The radical babes of Gaza

I want another baby. I really do. Yassine-not so much.

But he may not have to worry-at least not if Martin Kramer has his way. The current fellow at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs has suggested I -and other Palestinian women from Gaza- should deliberately be stopped from having babies because chances are, they will be grow up to be radicals.

According to the Electronic Intifada, who first broke the story last week, Kramer offered this fasinating piece of solicited advice in the annual Herzliyah Conference in Israel earlier this month in which he called on “the West” to take measures to limit the births of Muslim Palestinians of Gaza and consider them a form of terrorism, or, as Kramer puts it, “extreme demographic armament”. He also praised the unconscionable Israeli siege for getting the ball rolling already and reducing the numbers of Palestinian babies there (see: infanticide; Gaza Diet). If your skin didn’t curl watching the audience clap at the end of that video, well, save your soul somehow.

Family Planning, the Martin Kramer way

Kramer’s argument: Gaza is a cauldron of crazy; there is already an excess of aimless young Muslim men loitering around and many most all of them will be extremists! Solution: they shouldn’t be born to start with. Like I said: brilliant!

How does he suggest they implement this ground-breaking plan? Stop providing “pro-natal subsidies” that encourage these births. Pro-natal subsidies, you might ask? Is that like pre-natal vitamins? Close, but spinal bifida or not, a baby is still a baby. Kramer is referring to food and humanitarian assistance for “Palestinians with refugee status”, who make up 70% of the Gaza Strip ( and of whom, I might add, 40% are already malnourished, and 80% rely on food hand-outs for survival).

Yes, you read that correctly. “In other words”, says MJ Rosenberg, Kramer seems to be saying “starve the Palestinians so they don’t have babies and…starving the babies so they don’t grow up.”

Lest an outraged public be all up in arms about…plagiarism, Kramer himself notes the idea is “not at all original”. Got THAT right…let’s see, where HAVE we heard this kind of chilling drivel before? Hmmm. Oh wait- the Nazis beat you to it! Except back then they called it Eugenics. Juan Cole contends it is a recycled form of Malthusianism.

Nice company you keep, Kramer. Way to hog the limelight.

One would think such unapologetic racism need not even warrant discussion. Ever the flag bearer of academic iniquity freedoms, Harvard disagrees.

This, despite the fact that Kramer’s ideas appears to meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide according to the Geneva Convention (which includes measures “intended to prevent births within” a specific “national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”).

Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah spread the word about it, trying to force Harvard to take a stand, but instead they rushed to his defense.

I wonder how long Mr. Kramer’s views would be tolerated if — all other things being equal — he were an Arab scholar who had called for Jews to be placed in a giant, sealed enclosure which virtually no one is allowed to leave and enter, and deprived of food and schooling for their children in order to reduce their birthrate?” Abunimah asked.

The ghastliness of it all was best summed up by an exchange between the mock Dan Halutz and Doron Almog to the real Martin Kramer on Twitter:

danhalutz RT @doronalmog: @DanHalutz Remember that time u, me, & @Martin_Kramer debated @Harvard over drinks on how to get rid of those superfluous Gazans? Good times

danhalutz @DoronAlmog Of course! @Martin_Kramer was all about the “pro-natal subsidies” and you just wanted to bulldoze those Gazans. Me, I like F16s

danhalutz @Martin_Kramer Dear Sir: I admire your brilliant ideas but fear ending pronatal subsidies will not eliminate superfluous Arabs fast enough.

danhalutz @Martin_Kramer: I say replace ‘pronatal’ subsidies with ‘pro-morbid’ ones: cluster bombs, white phosphorus, napalm. Let’s co-author a paper!

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  1. Ellie Light

    Gaza-Mom – great post! Over here in America, there’s a huge outpouring of rage over Kramer’s genocidal policies. He’s definitely lost all credibility as an “authority” in the Middle East.

  2. This is just so vile! I went over to Kramers site to read his “retorts” and he is full of the usual doublespeak:” I said blue, not Blue.” And he is clearly taking great pleasure that this speech has brought him his 10 minutes of fame.

  3. “starve the Palestinians so they don’t have babies and starve the babies so they don’t grow up”

    Chilling. Horrifying.

    The photo label, on the other hand, is brilliant.

