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Harvard Professor's Modest Proposal: Starve the Gazans into Having Fewer Babies

 
Gazing @ Orion
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02/26/2010 07:08 AM
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Harvard Professor's Modest Proposal: Starve the Gazans into Having Fewer Babies
Martin Kramer revealed his true colors at the Herzliya Conference, wherein he blamed political violence in the Muslim world on population growth, called for that growth to be restrained, and praised the illegal and unconscionable Israeli blockade of civilian Gazans for its effect on reducing the number of Gazans.

M. J. Rosenberg argued that Kramer's speech is equivalent to a call for genocide. It certainly is a call for eugenics.

It is shocking that Kramer, who has made a decade-long career of attacking social science understanding of the Middle East and demonizing anyone who departs even slightly from his rightwing Israeli-nationalist political line, should be given a cushy office at Harvard as a 'fellow' while spewing the most vile justifications for war crimes like the collective punishment of Gazan children.

Kramer is after all not nobody. He was an adviser to the Giuliani presidential campaign. He is listed as an associate of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the influential think tank in Washington of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He is associated with Daniel Pipe's 'Middle East Forum,' a neo-McCarthyite organization dedicated to harassing American academics who do not toe the political line of Israel's ruling Likud Party.

Kramer's remarks are wrong, offensive and racist by implication. He is driven to them by his nationalist ideology, which cannot recognize the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Israelis in 1948, cannot see that most Palestinians have been deprived by Israeli policies of citizenship rights (what Warren Burger called 'the right to have rights', as Margaret Somers pointed out), and that Palestinians are even at this moment being deprived of basic property and other rights by Israeli occupation. To admit that any of these actions produces a backlash is to acknowledge the Palestinian movements as forms of national liberation activism, and to legitimize Palestinian aspirations. Rightwing Zionism is all about erasing the Palestinians from history. And now Kramer wants to make it about erasing future Palestinian children!

Where have we seen the picture Kramer draws before? It is just a recycled form of Malthusianism, where the population growth rates of "some people" is seen as dangerous to society. Barbara Brown wrote of Apartheid South Africa:

' [White] South Africans who express a [concern with Black population growth] perceive a close relationship between population growth rates and political instability. There are two variants of this approach. The first holds that a growing black and unemployed population will mean increased poverty which will in turn lead to a black revolt. . .

In an opening address to a major private sector conference on 'population dynamics' in South Africa, the president of the 1820 Foundation argued that 'Rapid population growth translates into a steadily worsening employment future, massive city growth . . . and an increase in the number of poor and disadvantaged. All are rightly viewed as threats to social stability and orderly change.'

A second, but smaller, group believes the black threat arises simply out of the changing ratio of white to black. This group sees that 'THE WHITES ARE A DWINDLING MINORITY IN THE COUNTRY' and argues that this situation will lead to a 'similar reduction of white political authority'.

Some argue for birth control on even more overtly racist grounds, but few people in leadership positions do so, at least publicly. Debates in the House of Assembly have included remarks to the effect that blacks are unable to make a contribution to South African society and so should be encouraged to limit their numbers. The organiser of a 'Population Explosion' conference, a medical doctor who is deputy director of the Verwoerd Hospital, argued that whites must organise a family planning programme for blacks because the latter group is biologically incapable of exercising foresight.'


- Barbara B. Brown, "Facing the 'Black Peril': The Politics of Population Control in South Africa," Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2(Jan., 1987), pp. 256-273, this quote pp. 263-64.

There are other notorious examples of this sort of argument, including eugenics theorist Madison Grant, who warned in the early 20th century that white Americans were being swamped by inferior eastern and southern Europeans such as Poles, Italians, and Jews.

How ironic, that Kramer should now resort to the very kind of arguments Grant used to condemn Martin Kramer's ancestors being allowed to come to the United States.

As usual, Kramer, a notorious anti-intellectual opposed to the mainstream academic study of the Middle East, is wrong as a matter of social science.

