When 1 and 1 don't make 2

July 23, 2012
Richard Kuper

Contrary to the laws of math

How did it happen that Israel is endangering the solid Jewish majority that lives in 78 percent of the area of the Land of Israel, because it wants to annex another 3 percent in the West Bank?

Shaul Arieli, 23 July 2012

For years, Israelis have ranked low in the sciences and mathematics – 41 out of 64 countries, according to the Program for International Student Assessment tests. That is not surprising when one examines the conduct of the state with respect to teaching these subjects, especially in the past decade. Following are a few simple mathematical problems whose answers could have gotten more than half the country out in the streets demonstrating if we had only studied the way we should have in elementary school.

For example, how is it possible that 92 percent of the population is not capable of making the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox ) sector – whose proportion in the general population does not exceed 8 percent – share the burden of military service and take part in the work force, while allowing it to continue to be supported by generous funding? And when it comes to residing over the Green Line, why is the Haredi population there, which for the most part is not Zionist, five times larger than it is in proportion to the greater Jewish public living in Israel proper? Where do the Israelis who live in the territories work if fewer than 7 percent of the construction in Judea and Samaria is used for purposes of agriculture and industry, while all the rest is for residential and public buildings?

Why does 91 percent of the Jewish public inside Israel allow the 9 percent that live beyond the Green Line to determine the image, face and moral status of the country in the eyes of the international community? And how does that fit in with the ongoing infringement of the rule of law, and the undermining of the Israel Defense Forces and of human rights? Why does the majority agree that many billions of shekels be channeled to the welfare state over the Green Line when others living in the country are not allowed to enjoy the same benefits?

How does 1 percent of the Jewish population – which is supposed to be removed from its homes in a final-status agreement with the Palestinians – succeed in preventing an evacuation process that could benefit the other 99 percent of the population in the State of Israel and the large settlement blocs? And how did the 20 settlements in which less than 1 percent of the Jewish population lives succeed in getting the government to propose in talks with the Palestinians the creation of a border that annexes them to Israel – a line that is twice as long as the Green Line and would cost the state billions of shekels to build and maintain?

How did it happen that Israel is endangering the solid Jewish majority that lives in 78 percent of the area of the Land of Israel which is under its sovereignty, merely because of its greed to annex another 3 percent in the West Bank? How is it possible that, within the framework of an exchange of lands with the Palestinians, Israel is offering to hand over agricultural lands in communities in the Gaza envelope, the Lachish region, the area of Arad and the Beit She’an Valley – some of whose communities date back to the Tower and Stockade period before the establishment of the state – in order to reserve large swaths of land for new settlements and settlers that have not yet been born?

Why does Israel refuse to absorb several thousand Palestinian refugees on a humanitarian basis for reasons of family reunification, when it time and again declares that under any final-status agreement Jerusalem will remain united under Israeli sovereignty, which will make the city’s 350,000 Palestinian residents Israeli citizens? And how is it that, in the same breath, there are government ministers who propose that 10 percent of the country’s Arab citizens should be transfered to a Palestinian state when it is established – even though the price of such a move would be destruction of the state’s relations with the other 90 percent of Israeli Arabs who would remain here?

In order to explain this kind of mathematics, one does not need a government that is supported by 94 coalition members, of which 43 are ministers or deputy ministers. Moreover, all of them together have not succeeded in passing even one decision based on the rules of mathematics that we have learned in elementary school.

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