Facebook Feed

2 weeks ago

Yoram Ettinger
Purim Guide for the Perplexed 2023: bit.ly/3ZdlxHY ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Yoram Ettinger
אתגר מרכזי לביטחון לאומי: bit.ly/3xkSwh1 ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Yoram Ettinger
US-sponsored anti-Israel UN Security Council statement - acumen: bit.ly/3lVqpCM ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Yoram Ettinger
bit.ly/3xHPCDc הסכמי אברהם – אינטרס ערבי, אמריקאי וישראלי: ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

The Two-State Religion

The main rationale of the Oslo Accords was that establishing a 23rd Arab state ten miles away from Tel-Aviv would bring peace to Israel and stability to the Middle-East.  This theory no longer passes the laughing test.  Besides the bloody mess engendered by Oslo, the so-called “Arab Spring” has brought the European-inspired model of Arab nation-states to its knees.  So why resuscitate a failed and dying model for a fictitious “Palestinian people” that has embraced Islamism like the rest of the Arab world?

Of course, because of demography,… A Palestinian state might not bring peace, we are told, but it is nonetheless a necessity to save Israel from turning into a bi-national or a segregationist country.

Since proponents of the “two-state solution” were so wrong about peace, why assume that they are so right about demography?

The two-state solution has become a two-state religion, so let me indulge in blasphemy.

For a start, Gaza is now out of the equation.  The “demographic threat” must therefore be gauged in pre-1967 Israel as well as in Judea and Samaria, i.e. in what is known as “the area between the River and the Sea” (referred to as “the area” in this article).

The case for the “demographic threat” is based on a census conducted in 1997 by the “Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics” (PCBS).  According to that census, there were 2.78 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria in 1997.  This figure surprised many at the time because a similar census conducted by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) in 1996 had revealed that the number of Arab residents in Judea and Samaria was of 2.11 million.  How could the Arab population have increased so rapidly within a year?

The answer is that the PCBS included 325,000 overseas residents and double-counted the 210,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem.  In 2011, there were about 400,000 Arab residents of Judea and Samaria living overseas.  They are still included in the PCBS demographic count.  According to internationally accepted demographic standards, overseas residents who are abroad for over a year are not counted demographically. The PCBS does not abide by this international standard (Israel does).  Yet Israel’s public discourse on the “demographic threat” is based on the PCBS’ flawed census.

The PCBS also assumed, back in 1997, that there would be an annual net Arab immigration to Judea, Samaria and Gaza of 45,000.  In reality, there has been an annual net Arab emigration from Judea, Samaria and Gaza of 25,000 on average.

In 2012, Jews constitute a two-third majority in the area (66% exactly).  When Israel declared its independence in 1947, there was an opposite ratio (one third of Jews).  In 1900, Jews were an 8% minority.  So far, therefore, time has been on the Jews’ side.  The question is whether time will continue to be on our side.  Recent demographic trends suggest that the answer is positive.

Since 1992, the Arab fertility rate in Judea and Samaria has decreased significantly and consistently (it is now of 3.2 births per woman).  Within pre-1967 Israel, the Arab fertility rate has decreased from 9.23 in 1964 to 3.5 today.  This decrease has been constant.  Jewish fertility rates have also decreased since 1964, but very slightly: from 3.39 in 1964 to 3.0 today.  But, more significantly, the Jewish fertility rate started increasing in the late 1990s (it was 2.62 in 1999, 2.71 in 2004, and 3.0 in 2011).  The fertility gap between Jews and Arabs went from 5.84 in 1964 to 0.5 today.  So the gap is closing, to the Jews’ advantage.

The constant increase of the Jewish fertility rate since the late 1990s is not only due to traditionally high rates among Orthodox Jews.  Indeed, this rate has been increasing among secular Israelis.

The ICBS has consistently overestimated Arab fertility rates and underestimated Jewish fertility rates.  Yet the “demographic threat” discourse is based on the ICBS’ mistaken predictions.

