Harvard Fellow Accused of Calling For West to End “Pro-Natal Subsidies” to Palestinians to Reduce Their Birthrate

There is an interesting controversy that has erupted over a recent speech by Martin Kramer, a fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Critics at Electronic Intifada denounced Kramer’s speech as a call for genocide when he called for the West to end support for Palestinian clinics and hospital for “pro-natal” care.

Kramer has written the column below insisting that he never made the comments attributed to him by the site. However, his own column includes the following passage from the speech:

Aging populations reject radical agendas, and the Middle East is no different. Now eventually, this will happen among the Palestinians too, but it will happen faster if the West stops providing pro-natal subsidies for Palestinians with refugee status. Those subsidies are one reason why, in the ten years from 1997 to 2007, Gaza’s population grew by an astonishing 40 percent. At that rate, Gaza’s population will double by 2030, to three million. Israel’s present sanctions on Gaza have a political aim – undermine the Hamas regime – but if 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 indoctrination, and treating it at its root.”

That seems pretty extreme to me. The clear import is that the West could reduce the birth rate of Palestinians.

He admits that he “called on it to desist from deliberately encouraging births through pro-natal subsidies for Palestinian ‘refugees.'” He adds the “pro-natal subsidy in Gaza is the unlimited promise of hereditary ‘refugee’ status to future generations.”

That does not appear to improve upon additional readings. While he does not call for genocide, he certainly calls for such measures to reduce the birth rate for Palestinians.

Martin’s Harvard bio states his affiliation as “Senior Fellow, National Security Studies Program. Former Director, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.”

For the Kramer column, click here.

14 thoughts on “Harvard Fellow Accused of Calling For West to End “Pro-Natal Subsidies” to Palestinians to Reduce Their Birthrate”

  1. Butters, I think the function of the Palestinians in the Arab world is to provide cheap labor. The Palestinians are the ones who do the menial jobs in wealthy Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. They are the industrial reserve army of the Arab world. That’s why the wealthy Arab countries contribute almost nothing to the Palestinian cause. They want the Palestians exactly where they are. Of course this is accompanied by empty gestures of solidarity.

  2. WARNING: If you’re from the PC Language Police, this post is going to piss you off. ha HA! Enjoy.


    Unlike those Jews in Israel who never do anything wrong. Like bulldoze a Palestinian house and then build over the rubble so they can house “Settlers”. Or use illegal ammunition. Or target civilians. Or assassinate.

    Here’s a nice little list of what the UN has had to say about Palestinians and Israelis . . since 1948.


    Pay close attention to who is getting admonished. It’s not exactly like “your team” has a sterling record on good behavior.

    While I will stipulate that the Arab community does exploit their own refugee problem, just not in the way you state. Let me show you what was wrong with your statement.

    “Those filthy niggers are breeding like rabbits and filling up our cities.” – some white supremacist nitwit at some point in time

    Would you agree with this statement?

    I’d also like to know by what logic you came to the conclusion that you can convince a large group of people that the best place to have kids in a war zone. Especially as a strategy for victory. How are you going to sell that exactly? What is your marketing tag line?

    “Allah Needs Your Uterus!”

    Maybe this oldie but goodie?

    “More Babies for Bullets!”

    Or the related t-shirt slogan,

    “Property of Hezzbollah Human Shield Dept.”

    Perhaps my personal favorite?

    “Free Pussy! Free Palestine!”

    If that offends? Excellent. It was meant to be at least as offensive as your comment. Have I gotten your attention yet?

    Do you see the problem now?

    Your assertion is bereft of logic and thinly veiled racism.

    Thus ends this lesson in reductio ad absurdum and argument by analogy.

  3. Mr. Kramer has the vision of a bean counter. He wants to resolve a huge and complicated religio-politico-ethno-socio-economic problem by a callous turn of the demographic screw. I wonder if he would like to do the same thing to black people in the US.

  4. What is the difference in thinking that separates this man’s recommendations from those who advised Hitler as to the guidelines to be used when implementing the Final Solution?

  5. Professor Turley,

    Please do not taint your discussion at the beginning of the article by referring to Electronic Intifada as “anti-Israel.” I’m sick of people treating the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with the nuance of a football game where you are either rooting for one side or the other. It is possible, and I would argue the conscionable position, to be on a third team: that of human rights.

    Once one starts viewing the conflict through this lens, one is inevitably grouped into the “anti-Israel” category because the Israelis continue to perpetrate appalling human rights violations. Now we see the “anti-Israel” slur for what it really is: a way to marginalize critics of American-backed Israeli militarism and apartheid.

    Sure, a “pro-Israel” advocate might say, but what about those terrible things that the Palestinians do to the Israelis? True, atrocities have been committed on both sides. But consider the difference in action and scale. 1) Israel is occupying Palestine, and not the other way around 2) Israel commits its atrocities with a modern mechanized army whereas the Palestinians do it with sticks and stones and the occasional rocket 3) Israel consistently blockades Palestinian territories, preventing aid workers and supplies from entering 4) Israel continues its expansion into Palestine via settlements, Israeli-only roads, etc. … and so on and so forth.

    For a good introduction to these issues, please see the debate between Chomsky and Dershowitz (you can guess which opinion I consider the correct one) or the “anti-Israel” site Electronic Intifada.

  6. the arabs are never shy about using their demographic advantage as a fallback option to eradicate israel. the sad truth is that these palestinian refugees could have been absorbed long ago by one of the surrounding arab countries and avoided the slummy refugee camps. it is well documented that arab countries deliberately exploit the refugees’ plight for political gain; by keeping them in limbo without a home and simultaneously encouraging high birthrates, they hope to accomplish demographically what they couldn’t do militarily or using terrorism.

  7. I suggest “Contrary Notions” by Michael Parent (pages 40-58) for an introductory expose’ of the myth of free-thought at American institutions of higher (and “highest”) learning.

    ISBN-10: 0872864820
    ISBN-13: 978-0872864825

  8. It is genocide on women not to encourage BC and abortion. You write as if it is OK for women to function only as breeder slaves for patriarchs.


  9. Not yet. I keep waiting. But it looks like Parker County which is sorta North East is getting it pretty good.

  10. My . . .

    What a stunning display of both stupidity and hypocrisy.


    They have a saying on the farm about cream and excrement.

    I suggest you learned peoples become acquainted with the concept and use it to inform your hiring and retention practices vis a vis faculty. By the way, thank you all so very very much for our first MBA President, the fascist tool who started our national decline in earnest, G.W. Bush. You might want to consider this lesson in the context of students as product as well. Bad tools make bad products. A “professor” who advocates a clearly genocidal behavior is a bad tool – double entendre no extra charge.

    ERRATA: For the record, I know an awesome Moshe Dayan joke but it has a visual component.

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