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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lies, damned lies and statistics 'Palestinian census' figures

Shavua tov - a good week to everyone.

The 'Palestinian Central Statistics Bureau' came out with results today of a 'census' that is supposed to indicate how many 'Palestinians' there are in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and 'east' Jerusalem. In the only place where they did not succeed in inflating the numbers - Jerusalem - they have questioned their accuracy. The census indicates that there are 207,000 'Palestinians' in Jerusalem, a number that the 'Palestinian leadership' deems 'too low.'

As to the population of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the 'Palestinians' are claiming a population of 3.76 million. That's a number we've heard before. And it's a number that's been debunked. Let's look first at what the 'Palestinians' are claiming, and then we'll debunk the lies behind them.
The Palestinian population in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem has reached 3.76 million, up from 2.89 million a decade ago, according to census results released Saturday.


Palestinians have one of the highest birth rates in the world. In September 2007, Israel's population included 5.45 million Jews, 1.4 million Arabs and 310,000 others, according to Israeli government figures.

Presenting the census results at a news conference, Shabaneh said that Palestinian population growth remains high, but as leveled off somewhat. Pre-census projections had predicted a population of 3.9 million.

According to actual results, 3.76 Palestinians live in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the territories the Palestinians want for a future state. That includes 2.345 million in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and 1.416 million in Gaza, Shabaneh said.
But we've been hearing since 2004 that there are 3.8 million 'Palestinians.' And we've known for a long time that's a lie.
The problem with Olmert's words, as I have demostrated on previous occasions and was demonstrated by yet another study released last week by the Begin - Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is that there is no need to expel Jews from Judea and Samaria in order to maintain a Jewish majority. Quite simply, the 'Palestinian' population figures that are being used to construct a 'demographic time bomb' are a hoax:
Population statistics and predictions of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) are unreliable. A BESA study that subjects Palestinian demography to rigorous analysis shows that the 2004 Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza stood at 2.5 million; not the 3.8 million claimed by the Palestinians. The 1997 PCBS population survey – which has been widely used as the basis for subsequent studies - inflated numbers by including over three hundred thousand Palestinians living abroad and double-counting over two hundred thousand Jerusalem Arabs included in Israel’s population survey. Later PCBS broadcasts echoed the forecasts of the 1997 study, reporting unrealized birth forecasts, including assumptions of mass Palestinian immigration that never occurred, and disregarding significant Palestinian emigration from the territories to Israel and neighboring Arab countries. The resulting PCBS report for 2004 inflated the size of the Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza by over fifty percent. The BESA study and further demographic research indicate that Israeli concerns about demographic pressure from the West Bank and Gaza have been exaggerated.

Here are a few details:
  • Palestinian numbers include at least 325,000 residents who are living outside of the territories. This number was the main cause for the jump between the Israeli and Palestinian counts in the mid-1990s. The head of the PCBS quantified this figure in the release of the 1997 Census result.
  • On top of the population base, the PCBS developed a projection for births to 2015. By 2003, the PCBS expected that there would be 143,000 births in the territories. The Palestinian Ministry of Health statistics showed a much lower rate of births in the territories. Instead of the 907,000 births predicted by the PCBS for the seven years from 1997–2003, we found consistent evidence from Palestinian agencies that actual births 308,000 fewer than forecast.
  • Immigration assumptions are also an important aspect of the Palestinian forecast. The original Palestinian assumption was that statehood would occur in 1999 and that people would immigrate at a rate of 50,000 people per year, starting in 2001. This inclusion is what made the Palestinian Authority forecast the highest growth rates in the world, which over time turned into the highest forecasted birth rates in the world. However, actual activity at the borders showed net emigration of only 10,000-20,000 persons per year since 1997. From 1997–2003, the PCBS projected 236,000 new entrants, whereas Israel border records show 74,000 left; a difference of 310,000.
  • Migration to Israel across the Green Line is also a significant consideration. According to an Israeli Ministry of the Interior report, 105,000 people have changed from the status of Palestinians to Israelis under family reunification programs since 1997.
  • In contrast to the 3.8 million PCBS broadcast in 2004: 2.4 million in the West Bank and 1.4 million in Gaza; our study produced a significantly lower population figure of 2.49 million: 1.4 million in the West Bank and 1.1 million in Gaza by mid-2004.
  • The PCBS assumed annual growth over 4.7% for Gaza and 4.4% for the West Bank; however, the actual growth rate was 2.9 percent for Gaza and 1.8% for the West Bank.
  • Our study shows total fertility rates (TFRs) of 5.2 for the West Bank and 5.4 for Gaza. These numbers were comparable to the PCBS 2004 Household Survey, which yielded numbers of 5.2 for the West Bank and 6.6 for Gaza. PCBS fertility rates support the level of births found in our study for West Bank and Gaza. The PCBS forecast substantially overstated births for West Bank and Gaza because it applied reasonable rates, but included Palestinians living abroad and Jerusalem Arabs.
Are the 'Palestinians' lying again? Are they counting people who live abroad? Did they count the 'east' Jerusalem Arabs as also living in Judea and Samaria. Bet on it.


At 3:40 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

How will a reichlet of two disconnected parts populated by five million Arabs be the Singapore of the Middle East. Its true the Gush Dan in Israel is home to three million Jews but they do have the airport and the port at Ashdod for connections to the outside world. The Palestinians have no such connections to the Arab world - and their Arab brethren have no intention of letting them separate from Israel. Hamas is just finding out the Egyptians are even more unforgiving than the Israelis ever were in the old days of the "occupation."

This Arab hostility not to Israel but to the Palestinians is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. Yet its the reason a Palestinian state can't be - and won't be - a going concern if it doesn't want to interact with Israel.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I have to follow up my previous post last night. First, there's the news the PFLP terrorist group wants the Egyptians to apologize for vowing to break Palestinian border crossers legs! A few Palestinians are beginning to see the elephant in the room I mentioned that no one wants to talk about.

Then there's the larger demographic picture. Yoram Ettinger noted on Arutz Sheva - Israel National News - that the demographic threat is a lie. That the Arab birthrate has remained stable, the Jewish birthrate increased by 40% - both in the past decade and there's Arab emigration of around 20,000 a year. Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, the Jews have a 67% stable majority. There is no prospect of Israel being turned into an Arab majority state any time soon. If this doesn't sound like enough Jews, there was a time when the Jewish people were a minority in their own country and they fared under far more difficult circumstances than they do today.

There is no demographic threat and in fact Ettinger says, its a demographic asset because in the next 30 years there will be more Jews than Arabs in the entire land west of the Jordan River.

And that's something to celebrate.


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