Powered by WebAds

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A minority between the River and the Sea?

A Hebrew University professor claims that Jews are now a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
“If people ask when Jews will lose their majority, then it’s already happened,” DellaPergola said. “If one combines the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, includes foreign workers and refugees, whose numbers have grown rapidly in recent years, and omits Israelis who made aliya under the Law of Return but are not recognized as Jews by the Interior Ministry, then Jews are slightly less than 50% of the population.”
Well, maybe. The Gaza Strip is no longer part of Israel, and with respect to the 'Palestinians,' DellaPergola relies on the 'Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics,' whose numbers have been wildly inflated in the past.
The 2008 Palestinian census found 3.76 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, up 30% from 2.89 million a decade earlier.

Within Israel, according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures issued last year, there were 5,569,200 Jews – 75.5 percent of the population.

While DellaPergola says that Jews are already a minority between the River and the Sea, some critics charge that figures for the number of Palestinians living in the West Bank are exaggerated by hundreds of thousands due to double counting of the population of east Jerusalem, who appear in both the Israeli and the Palestinian census, and by including people living abroad who possess local identification cards.
Here's the other side of the debate from Yoram Ettinger:
In 2010, there is a 66% Jewish majority in 98.5% of the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (without Gaza) – and a 58% Jewish majority with Gaza. That Jewish majority benefits from a demographic tailwind and from a high potential of aliyah (Jewish immigration) and of returning Israeli expatriates.

In comparison, in 1900 and 1947 there was an 8% and a 33% Jewish minority, deprived of economic, technological and military infrastructures. In 2010, the number of Arabs in Judea and Samaria is inflated by 900,000 (1.6 million and not 2.5 million) through the inclusion of 400,000 overseas residents, a double-count of 200,000 Jerusalem Arabs (who are counted as Israeli Arabs by Israel and as West Bank Arabs by the Palestinian Authority), and by ignoring annual net-emigration since 1950 (e.g. 17,000 in 2009), etc. Meanwhile, a World Bank study documents a 32% “inflation” in Palestinian birth numbers.

Since the appearance of modern-day Zionism, the demographic establishment has contended that Jews are doomed to be a minority west of the Jordan River. It asserts that Jews must relinquish geography in order to secure demography. But, what if demographic fatalism is based on dramatically erroneous assumptions and numbers? What if the demographic establishment has adopted Palestinian numbers without auditing, although such numbers are refuted annually by an examination of birth, death, migration and 1st grade registration records?

What if the contended Palestinian numbers require a population growth rate almost double the highest population growth rate in the world, while Gaza and Judea and Samaria are ranked 5th and 38th in global population growth rate? What if the demographic establishment failed to realize that the Arab demographic surge of 1949-1969 (in pre-1967 Israel) and 1967-1990 (in Judea and Samaria and Gaza) had to be succeeded by a sharp demographic decline?

Contrary to demographic projections, the first half of 2010 sustains the growth of the Jewish fertility rate and the sharp and rapid fall of the Arab fertility rate throughout the Muslim World, as well as west of the Jordan River. The decline in Arab fertility results from accelerated urbanization and modernization processes, such as education, health, employment, family planning, reduced teen pregnancy, enhanced career mentality among women, in addition to domestic security concerns.
I'm not jumping to change anything based on DellaPergola's numbers and you shouldn't either. The picture is the beach off Gaza City.

Labels: , , ,


At 1:14 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

DellaPergolla's numbers are bunk. The Palestinian statistics are overinflated and even if you take them at face value, it changes nothing on the ground. The Alawites have ruled Syria for decades despite numbering 12% of the population. The Sunni Arabs in Iraq ran the country despite amounting to no more than 20% of the population. The Jews in a far stronger position than either of these groups and this augurs well for the future no matter what Israel's demographic pessimists might claim.


Post a Comment

<< Home