Then there is immigration and emigration.  While there have been constant waves of Jewish immigration (“Aliya”) since Israel’s independence, there has been a [substantial] net annual emigration of Arab residents from Judea and Samaria and from Gaza in recent years [since 1950!].

So the claim that Israel would turn into a bi-national state were it to annex Judea and Samaria is unfounded.  Jews would still constitute a two-third majority, and that majority would continue to increase according to the latest demographic trends.  Whether it is desirable for Israel to have a one-third minority of Arab citizens is admittedly a question that deserves to be asked, but the “bi-national threat” is groundless.

Future demographic trends must also take immigration and emigration into account.  During the National Unity Government of Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres (1984-1988), both leaders disagreed on the likeliness of massive Aliya from the Soviet Union.  Peres claimed that bringing Jews from the Soviet Union was completely fanciful and that Shamir was advocating this idea only to provide a demographic rationale for his “annexationist ambitions in the West Bank” (as quoted by Dr. Zvi Zameret).  Yet Shamir was right and Peres was wrong: a million Jews immigrated to Israel from the Soviet Union and from Ethiopia under Shamir’s watch.

Today, the main reservoirs of potential Aliya to Israel and in North America and in Western Europe (5.27 million in the United States; 375,000 in Canada; 483,000 in France; 292,000 in Britain).  Aliyah from English-speaking countries has increased significantly in the past decade partly thanks to the wonderful work done by Nefesh B’Nefesh.  Most French Jews are on their way out, as explained by Michel Gurfinkiel in his latest blog (http://www.michelgurfinkiel.com/articles/430-French-Jews-No-Future.html).

Those who say today that bringing even half a million Jews from America and Europe in the next decade is fanciful should remember that the same claim was made two decades ago about Soviet Jewry…

In 1947, Prof. Roberto Bacchi implored Ben-Gurion not to declare independence.  Bacchi, a Professor of Statistics at the Hebrew University and the founder of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, claimed at the time that with a population of 600,000 the Jews would become a minority by 1967.  Bacchi did not take into account the massive waves of Aliya, in which he did not believe.  His predictions were grossly mistaken but his spirit of doom was carried on by his student and follower Prof. Sergio Della Pergola.

Had Ben-Gurion listened to statisticians and demographers in 1947, there would never have been a Jewish state.  Contrary to what the same statisticians and demographers say today, Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state would not be undermined by the annexation of Judea and Samaria –provided that Israel actively encourages Aliyah from the West in the coming years.  Ben-Gurion said after declaring independence: “A Jewish government whose concerns and actions will not be predominantly geared to the enterprise of Aliya and settlement … will betray its foremost responsibility and will endanger the great historical achievement gained by our generation.”







The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb

2023 demographic update: no Arab demographic time bomb

Demography west of the Jordan River

In 2023, Israel is the only Western democracy endowed with a relatively high fertility rate, that facilitates further economic growth, which is not dependent upon migrant labor.  Moreover, Israel’s thriving demography provides for bolstered national security (larger classes of recruits), economy and technology and a more confident foreign policy.

In 2023, contrary to projections made by the demographic establishment at the end of the 19th century and during the 1940s, Israel’s Jewish fertility rate is higher than the fertility rates in all Muslim countries other than Iraq and the sub-Sahara Muslim countries.

In 2023 (based on the latest data of 2021), the Jewish fertility rate of 3.13 births per woman is higher than the 2.85 Arab fertility rate (as it has been since 2016) and the 3.01 Arab-Muslim fertility rate (as it has been since 2020).

In 2023, Israel’s Jewish fertility rate is higher than any Arab country other than Iraq’s.

In 2023, there is a race (which started in the 1990s) between the Jewish and Arab fertility rates, unlike the race between the Arab fertility rate and Jewish Aliyah (immigration), which took place in 1949-1990s (while the Jewish fertility rate was relatively low).

In 2023, the Westernization of Arab demography persists as a derivative of modernity, urbanization, women’s enhanced social status, women’s enrollment in higher education and increased use of contraceptives.

