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Friday, August 13, 2010

Why demography isn't our problem

Many people will tell you that unless Israel cuts out its heartland for a 'Palestinian state,' we will one day be faced with the choice between being a Jewish state and being a democratic state. Yoram Ettinger, once the Israeli consul general in Houston, Texas, says that's all a lie.
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.
And then there's aliya (Jewish immigration). Read the whole thing.


At 4:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its interesting to note the late Tony Judt predicted an Arab demographic majority in Eretz Israel at the end of the decade when he wrote his now famous "Israel Is An Anachronism" article for the New York Review Of Books in 2003. That obviously didn't materialize and similar exaggerated predictions by other anti-Zionists will prove to fall far short of the mark in the future. Israel has problems to be sure but ceasing to be a Jewish-majority state won't be one of them. Oslo has been based all along on a false premise.


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