Israeli family in Pardes Hannah

It’s Demographic Optimism, Stupid!

Yoram Ettinger

Ynet News

In 2010, a surge in the Israeli Jewish fertility rate is a long-term, unique, global phenomenon, while fertility rates decline sharply in the Third World in general and in Muslim countries in particular. 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 Aliya (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 900,000 inflated (1.6MN and not 2.5MN) by the inclusion of 400,000 overseas residents, by 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), by ignoring annual net-emigration since 1950 (e.g. 17,000 in 2009), etc. A World Bank study documents a 32% “inflation” in the 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 Moslem World, as well as west of the Jordan River.

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