If nothing else, the right has persuaded me of this: We need to offer every West Bank Palestinian the option of voting in Israeli elections. If you refuse to allow them a country, for God’s sake, allow them the vote.
“I truly believe that our right to the Land of Israel holds true whether or not [there is a majority]. It is just as when Ben-Gurion established the state and there were 600,000 [Jewish] people facing one and a half to two million Arabs. Our right to the land of Israel was strong and present then. And it exists now as well. Therefore, the majority is not meant to be the deciding factor in our decision making.”
— Yigal Dilmoni, deputy CEO of the settlement movement’s Yesha Council
A senior Israeli settlement movement official, responding to statistics cited by the Israeli military indicating that Jews are now a minority in the Holy Land, stated this week that Jews have the right to rule Israel even if Arabs become a majority within the country.
The statement came hours after a furor erupted Monday in the Knesset, where figures cited by an army colonel showed that some three million Palestinians now live in the West Bank and another two million in the Gaza Strip.
Combined with the 1.8 million Arab citizens of Israel and the 300,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, the statistics meant that from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, Arabs may outnumber Israel’s 6.6 million Jews by as many as 600,000 people. . . .
If nothing else, this week the Yesha Council succeeded in persuading me of one thing: We need to offer every adult Palestinian in the West Bank and East Jerusalem the option of voting in Israeli elections. I want to have the option of voting for an Arab prime minister.
For fifty years, the settlers have run this country. For some forty of those fifty, Likud has run it. They’ve had their chance. They’ve cocked it up. It’s time to expand the electoral roles. It’s time for some new blood here. It’s time for some democracy here.
If you refuse to allow them a country, for God’s sake, allow them the vote.