DEMOGRAPHICS-DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ 1/20/05
I recall years ago a Life Magazine headline and story by the noted historian Arnold Toynbee, that spoke to the rapid demise of the Jewish people. This was based upon many factors including assimilation, intermarriage, low fertility etc. It was a source of much debate and even today subconsciously impacts on the Jewish population studies done every ten years or so. (we fear we are becoming extinct)
Orthodox Judaism was considered an even more endangered species based upon the conversion of many Orthodox synagogues to Reform and Conservative in the 1890’s.
However, as any observer can point out our growth in a spiritual and physical sense continues with Jewish education, and all of the accoutrements of our torah way of life.
Thus it is critical to get a deeper evaluation of the claim that an Arab demographic time bomb is ticking in the Judea-Samaria and Gaza area. The number of Arabs is purported to be 3.8 million, and growing. (At this rate of growth in one or two decades they would dwarf the Jewish population of Israel). Absent a Palestinian state they could demand Israeli citizenship and then vote for an Islamic slate that would mark the end of Israel as a Jewish State.
Thus we are indeed fortunate that a new study has been released this week and presented to The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Its findings are based upon actual population studies instead of 1997 projections based upon a Palestinian census and expected population growth.
The salient points include a lower birth rate among the Palestinians which goes along with a lower fertility rate in the 1990’s in Arab countries.
A net emigration of 10,000 Palestinians per year instead of immigration.
210,000 Jerusalem Arabs were double-counted (Israel and Palestinian) census counts.
The counting of Palestinians living abroad for more than one year were included.
150,000 PA Arabs who have legally relocated to Israel since 1993 were counted.
Retrospective alterations in birth certificates.
THUS THE TOTAL RESIDENT POPULATION OF ARABS IN JANUARY 2004 WAS 2.4 MILLION (1.35 IN THE WEST BANK AND 1.07 IN GAZA)
Though this is still a problem, it is not a ticking bomb, because these figures and ratios have not worsened. In fact, the growth rate of Jews in Israel is the highest among western democracies. Incidentally the Palestinians central election commission acknowledged that THERE WERE 200,000 PALESTINIANS LIVING ABROAD.
One final thought-this reminds me of the claims of the Muslim community in the U.S. regarding their population figures. Their goal is to show both a rapid growth and a larger population figure than the Jewish community. Thus every few months they claim another million members-(now up to 5 million). Objective studies show they are less than half that..
BEWARE OF FIGURES -THEY DON’T LIE,- BUT LIARS KNOW HOW TO FIGURE
I am indebted to my friend Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (email@example.com) for keeping me abreast of his study.