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Israel: Martin Kramer Wants to Put Gaza on a Diet

Martin Kramer

Martin Kramer

This piece is from Richard Silverstein and covers the sick anti-Muslim speech by Martin Kramer at the Herzliya Conference in Israel.

Martin Kramer Spouts Anti-Muslim Racism

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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.

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  • I tried to post this once before, but for some reason it hasn’t gone through; so I’ll try again.

    Lawrence – My basis for forming a judgment about a religion is what its scriptures say. For Christianity, for instance, that would be the Bible, particularly the life and teachings of Jesus (peace to him). If I judge Christianity by, let’s say, the domestic and foreign policies of the supposedly Christian USA and the supposedly ‘born again’ former President George W. Bush – or if I judged it by many of the ‘evangelical’ Christians – I wouldn’t have a very favorable opinion of Christianity. However, when I judge ‘evangelical’ Christians, George W. Bush, and the USA by the Bible, I don’t find them to be very Christian!

    In the same way, my basis for judging Islam is the Qu’ran and the Hadith (as much as I have access to them). I am not a Muslim, and have only recently begun reading the Qu’ran; but everything I have read thus far is of a very high moral character. Justice, mercy, truth, and compassion run strongly throughout the Qu’ran when you don’t rip verses out of their context (the immediate context, the wider context of the whole of the Qu’ran, and the context of the time at which it was revealed and the circumstances). If I judge Islam by some of its supposed followers, I wouldn’t have a very high opinion of it; but when I judge those supposed followers by the Qu’ran, I don’t find them to be very Islamic! From what I see of the Qu’ran, Islam and INjustice are incompatible. When I see supposed Muslims acting with injustice and lack of compassion, I maintain they are impostors, or ‘wolfs in sheep’s clothing’, not true representatives of Islam. There are large numbers of true Muslims who repudiate the actions and words of the impostors. I think highly of them, and their Revelation.

  • Les


    Jewish control? Um.. where did I say that? There’s a world of difference between claiming that there exists a pro-Israel bias and claiming that Jews control the world.

    “please explain why Yasser Arafat got a nobel prize?”

    You’d have to ask the Nobel committee. Why did Begin, Rabin, and Peres get the Nobel Prize?

  • Ahmed


    If you actually think sharia is cruel and unjust, you really haven’t studied fiqh and sharia at all.

  • Hellboy


    Typical fantasies of Jewish control, if there is some evil cabal out to Arab leaders in a bad light (which requires no effort at all) please explain why Yasser Arafat got a nobel prize?


    I wasn’t trying to excuse Kramer’s comments I was arguing with Les’ nonsense.

  • Sir David

    Hellboy: two wrongs don’t make a right. Is the best argument you can come up with to excuse such hate and stupidity? It’s ok because that other naughty boy over there does it. Grow up.
    If you want an example compare how often the president of Iran is quoted on what I assume is your news channel of choice. Fox news.

  • Islam and justice are simply incompatible.Have you heard of Sharia laws,which are most discriminatory against the Non-Muslims.Just as one swallow does not make summer,nor does one verse of Quran makes Islam as a just religion.Go to a Muslim country like Pakistan and see for yourself Islamic justice in action through Islamic Sharia barbaric laws.

  • Les


    You know that’s bull. The statements of Arabs and Muslims are carefully monitores by organizations like MEMRI, which American journalists use to draw conclusions on Arab culture and media, and make their way into the media constantly.

    But you missed the larger point. I’m asking would an Arab fellow at Harvard retain his position if he had said the equivalent about Jews, that they should be forced into an enclosure and denied food? Of course not. The ADL, Israel Lobby, and media would make sure to raise hell. Anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism is socially acceptable. You’re allowed to say whatever you want about Arabs, Palestinians in particular. That’s painfully obvious. And it’s amazing that you think it isn’t true.

  • Hellboy

    “Imagine the reaction if an Arab speaker said the equivalent about Jews?”

    What are you talking about? Countless Arab speakers have said far worse things and they barely make the news.

  • I have to wonder about the statements that some supposedly ‘smart’ people make! Can he really even being paying attention to what he himself is saying?

    I noticed a wonderful Quranic statement at the top of the Blog “God, Faith, and a Pen: Living in the Light of His Love” ( “Believers, never let the hatred of a people toward you move you to commit injustice.” (Qur’an 5:8) I looked up the verse, and in its entirety it says: “O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.” It certainly seems like Islam is a much kinder faith than whatever religion Mr. Kramer follows (if he follows any). If we are to show kindness and justice to those who consider themselves our enemies, how much more so toward those who don’t consider themselves our enemies. Whether or not they’re our enemies, we owe them justice, as a result of God-consciousness! So how is Mr. Kramer’s idea of ignoring people in their need, so that they die off, justice?

  • Leonora

    I looked at the source and found this worth sharing:
    “Tree says:
    “Aging populations reject radical agendas and the Middle East is no different.”
    How old is Kramer? His spouting of radical agendas put the lie to his own assertion. Radical agendas seem to be the ken of an awful lot of old farts these days. And I do mean “awful”.”

  • Les

    Putting them on a diet is far too generous characterization of his genocidal comments. Imagine the reaction if an Arab speaker said the equivalent about Jews? What Kramer proposes would result in the deaths of thousands of Palestinian children especially since the necessary amount of aid is not reaching Gaza to begin with due to Israel’s barbaric policies.

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