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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Update on our non-existent demographic problem

I know that there are a lot of you out there who spend your nights worrying about how Israel is going to remain a Jewish state and a democracy if we don't cut Judea and Samaria loose. After all, you've seen all those dire predictions about how the 'Palestinians' are reproducing like bunny rabbits and will soon take over the country democratically since they cannot do so militarily. Well, in a word, stop worrying. Yoram Ettinger explains.
Anyone claiming that Jews are doomed to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean — and therefore the Jewish state must concede geography in order to secure demography — is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.

An audit of births, deaths, school and voter registration and migration documentation from Israel and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics certifies a solid 67 percent Jewish majority over 98.5 percent of the land west of the Jordan River (without Gaza), compared with a 33 percent and an 8 percent Jewish minority in 1947 and 1900, respectively, west of the Jordan River.

The audit exposes a 66 percent distortion in the current number of West Bank (or, Judea and Samaria) Arabs — 1.55 million and not 2.5 million, as claimed by the Palestinian Authority. In 2006, the World Bank exposed a 32 percent bend in the number of Palestinian births. Inflated numbers have provided the Palestinians with inflated international foreign aid and inflated water supply by Israel. It has also afflicted Israeli policy-makers and public opinion molders with fatalism and erroneous demographic assumptions, which have impacted Israel’s national security policy.

Refuting demographic fatalism, the robust growth of Israel’s Jewish fertility (number of births per woman) has been sustained during the last 15 years, while Arab fertility and population growth rate (birth, death and migration rates) experiences a sharp dive.

The number of Jewish births during the first half of 2009 accounted for 76 percent of all births, compared with 75 percent in 2008 and 69 percent in 1995. Unlike all other developed societies, the number of annual Jewish births has grown by 45 percent from 1995 (80,400) to 2008 (117,000), while the annual number of Israeli Arab births has stabilized around 39,000.

The secular, rather than the religious, sector has been chiefly responsible for the Jewish growth. For example, the olim (or, immigrants) from the USSR arrived in Israel with a typical Russian fertility rate of one birth per woman; today, those women are giving birth to two to three children, the typical secular Israeli Jewish birthrate. Moreover, the Arab-Jewish fertility gap shrunk from six births per woman in 1969 to 0.7 births in 2008, with the two converging toward three births per woman.
Who wants to pretend that the Arabs are overtaking us demographically and why? You can start to find out here.


At 2:49 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel's Jewish majority could be widened if the government adopted a policy of encouraging Arab emigration. The Arabs will sue for peace when they realize they have no hope of overcoming the Jews in absolute numbers any time soon. Its also the shortest route to true peace.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Israel's birthrate is higher than Turkey, Iran and Algeria. The Jewish birthrate has even gone up recently largely thanks to the Ultra-orthodox. The Palestinians have systematically lied about their numbers for years eg counting Palestinians in East Jerusalem twice in their official statistics. Israel, unlike Christians Europe, its a growing society.


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