I’m still processing President Obama’s speech yesterday outlining his thoughts on obtaining long-term stability and peace in the Middle East. I’ve thought that a two-state solution would be in Israel’s best interest for a while.
Ron Brownstein of National Journal recently pointed out that the “browning of America” will inevitably force Republicans to deal with the issue of immigration differently than they now do, if only to maintain their presidential election viability. Growing Hispanic populations in what are now “red states” will change the electoral landscape, as Hispanics (with the possible exception of Cuban exiles in South Florida) have traditionally voted for the Democrats. Thanks to supporters of California’s Prop 187 in 1994 and to, among others, Tom Tancredo, the 2008 presidential candidate for about as long as it takes to drink a cup of coffee, the Republican Party finds itself in an untenable situation on the immigration issue, if only due to the demographics. The Hispanic population is growing, and growing in places that are currently Republican strongholds. Absent a change, that control is unlikely to continue.
Now look at Israel. The demographic trend shows faster non-Jewish population growth than Jewish population growth–the so-called demographic time bomb. It doesn’t take much math to figure out that at some point down the road (perhaps way, way down the road) there will be more “others” than Jews to vote in Israeli elections. The extreme of that argument is that, ceteris paribus, there is a point in the future where Israel is no longer a Jewish state.
Depending on how seriously Israel’s leaders take this “threat” and how seriously they desire to ensure Israel’s status as a Jewish State, movement toward creating long-term peace with the Palestinians would be in their long-term interest. I suspect that the Arab community realizes that time is on their side. Israel’s leaders probably also know that the sand in their hourglass is finite, too.
History rarely moves in straight lines; present trends rarely continue unabated for long periods. The question is: Are Republicans and Israeli leaders willing to bet the ranch on that.