In his book The Battle for Justice in Palestine: The Case for a Single Democratic State in Palestine, Ali Abunimah uses a sort of test for moral action to address Israel’s claim of legitimacy and its “right” to exist as a Jewish state in historic Palestine.
Here is Ali Abunimah’s answer to the “only question” about the Jewish entity now – its legitimacy.
Let us accept, for the sake of argument, that Israel has a “right to exist as a Jewish state”—or to maintain its “Jewish character” or “Jewish and democratic character,” to use other common formulations—and that this means in practice that Israel has a right to maintain a Jewish demographic majority. Let us also leave aside for now the fact that the Jewish majority within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries was created when Zionist militias, and later Israel, expelled most of the indigenous Palestinian population in 1947 and 1948 and then prevented their return.
… Every right when with-held must have a remedy, and every injury its proper redress. If a person bears a right, then there must be some venue—usually a court of law—where she can seek to have that right enforced, to have an equitable penalty imposed on the violator, or to obtain some other form of legal relief.
By opposing Israel, by insisting on their internationally recognized right of return and their right for self determination, by simply procreating, Palestinian Arabs, the indigenous inhabitants of Israel and its occupation, are then said to be violating Israel’s “right” to exist. In order to maintain its “right”, Israel must resort to remedies. The following are some measures, as excerpted from Abunimah’s book, that Israel could take (and in many instances does take) against violators:
1) The “threat” from Palestinian refugees is dealt with by abrogating their right of return.
2) Violators in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are expelled, a step that would serve the dual purpose of reducing their existing numbers and eliminating the risk of future violations by Palestinian babies who might be born to those expelled.
3) Failing that, Israel could issue restraining orders against Palestinian parents to limit the number of children they are permitted to have or engage in other practices designed to deter the births of Palestinians and encourage those of Jews.
4) Similar measures could be used against other non-Jewish violators as well. Among political or legal measures, Israel could punish and prevent violations by stripping Palestinian citizens of Israel of their right to vote or by maintaining a separate regime for Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied territories that allows Jews to get on with running the country without any challenge to their power and control of resources.
These preposterous measures “flow naturally from the assertion that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state, yet it is impossible to think of a single measure that does not do outrageous violence to basic principles of human rights, equality, and antiracism.”
In other words, Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is a right to abuse non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs. It is difficult to envision a policy that Israel can practice toward Palestinians in order to preserve its “character” that is not morally obscene. What answer can there be for the question Sara Roy has recently asked?
If the Israelis were thinking clearly, one person said, ‘everyone could benefit. All they must do is give us a window to live a normal life and all these extremist groups would disappear. Hamas would disappear. The community must deal with … these groups, not IDF tanks and planes. Our generation wants to make peace and it is foolish for Israel to refuse. The next generation may not be as willing as we are. Is that what Israel truly wants?’ In the first six months of 2016, the Ministry of the Interior reported that 24,138 babies were born in Gaza, averaging 132 a day. In August 2016 alone, 4961 babies were born, or 160 a day: more than six babies every hour and one baby every nine minutes. The distance between Gaza City and Tel Aviv is 44 miles. ‘What will Israel do when there are five million Palestinians living in Gaza?’