Zionist leaders from around the world are debating ways and means to effect further ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as consolidating Jewish influence and domination in the western hemisphere, especially North American and Europe.
Participating in the three-day conference, organized by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI), are leaders of major Jewish organizations in the United States and Canada as well academics, rabbis and Jewish business tycoons from around the world.
Speakers at the conference will include, among others, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, opposition head MK Binyamin Netanyahu, JPPPI Board Chairman and former US ambassador Dennis Ross, Jewish Agency Chairman Ze'ev Bielski, and Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinharz.
One paper to be discussed during the conference, entitled "The Jewish People in 2030," suggests that the world is unlikely to see a significant increase in the number of Jews.
Furthermore, the paper states that "the Jewish people is facing a serious problem of high quality leadership, spiritual, political and professional with no clear trend of improvement."
According to the Israeli media, participants, dubbed as the crème de le crème of the Jewish people, are discussing three main themes: growing western opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, which many delegates viewed as expression of "anti-Semitism," strengthening Israel's Jewish identity, an implicit reference to Israeli efforts and plans to check Palestinian demographic growth, and assimilation of Jews in the West.
Speakers have castigated "voices critical of Israel" at the American arena, an apparent reference to a recent study by two prominent American academics which claimed that the American policy in the Middle East was largely determined by Israel and its powerful Jewish lobby and also to the recent publication of a book, carrying the same message, by former President Jimmy Carter.
According to reporters covering the conference (Palestinian reporters are barred from accessing West Jerusalem) , Zionist leaders from North America argued that "a wise but effective approach" ought to be adopted in order to isolate "these non-conformist voices" and forestall the possibility of "snowballing."
"We should do everything possible to prevent these voices from evolving into a phenomenon, but without appearing as silencing freedom of speech," Dennis Ross, President Clinton's former peace envoy to the Middle East reportedly said. Ross is the JPPPI Chairman.
Ross reportedly avoided calling the two American professors, John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago and Steven Walt from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, anti-Semites.
However, he suggested that their incrimination of the Jewish lobby could mushroom into a wider opposition to Israel and her influence inside the United States.
Both Mersheimer and Walt spoke of a consortium of Zionist American groups and individuals that has forced successive American administrations to support Israel in contravention of American national interests.
With regard to "Israel's shrinking demographic advantage in Palestine," Zionist leaders reportedly proposed a "set of measures" to check the "worrying trend," including encouraging higher birth rates among Jews by offering financial and other inducements, exploring ways and means to lower the Arab birth rate especially in Israel proper and encouraging Palestinians to emigrate as well as promulgating laws that would strengthen Israel's Jewish identity.
Some speakers suggested that economic and financial inducements be channeled exclusively to Jews in Israel through special non-governmental agencies in order to avoid the appearance of adopting discriminatory policies against Israel's Arab minority. Arabs in Israel constitute nearly a quarter of the country's population.
The conference was due to debate the contentious issue of anti-Semitism.
Some Zionist leaders, like former Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, reportedly suggested that Israel and Zionism stood to actually benefit from the anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli atmospheres in Europe and even in North America.
Netanyahu's argued that anti-Semitism had always been and continued to be "a key reason" behind "the return of Jews to their ancestral land."
However, many Jewish leaders in North America and some in Europe had serious reservations about Netanyahu's views, calling them "paradoxical" and "un-Jewish," on the ground that most Jews living in the West don't wish to immigrate to Israel and are well-integrated in their respective societies.
No mention of "Peace"
Interestingly, peace between Israel and the Palestinian people was conspicuously absent from the deliberations of the conference.
According to Rene Shmuel, the former Chief Rabbi of France who is participating in the conference, the issue of making peace with Israel's neighbors had no place on the conference's agenda.
Rene protested that the word "peace" seemed to have been a "four-letter word" in Jewish public discourse.
"Without peace, the Jewish people have no future," Ha'aretz quoted Rene as saying.
The JPPPI was founded in 2002 by the Jewish Agency as an independent institution tasked not with research, but with using available information to conduct planning for the Jewish people as a whole.
July 12, 2007 © 2007 Khalid Amayreh