Friday, November 21, 2008

New Series: Demographic warfare

How Israel uses its people as a tactical weapon

© 2008 Text and photos: Ronald de Hommel

The Israeli settlement policies in the occupied territories are infamous throughout the world. But that Israel uses the same techniques on its own territory is less known. Even amongst the people it concerns: its own population.

The Galilee, in Northern Israel has always been a predominantly Muslim part of the country. In recent years many new Jewish settlements have sprung up. The idea is to increase the number of Jews in the region. The settlements are strategically positioned in between Arab villages to prevent them from growing towards each other. One of those Jewish communities is Shimshit a pleasant sleep city of 500 young middleclass families. Together with neighbouring Bet Zarzir, an Arab village it's a perfect example of the subtle demographic warfare of Israel.

"The only contact we have with our neighbours is that they steal our bikes and cars," tells Anne vom Stein. "Just kidding", she adds with a cynical grin. "But," she continues with a serious voice, "that is the general mood here towards Muslims in the region."

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Financial Consultant at SNS Securities in Amsterdam