by Yoram Ettinger
In 1948, prime minister David Ben-Gurion declared independence in defiance of demographic fatalism, which was perpetrated by the country's leading demographers. He rejected their assumptions that Jews were doomed to be a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, that a massive aliya wave was not feasible, that the Jewish fertility rate was declining to below reproduction levels and that the Arab fertility rate would remain the highest in the world, irrespective of modernity.
Instead, Ben-Gurion highlighted demographic optimism and aliya as top national priorities, coalesced a solid Jewish majority and planted the seeds that catapulted
DEMOGRAPHIC ASSUMPTIONS have played an increasing role in shaping national security policy since 1992. But what if these assumptions are dramatically wrong? For example, since the beginning of annual aliya in 1882 - and in contradiction to demographic projections - the Jewish population between the Jordan River and the
Contrary to demographic assumptions, a rapid and drastic decline in Muslim fertility has been documented by the UN Population Division:
Precedents suggest that low fertility rates can rarely be reversed following a sustained period of significant reduction.
At the same time, the annual number of Jewish births increased by 45 percent between 1995 (80,400) and 2008 (117,000), mostly impacted by the demographic surge within the secular sector. The total annual Arab births in pre-1967
AN AUDIT of the documentation of Palestinian births, deaths and migration, which is conducted by the Palestinian Authority ministries of Health and Education and Election Commission, as well as by
For instance, the PCBS's census includes about 400,000 overseas residents who have been away for more than one year, ignores high net-emigration (
The audit of Palestinian and Israeli documentation exposes a 66% bend in the current number of Judea and
In conclusion, demographic optimism is well-documented, while demographic fatalism is resoundingly refuted. There is a demographic problem, but it is not lethal, and the tailwind is Jewish. Therefore, anyone suggesting that there is a demographic machete at the throat of the Jewish state and that Jewish geography must be conceded to secure Jewish demography, is either grossly mistaken or outrageously misleading.
Yoram Ettinger is executive director of Second Thought, which researches national security aspects of Judea and
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