Dennis Ross and David Makovsky (Be Strong and of Good Courage, September 2019, pp. 276-280):
“For the last decade, one person has stood out among all others in challenging the analysis of those who say that demographic trends require Israel to separate from the Palestinians. Yoram Ettinger, a former member of the Israel Foreign Ministry, has been the leading voice in seeking to debunk the demographic argument…. It is Ettinger who is the intellectual and political spearhead of the efforts to counter the demographic threat narrative.
“[Ettinger] has supported analytical work…to prove that the Jewish majority is not threatened by demographic trends. In his words, ‘The Jewish state is not facing a potential Arab demographic time bomb. In fact, Israel benefits from a robust Jewish demographic tailwind.’
“Ettinger’s analysis is based on several key assertions. First, the Palestinian census numbers… are exaggerated, counting Palestinians who live abroad. Second, Israeli demographers who believe in the demographic time bomb make the mistake of double-counting the Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem and those who marry Israelis – counting them in the Palestinian Authority and also as part of Israel’s population. Third, Palestinian birth rates have declined and Israeli birth rates have grown… And fourth, Israel’s population has the potential for much greater growth given Jewish immigration (Aliyah). As Ettinger observes, Jewish immigration “has persisted since 1882, featuring waves every 20 years… The huge potential of Aliyah – from France, Germany, additional European countries, Russia, Ukraine ad Argentina – awaits a pro-active Aliyah policy, which has not been undertaken since the end of Prime Minister Shamir’s Administration in 1992.”
“Ettinger sees net-migration out of the West Bank and he does not count the… Palestinians in Gaza in the demographic balance…. He rejects talk of near parity in numbers today….”
Ross and Makovsky never bothered to discuss the issue with me, employing misrepresentation by members of Israel’s demographic establishment, which have been wrong, wronger and wrongest.
The Middle East Journal, The Middle East Institute, Washington, DC, Spring 2013: “The argument promoted by Ettinger has proven extraordinarily attractive…for influential calls for Israel to annex Judea and Samaria…. This remarkably (if partially) successful campaign to transform public perceptions of the demographic problem began with Ettinger…. Ettinger’s efforts had a major impact on the debate over the implications of demography for the peace process…. [Ettinger’s] publications and interviews were quoted and cited by a multitude of bloggers and editorialists and carried prominently by Jewish community newspapers throughout the world….”
Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, who was Israel’s Chief Negotiator with Syria and Ambassador to the USA (The Brink of Peace, July 1999, pp. 164-167):
“In 1994, the peace process had seemed to be in full swing…. In May 1994, an organized campaign began in the US against the idea of stationing US troops on the Golan as peace-keepers in the event of an Israeli-Syria agreement. The campaign was orchestrated and carried out by right-wing organizations and… visitors from Israel… the former Minister for Congressional Affairs in Israel’s Washington Embassy, Yoram Ettinger. The organizers targeted Congress, the media and the organized Jewish community. They sought to convey the message that sending US troops as peacekeepers to the Golan was bad for America and bad for Israel. The Golan was a dangerous place, and the American soldiers stationed there would be exposed to terrorist attacks and other dangers. While the US could lose the lives of its soldiers and become entangled in a dangerous foreign arena, Israel would lose her freedom of action and could jeopardize the whole fabric of the crucial relationship with the US. This message was repeated in an organized letter-writing campaign, in briefings on Capitol Hill and in a stream of memoranda….
“We saw the campaign as a shrewd effort to controversalize the Israeli-Arab peace process and to provide an American peg for opposing the notion of an Israeli-Syrian settlement…. Once an American dimension was introduced into the equation – the stationing of US peacekeepers – America decision makers and opinion makers and those concerned with the health of the US-Israel relationship were entitled to raise their voice and exercise their political weight…. The message was the same: I as an American citizen believe that relinquishing the Golan Heights will necessitate the stationing of US buffer troops, who will be exposed to murderous attacks from Arab irregulars. The American people will not accept casualties among the US peacekeeping forces and rightly so. Any such deployment of US troops will begin with good intentions and end with American body bags and vehement American protest demonstrations. This will no doubt led to a rise in Anti-Semitism in the US.
“In May 1994, the organizers of the campaign… demanded discussion and clarification of the plan to place US peacekeepers on the Golan…. On June 28, the NY Times columnist Abe Rosenthal published a column titled ‘Americans on the Golan: Will Congress debate the issue?’…. The campaign acquired a new vitality and much greater significance when the Republicans took charge of both houses of Congress…. It did cast a shadow over the prospect of a significant upgrading of the American-Syrian relationship in the event of an Israeli-Syrian agreement….
“This Congressional opposition had at least some negative impact on Assad’s motivation to move forward in his peacemaking with Israel….”