  4. This man’s hypocrisy and narcissism are unbelievable. One other point that needs to made is that Gazans wouldn’t be in this dire situation were it not for the extremist actions of the Israelis, and that these extremist actions are subsidized to the tune of $3+ billion a year by hardworking Americans. Cut THAT enormous subsidy and make it impossible for Israeli extremism to destroy Gaza’s infrastructure, then you’ll have peace.

  5. Vulnerable males with low standing actually do make perfect victims/converts for extremism. Then again, if you don’t think terror is extremism, you don’t think these young men are victims… in which case you’re not thinking.

  6. This Kramer fellow and his minions are vile disgusting racist turds! To be joking about such things as genocide would have landed them in jail if they talked about any other group like that in America. And Harvard lost alot of credibility over this issue. Would they have been quick to defend this guy if he was a right wing Neo Nazi calling for the annihilation of Jews and other nonwhite groups? Of course not he would have been labelled a racist anti semite and tarred and feathered! The hypocrisy is all too clear in this case.

  7. this blog represents another point of view.

  8. Guy from Norway

    Hello everyone.
    This article is quite interesting and sets the spotlight on some really serious issues.
    First of all I have to say that I am against forcing Palestinian women to not have the freedom to give birth to as many children as they want.
    But he also points out a quite interesting fact this Kremer guy, the truth is that every child needs approval and identity from their parents(or older roll-moddels) and if they do not receive it, then they will search other places. And their is a possibility that some children will seek the approval they need in radical environments since they do not get it at home because it is so many children in the family.
    So my opinion is that a family should not have more children that they can manage to give love and approval to(this apply to every family not only the once in Gaza). Do you see my point?

  9. Oh my word. I cannot think of a single response to that man that can be printed…

  10. makes me just sick.

    i was thinking, maybe we should just cut out all the reproductive organs of all muslim women and be done with it (insert rolling of the eyes), i mean isn’t that the point/goal anyway? or better yet, carpet bomb all muslims and be done with it….

    really sad situation all the way around.

    may allah bless your efforts sister, your time, your family and your hereafter.

  11. TMR, your comment is obtuse beyond belief. What does it have to do with Kramer’s call for genocide?

    The way to constructively engage vulnerable, unemployed, restless young men, who could be potential recruits for extremists, would be to give them love, opportunity and hope. Not pre-empt the chance of their being born through the forced starvation of an entrapped suffering population (the Kramer final solution), or getting rid of the “excess young male population” once they’re here (perhaps with several more Gaza massacres?).

    You do realize you’re rationalizing genocide, don’t you? Talk about not thinking, or maybe you’re thinking all too clearly. All in all I’d prefer to think you’re just stupid, rather than evil, although you could be both.

    Excellent post, Gaza Mom. Harvard’s defense of Kramer is disgusting, and it’s a serious dent to the school’s reputation and honor. The problem isn’t the defense of Kramer’s right to freedom of speech (which I also support), but the school’s implicit endorsement of Kramer through their claim that his pronouncements are normative, serious, scholarly and worthy of academic discourse, rather than being what they are—a thuggish appeal to slow, gradualist genocide.

    And if Kramer’s words and language (his “thesis”) were directed at any other group, certainly if they were directed against a Jewish population, he would be disowned and condemned immediately by Harvard. The hypocrisy and double-standards are breath-taking. What can we take this as but a sad indication of the current deep-lying lethal racism, or at least tolerance of such, at the institution (most likely stemming from the heavy neoconservative presence there, among other things).

  12. jerrygates7

    Nice one, Gaza mom, Harvard, Huh? Nice school they have there, are they in Humanities, Social justice or Religion I forget?

    Needless to say this is yet another example of the disgraces that Harvard seems to foist on the planet’s poor, disenfranchised dark skinned peoples of the world.Dershowitz is a weasel, Bush a moron and Obama seems completely lost in the shuffles of DC, where the hell is the United States when people are really in trouble? Causing it!

  13. If god want a baby to live, who can kill him?

    We do not have a choice if we are born muslim or jew. Our only responsability is to thank god for what he has given us.

    The war has been won. It was won the moment the people from Gaza stood up to fight.

    It is time to rejoice and build the new Gaza.

    The people of Gaza no longer have to fight. Knowing they will fight is enough.

  14. Kids were born in war, poverty, political turmoil for centuries. Maybe there will never be the right time to have a baby, not enough money or safety issues…. If children are meant to be born into this world in this particular country – it’s their destiny, their life to live.

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