are the only way to ensure peace and order between Jews and Arabs, as the ad refers to them.
“It’s Time for Separation,” the advertisement explains. “Separation today means a Jewish majority, State of Israel now and for Generations ahead.”
Or, as Alabama Gov. George Wallace put it: “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!”
In 1968, Wallace ran for president of the United States as a “Dixiecrat,” a dissident Southern Democrat outraged by their party leadership’s support for ending segregation in the South. (Like the Confederates he idolized, he also lost, but carried five Deep South states.) Democrats are coming to a similar impasse over the question of Palestinian rights, and how much they matter. Some Democrats are on the side of the segregationists, but this time they’re the leadership. And the Times helped get the word out about Two State Segregation.
The Daniel S. Abraham Center for Peace, run by a former Democratic Florida congressman Robert Wexler, bought the advertisement to run during the United Nations General Assembly, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday renewed his own call for a two-state solution, and invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to speak before the Knesset. President Abbas said settlements were destroying any chance of a two-state solution, and he would bring the matter up at the United Nations.
This isn’t the first time the Center has bought advertising in the Times. In 2015, around Hannukah, the group had said the creation of “demilitarized Palestinian state is not a gift to the Palestinians,” but in Israel’s best interest. “The only way Israel can remain a Jewish, democratic state is the Palestinians have a Palestinian state.”
How the “demilitarizing of the Palestinians” was going to work, the advertisement didn’t explain.” The Abraham Center for Peace has all sorts of charts and helpful brochures about the numbers of “Core Jews,” “Arabs,” and “Others” living there. The map and text in the
The map and text in the Times makes clear the reason the group is so determined to implement a two-state solution is the fear of the dilution of the Jewishness of Israel.
What’s confusing to me, as a reader, about the advertisement is what this means for Palestinian citizens of Israel. Are they supposed to retreat to the West Bank and Gaza Strip? Are the Palestinians in the occupied territories going to stop having kids? The paranoia about Israel losing its Jewish majority is unmistakable. The fear of a binational state is also spelled out in black and white.
“According to a recent poll, 97 percent of Israeli Jews want to live in a Jewish state. Without a two-state solution, Israel will end up as a binational state, half-Jewish and half-Arab,” it reads. “In a few more years, it will be too late. The dream of a Jewish state will be lost.”
And it specifically calls out Netanyahu, “Mr. Prime Minister, your people want to live in Jewish state, not half-Jewish, half-Arab — you can make it happen.”
Outcry over the segregationist advertisement grew online after journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted out a photo of an early edition of the paper.
“Explicitly racist and quintessentially liberal Zionist full page ad in NY Times by @AbrahamCenter warns of Israel’s loss of ethnic purity,” Blumenthal wrote.
Blumenthal also pointed out that the Wexler was one of the appointees to the Democratic party’s convention platform committee chosen by Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton to vote down Cornel West’s contention that the word “occupation” was appropriate for the party’s plan to rule, “because it undermines our common objective…of the Democratic party to achieve a negotiated two state outcome that will result in an agreement on borders. And once you have borders the issue that propels your concern regarding what you refer to as occupation will be resolved.” Neither Palestinians nor Israelis deserve anything less, he says.
Daniel S. Abraham, now 92, also has ties to the Clintons. He is a major Clinton Foundation donor, of the $5 million to $10 million dollar caste.
During the drafting committee discussion with West, Wexler didn’t mention anything about maintaining the Jewishness of the Jewish state. The advertisement in the Times provides an even more candid view of what Gideon Levy called in a Sept. 13 Haaretz column on Israel’s “obsession” with maintaining a Jewish majority in Israel. Levy writes:
“It’s all based on an obsession: Israel must be a Jewish state at any cost. Just or unjust, good or not good, flourishing or not flourishing — the main thing is that it be Jewish. And as with any obsession, few can explain why and no one is allowed to doubt it. On the day Israel shakes this obsession and becomes a country like any other, a democracy like any other, it will become a safer and more just place,” he wrote. “For the time being, we have a major stumbling block.”