Population growth in and of itself explains nothing, and certainly not terrorism. Between 1800 and 1900, Great Britain's population tripled, whereas France underwent a demographic transition and grew very slowly. Yet Britain experienced no revolution, no great social upheavals in that period. France, in contrast, lurched from war to war, from empire to monarchy to empire to Republic, and saw the rise of a plethora of radical social movements, including the Paris Commune.

High population growth can be a problem for development, and can contribute to internal conflict over resources, but it is only one factor. If economic growth outstrips population growth (say the economy grows 7 percent and population grows 3 per year), then on a per capita basis that is the same as 4 percent economic growth per capita per annum, which would be good for most countries. Or if a place is thinly populated and rich in resources, population growth may not be socially disruptive. Most countries in the world have grown enormously in population during the past century, yet they display vastly different rates of social violence.

Although under some circumstances, rapid population growth can contribute to internal social instability, it is irrelevant to international terrorism as a political tactic. The deployment of terror, which the US Federal Code defines as the use of violence against civilians for political purposes by a non-state actor, is always a form of politics. The Zionist terrorists who blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, which killed 91 persons and wounded 46, did not act because Jewish Irgun members had too many brothers and sisters. (And if you think about who exactly might have made an argument of that form in the 1940s, it becomes clear how smelly Kramer's is.) Irgun blew the hotel up because British Mandate intelligence had offices there, and because these Zionist activists did not care if they killed dozens of civilians.

Studies of groups that deploy violence against civilians for political purposes show that [pdf link] they are characterized by higher than average education and income, which correlate with smaller family size.

Political violence is about grievances, land, resources and politics. Palestinians were no more violent than any other group in the Middle East until they were ethnically cleansed and their property was stolen by Jewish colonists in their homeland, for which they never received compensation. As Robert Pape has shown, suicide bombings cluster in the area in and around Israel, in Iraq and Afghanistan/ Northern Pakistan, places where people feel militarily occupied. But there are none in Mali or Benin, countries with among the highest population growth rates in the world.

Kramer's argument is implicitly racist because he applies the population-growth calculus mainly to Arabs, whose family size he minds in ways that he does not others. Belize and the Cameroons have higher population growth rates than Libya. Is Kramer afraid of those two countries? Why is it only Arab children he marks as a danger?

If population growth rates were the independent variable in predicting a turn to terrorism, moreover, the fast-growing ultra-Orthodox or Haredi Jewish population of Israel would be a concern. But in fact they refuse to serve in the Israeli army and so are the least violent part of the population (though there have been occasional Haredi attacks on Palestinians.)

Kramer will find, in his new role as the Madison Grant of the twenty-first century, that his arguments are a double-edged sword that even more unsavory persons than he will gleefully wield against groups other than Arabs.


Link: [link to www.juancole.com]
Anonymous Coward
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02/26/2010 07:14 AM
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Re: Harvard Professor's Modest Proposal: Starve the Gazans into Having Fewer Babies
hitler

Dad is just so damn proud of his zionist kids.
Anonymous Coward
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02/26/2010 07:18 AM
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Re: Harvard Professor's Modest Proposal: Starve the Gazans into Having Fewer Babies
The Original 'Modest Proposal'

”I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled ...”

[link to www.google.com.hk]
Gazing @ Orion (OP)

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02/26/2010 07:22 AM
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Re: Harvard Professor's Modest Proposal: Starve the Gazans into Having Fewer Babies


Martin Kramer Spouts Anti-Muslim Racism at Prestigious Herzliya Conference





Thanks to M.J. Rosenberg for featuring this video of Martin Kramer speaking at Israel’s equivalent of Davos, the Herziliya conference.

Kramer, a noted pro-Israel neocon academic (think a slightly suaver, less bombastic version of Dershowitz), makes numerous sweeping judgments and statements that are at best arguable, and at worst flat out wrong, about Islamism. The first of them is this one, in which he rebuts the claim that the key to ending Islamism is resolving the Israel-Arab conflict:

In places like Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia, where Al Qaeda is most deeply entrenched, a just and lasting peace for the Palestinians would not make a shred of difference.

