This parody from the Israeli TV sketch comedy show Eretz Nehederet is set in a binational state in the year 2048 when the Israeli and Palestinian populations are exactly balanced.
What happens if just one Jew leaves to go on vacation, giving the Palestinians a majority?
It lampoons – while at the same time reinforcing – the Israeli obsession with demographics and controlling the Palestinian population.
It also throws light on a liberal Zionist conceit that all of Israel’s racist discrimination can be overlooked, explained away or even justified as “democratic” as long as Jews maintain a majority, however slender. It’s only when Jews become a minority ruling over a majority that we will be permitted to begin talking about “apartheid.”
Amusing as it is though, this sketch does not escape the prevailing racism. It presents a “binational” state as a nightmare which Israelis would always be on the edge of fleeing, and at the same time it posits the failed two-state solution – in effect ethnic segregation – as the obvious and better alternative.
In the comedy sketch, Israel’s control of demography is achieved by comparatively benign means.
Reality is already much uglier: today, Israel attempts to control the Palestinian population with a host of racist laws and practices – up to and including periodic massacres such as the most recent one in Gaza whose third anniversary will be marked this week.
What the comedy reveals is Israeli anxiety and knowledge that Israel’s claimed “right to exist as a Jewish state” can only be enforced with the crudest forms of discrimination. It is, in effect, an admission that Zionism is racism.