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.