This is a ludicrous statement. But aside from that, the issue isn’t so much how Al Qaeda and its followers in those countries would react to a peace settlement, but how the mass of the world’s Arabs and Muslims would react. They are the pool from which the Islamists recruit, and without the leading radicalizing catalyst, Al Qaeda would rapidly lose the ability to recruit unless it sharply changed its political mission.

So what is for Kramer the greatest danger posed to the west by Islamism? Fertility. I kid you not. Those A-rabs are f(&^ing like rabbits and this is what will destroy western civilization as we know it. His thesis is, in short, that the younger the median age of a society, the more prone to violence it becomes. And conveniently for Kramer’s arguments, the media age in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza is under 20:

When you get below a median age of 20, you’re talking about places where Islamist radicalization is taking place on a massive scale. The biggest radicalizer is fertility hovering at 6, 7[%] and masses of economically superfluous young men of fighting age between 15-29…If a state can’t control these young men, then someone else will…

Radical Islam is a way for the superfluous sons to enter history.

So Kramer’s argument is that fertility will drive radicalization of Muslims societies and fuel the threat to the west. One of the ways this will happen is that many of these “superfluous” citizens will emigrate to the west and so spread the contagion here. But wait, there’s hope. If we can only bring about a decline of fertility rates, then Al Qaeda will wither and die for lack of disaffected recruits:

Aging populations reject radical agendas and the Middle East is no different.

This judgement sounds entirely like it was made up on the fly. Not to mention that it blames political disputes solely on demographic factors which is an absolute lie. But here’s the most disgusting part of this presentation, in which Kramer essentially argues that those western countries shipping humanitarian aid to Gaza should simply let babies there fend for themselves. After enough die, mamas will get the message and stop having any. This ghoulishness follows in the spirit of the Dov Weisglass, who bragged that Israel’s siege was putting Gaza “on a diet:”

Eventually this [declining fertility rates] will happen among the Palestinians too. But it will happen faster if the west stops pro-natal subsidies for Palestinians with refugee status. Those subsidies are one reason why Gaza’s population grew between 1997-2007 by an astonishing 40%. Israel’s present sanctions on Gaza have a political aim…but they also break Gaza’s runaway population growth and there is some evidence that they have.

That might begin to crack the culture of martyrdom which demands a constant supply of superfluous young men. That is rising to the real challenge of radical Islamism and treating it at its root.

If the Gaza strangulation regime is a violation of international law, then what you have just read is an intellectual defense of lawbreaking. I only wish that in addition to any Israeli or Hamas leaders, militants and generals who may be brought to justice that we could also bring such “intellectual” defenders of infant starvation into the dock as well.

Why doesn’t Kramer invent some way to sterilize child-bearing women? Wouldn’t that stem population growth? Perhaps Israel could drop some chemicals in the water supply or taint some of the meager food relief entering into Gaza with some contraceptive. Why not take your ideas to their natural conclusion? Why not, for that matter, seal off Gaza entirely so nothing gets in and then propose a la Jonathan Swift, that Gazans consume their children after they die of malnutrition or disease? Isn’t that truly the best way to reign in the runaway rabbitization of Gaza’s population?

And in case you were of a mind to give Kramer the benefit of the doubt in any way, consider this deliberate lie that he spreads about his critics (among them Phil Weiss and M.J. Rosenberg) who’ve claimed that his speech represents a defense of genocide:

Being accused of advocating genocide by people who daily call for Israel to be wiped off the map of the Middle East is rich.

Yes, that’s right, M.J. Rosenberg the Zionist seeks to wipe Israel off the map. And note that Kramer deliberately uses the same phrase falsely attributed to Ahmadinejad, thereby likening Weiss and Rosenberg to him. I tell you it’s a nifty piece of propaganda worthy of Der Shturmer. Mazel tov, Kramer. You’ve sunk to lows not previously seen since Danny Ayalon or Yvette Lieberman last opened their mouths. And this from a supposedly distinguished Harvard University professor.


Link: [link to www.richardsilverstein.com]
Anonymous Coward
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02/26/2010 07:28 AM
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Re: Harvard Professor's Modest Proposal: Starve the Gazans into Having Fewer Babies
Its hard to believe these jagoffs actually get paid by someone to do whatever it is they do.

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