There are other countries in the world with a similar demographic split: Syria, Iraq and in the past Yugoslavia and they have become a synonym for catastrophe. Those who prefer the sanctity of the Land of Israel, over the people of Israel, destine Israel to a similar, hellish, binational future.
In a desperate attempt to deny reality, supporters of annexation have invented other demographic data, what has come to be known of late as “alternative facts”. They argue that there has been an over-count of the Palestinian population in the West Bank of more than 1 million people, a claim that has been resoundingly rejected by the leading demographers in Israel. However, even if we were to accept their figures, the non-Jewish population would still be approximately a third of the total. This is a significantly lower number than the accepted one, but it in no way detracts from the one overwhelming conclusion that can be derived from the data: the very future of the Zionist enterprise depends on separation from the Palestinians and the demographic issue is the real existential threat. Somehow, we will handle the Iranians, the demographic trends are inescapable.
Some believe that we have already crossed the point of no-return and that it will be politically and economically impossible to separate from the Palestinians, because no future government will be able to move the approximately 90,000 Israelis who live east of the barrier fence, even if it wishes to do so. This fatalistic conclusion denies Israel the ability to determine its future and leads to our demise as a Jewish and democratic state. This is a fate that most of the people of Israel are unwilling to accept, as clearly emerges in public opinion polls from the strong majority that opposes a binational state.
Admittedly, it will not be easy, but it is doable. At the height of the Russian Aliyah (immigration) in the 1990s, Israel absorbed 30,000 immigrants each month, people who did not know the language and culture and who lacked both housing and employment. We can surely absorb Israelis, who will only have to move a few kilometers and in many cases not even have to change their places of employment. It is a matter of leadership and of achieving an agreement with the Palestinians. Time is pressing.
It is doubtful whether the two-state solution can survive another four to eight years of inaction, if that is Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Donald Trump’s intention. In reality, there is no status quo. The number of settlers who do not live in the primary settlement “blocs” is growing steadily and the territory available for land swaps is being used for other purposes.
The solution, however, also depends on the secular population, which has rallied to the flag so many times in the past, donned its uniforms and manned tanks. It is now called upon to serve the nation once again and to fill the Land of Israel with little secular Hebrews. It’s for the future of the state.