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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Fighting the demographic lie

YNet has an article discussing Yoram Ettinger, whom I have discussed many times on this blog. Yoram has taken it upon himself to disprove the myth that Israel is in danger of becoming an Arab-majority state if it does not give up Judea and Samaria. That's right folks: All those predictions that we will have an Arab majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea unless we cut out our heart and soul and give it to the 'Palestinians' are nothing but a lie.
The figures painstakingly collected and analyzed by Ettinger and his colleagues are startling, particularly for Israelis who for years have been warned of the demographic sword hanging over the Jewish State’s future. The data point to grossly exaggerated Palestinian growth predictions, statistical flaws resulting in inaccurate figures, steadily growing Jewish birthrates, and a dramatically declining Arab-Israeli birthrate.

Ettinger has been tirelessly presenting the research to leading Israeli policymakers and other influential figures nationwide. In an interview with Ynetnews he recounts some of the astonished responses he has encountered during his quest; this includes a taken aback Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who was presented with the data during the previous government’s term in office.

“Barak told me: ‘Until I saw this presentation I didn’t know the facts…it would be good to present it soon to (then-Prime Minister) Ehud Olmert and to (then-Foreign Minister) Tzipi Livni, who still don’t know the facts,’” Ettinger says.


The figures presented by Ettinger seem to be unmistakable, and their immense significance begs the question of why decision-makers themselves have not embarked on such research before in order to challenge common perceptions.

“This reality shouldn’t surprise anyone,” Ettinger says. “The demographic issue is a symptom of the way decision-makers act on many issues.”

Similarly to the conception that led to the Yom Kippur War, Israeli politicians tend to rely on commonly accepted conceptions instead of attempting to question reality, he says.

“To my regret, usually only a crisis wakes up the sleeping people,” Ettinger says, adding that the failure to challenge the demographic myth also reflects Israel’s current leadership crisis.

“We are facing a leadership drought…and it’s easier for decision-makers to continue navigating on automatic pilot, rather than to look for new approaches,” he says.
There's a difference between the Yom Kippur War and the current demographic fatalism. In the Yom Kippur War, there were very few Israelis who wanted us to lose (and almost certainly none in influential positions). In the current situation, there are influential Israeli Jews who want to dupe us into giving away our heartland. Follow that link to understand why.

The picture at the top is Yoram Ettinger. Ettinger was at one time Israel's consul general in Houston. I may have mentioned in the past that I had the pleasure of meeting Yoram several years ago through the good offices of one of my Houston-based clients.


At 2:36 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There may be good reasons for Israel to realign its borders. Demography is just not among them. The notion Israel has to choose between being Jewish and having defensible borders is a false one. Israel's Jewish majority would suffer only a slight diminution if it acquired sovereignty over Yesha. Hardly grounds for the Jewish State to forfeit its birthright.


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