In response largely to Jonathan Tobin’s post noting the poor sales figures for Peter Beinart’s latest book, Time’s Joe Klein notes, “There still is no coherent response to Beinart’s argument that the West Bank settlement policy is a long-term demographic threat to Israel’s security.” While demography has become a constant talking point among those who argue, in effect, that a bad but quick deal is better than a slower but substantive one, the issue is more complex—and nuanced—than that portrayed by Klein. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics subordinates science to the Palestinian Authority’s political direction. It counts no Palestinian emigration, double-counts Jerusalem, and has simply changed numbers at the request of the Palestinian leadership. The net error may be upwards of one million people.
As an aside, it is rather rich that Klein suggests that reviews of Beinart’s work by folks like Bret Stephens, Jonathan Rosen, and Noah Pollak are nothing but name-calling and invective, as they are all quite substantive. When it comes to name-calling and a race to the bottom, Klein is in a league of his own.