Monday, May 24, 2010

The Palestinian 'Demographic Bomb' Myth

The big, compelling reason people who claim to be 'friends' of Israel are pressuring them to give up the country's heartland to the Arabs is the so-called demographic bomb..the idea that the Arab birthrate is rapidly overtaking the Jewish one and that Israel had better do this now or face being a minority in the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

It's a myth, as I've discussed before and anyone who looks at the actual numbers ought to realize it out of hand.

It might be helpful to share the latest real numbers for those who still need convincing:

Israel's population on the eve of its 61st Independence Day numbers 7,411,000, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics Monday afternoon.

Last year, the population was 7,282,000, and when Israel was established, it was just 806,000.

About 75.5 percent, or 5,593,000, of Israel's residents are Jews, 1,498,000 are Arabs (20.2%), while "Others" - immigrants and their offspring who are not registered as Jews by the Interior Ministry - number 320,000 (4.3%).

Let's look at this more closely. Two things this article doesn't mention. One, out of the 806,000 population of Israel mentioned in 1948, almost the exact same percentage, around 20%, were Arab, and that ratio has remained constant throughout Israel's history. So much for the rapidly expanding Arab population. Second, the term 'Arab' does not mesh in the least with 'Palestinian.'

That Arab population includes not only 250,000 Arabs with residence permits who are not Israeli citizens, but Druse, Circassians and Bedouins, who proudly serve in the IDF. Many of them do not regard the Quraysh Palestinians fondly, to say the least.

Demographics expert Yoram Ettinger has more on the subject:

Anyone suggesting that Jews are doomed to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.

In contrast with conventional “wisdom,” there is a Jewish majority of 67% in the combined area of pre-1967 Israel and Judea & Samaria and a 60% majority west of the Jordan River (including Gaza), compared with a 33% and a 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and in 1900 respectively.

The robust Jewish demographic tailwind and Arab demographic headwind are demonstrated through the absolute annual number of Jewish and Arab births in pre-1967 Israel. While the annual number of Arab births stabilized at 39,000 during 1995-2009, the annual number of Jewish births surged by 50% from 80,400 in 1995 to 121,000 in 2009.

The number of Judea & Samaria Arabs is artificially inflated by 66%. It is 1.55MN and not 2.5MN. Thus, the World Bank documents a 32% “inflation” in the number of Palestinian births, a substantial erosion of the Palestinian fertility rate and a significant escalation of Arab emigration from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Documented entries and exits via international passages feature a 17,000 net Arab emigration from Judea & Samaria in 2009, 14,000 in 2007 and only six years of net-immigration since 1950.

The significant decline in Arab population growth rate has been caused by an intensive family planning campaign, an unprecedented reduction of teen-pregnancy, a swift urbanization process, an all-time-high divorce rate and median wedding-age, an impressive expansion of education especially among women and enhanced career mentality among women.

In contrast with international demographic standards, the Palestinians include some 400,000 overseas residents in their census. They also include 250,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who bear Israeli I.D. cards and are therefore doubly-counted: as Israeli Arabs by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics and as West Bank Arabs by the Palestinians.

I would also add that any census of the Palestinians invariably includes the Arabs of Gaza, about 1.5 million or so, who have absolutely no bearing on the numbers in Judea and Samaria (AKA The West Bank), inhabit an area that is not part of Israel and never would be by any calculation. Counting Gaza's population in regards to any 'demographic bomb' scenario makes as much sense as counting Morocco's.

So, why would the Palestinians fudge their numbers like this? They've got plenty of motivation to do so, as Yakov Faitelson points out in his recounting of various bogus population estimates:

Why fudge the numbers? There are two important reasons: First, overstating the Palestinian population is good for Palestinian morale, bad for Israeli morale, and heightens Jewish fears of the so-called "demographic time bomb"; second, there is a significant financial incentive, as the international community provides money to the Palestinian Authority according to the number of its inhabitants. When the Palestinian Authority pads its population numbers, the Palestinian Authority receives more money.

I'll say! When the Saudis demanded an audit before they would provide aid to the Palestinian Authority, they found over 37,000 'no-show jobs' - non-existant people who were nevertheless drawing paychecks from UNRWA and other idiot Western donors.)

Careful demographic analysis, however, should lead to a conclusion in stark contrast to the demographic time bomb thesis. The natural increase of the Jewish population in Israel—that is, its yearly birth rate less its yearly death rate—stabilized thirty years ago and, since 2002, has even begun to grow. The natural increase of the total Arab population, comprising both Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, continues to descend toward convergence with the Jewish population, probably in the latter half of this century.

The data, moreover, point to rising levels of Arab emigration, particularly among young people. According to the survey conducted by Bir-Zeit University, 32 percent of all Palestinians and 44 percent of Palestinian youth would emigrate if they could. The official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida has reported similar numbers. A public opinion poll conducted by the Near East Consulting Corporation in the Gaza Strip reveals an even higher rate—47 percent of all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Translated into numbers of people, as of 2006, more than a million Arabs in the Palestinian territories wish to emigrate. As journalist Amit Cohen noted in 2007, "Close to 14,000 Palestinians, more than 1 percent of the population in the Strip, have left the Gaza Strip since the implementation of the withdrawal program, largely for financial reasons.

In an interview reported in the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat around the same time, Salam Fayyad, head of the Emergency Palestinian Government, commented: "How will we be able to deal with the problem of 40,000 to 50,000 Palestinians who have emigrated and many more that are not emigrating just because they do not have the means? We are losing in this respect."

The misuse of demography has been one of the most prominent, yet unexamined, aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many Israelis have so thoroughly absorbed the repeated claims of a diminishing Jewish majority that they do not consider whether their conventional wisdom is false. Before an accurate demographic picture of Israel and the Palestinian territories trickles down to the consciousness of the residents of the region, it must first be understood by Israeli and Palestinian policymakers, academics, and journalists, who need accurate, factual information to do their jobs. The impact on the conflict of such a development would be substantial

Moreover, the Jewish birthrate in Judea and Samaria ( AKA the West Bank) which includes a high percentage of religious Jews is almost equal to the Palestinian birth rate in terms of births per woman.If you factor out Gaza, it amounts to a 67% Jewish majority in 98.5% of the land west of the Jordan River. And that's without factoring in the 'fudge' factor from the Palestinian Authority.

If anything, demographics point towards Israel not giving up a single square dunam of land more to the Palestinians, not the other way around. With all those kids, the Israelis are going to need the space...whereas the Palestinians have 22 other Arab countries to go live in if they choose to.

please helps me write more gooder!

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