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!