In 2023, in contrast to conventional demographic wisdom, Israel is not facing a potential Arab demographic time bomb in the combined areas of Judea, Samaria (the West Bank) and pre-1967 Israel. In fact, the Jewish State benefits from a robust tailwind of fertility rate and net-immigration.

In 2023, the demographic and policy-making establishment persists in reverberating the official Palestinian numbers without due-diligence (auditing), ignoring a 100% artificial inflation of the population numbers: inclusion of overseas resident, double-counting of Jerusalem Arabs and Israeli Arabs married to Judea and Samaria Arabs, inflated birth – and deflated death – data (as documented below).

In 2023, Israel is facing a potential wave of Aliyah (Jewish immigration) of some 500,000 Olim from the Ukraine, Russia, other former Soviet republics, France, Britain, Germany, Argentina, the USA, etc., which requires Israel to approach pro-active Aliyah policy as a top national priority.

In 2023, the Jewish demographic momentum persists (since 1995) with the secular Jewish sector making the difference, while the ultra-orthodox sector is experiencing a slight decline in fertility rate.

Jewish demographic momentum

*The number of Israeli Jewish births in 2022 (137,566) was 71% higher than 1995 (80,400), while the number of Israeli Arab births in 2022 (43,417) was 19% higher than 1995 (36,500), as reported by the February 2023 Monthly Bulletin of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS).

*In 2022, Jewish births (137,566) were 76% of total births (180,983), compared to 69% in 1995.

*The fertility rate (number of births per woman) of Israeli secular Jewish women has trended upward during the last 25 years.

*Israeli Jewish women – who are second only to Iceland in joining the job market – are unique in experiencing a direct correlation between a rise of fertility rate, on the one hand, and a rise in urbanization, education, level of income, integration into the job market and a rise of wedding age, on the other hand.

*In 1969, Israel’s Arab fertility rate was 6 births higher than the Jewish fertility rate. In 2015, both fertility rates were at 3.13 births per woman, reflecting the dramatic Westernization of Arab demography, triggered by the enhanced social status of women, older wedding age (24), expanded participation of women in higher-education and the job market, and shorter reproductive time (25-45 rather than 16-55). According to Israel’s Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, in 2021, the Jewish fertility rate was 3.13 (and 3.27 with an Israeli-born Jewish father), while the overall Arab fertility rate was 2.85 and the Muslim fertility rate was 3 (Judea and Samaria Arab fertility rate – 3.02).  The average OECD fertility rate is 1.61 births per woman.

*The unique growth in Israel’s Jewish fertility rate is attributed to optimism, patriotism, attachment to Jewish roots, communal solidarity, the Jewish high regard for raising children, frontier mentality and a declining number of abortions (34% decline since 1990).

*In 2022, there were 45,271 Israeli Jewish deaths, compared to 31,575 in 1996, a 43% increase (while the size of the population almost doubled!), which reflects a society growing younger. In 2022, there were 6,314 Israeli Arab deaths, compared to 3,089 in 1996, a 104% increase, which reflects a society growing older.  

In 2021, Israeli males’ life expectancy was 80.5 and Israeli females – 84.6.  Israel’s Arab life expectancy (78 per men and 82 per women) is higher than the US life expectancy (men – 73.2, women – 79.1). Life expectancy of Judea and Samaria Arabs: men – 74, women – 78.

*In 2022, the number of Israeli Jewish deaths was 33% of Jewish births, compared to 40% in 1995 – a symptom of a society growing younger. In 2022, the number of Israeli Arab deaths was 14.5% of Arab births, compared to 8% in 1995 – a symptom of a society growing older.

*Since 1995, the demographic trend has expanded the younger segment of Israel’s Jewish population, which provides a solid foundation for enhanced demography and economy.

*The positive Jewish demographic trend is further bolstered by Israel’s net-immigration, which consists of an annual Aliyah (Jewish immigration), reinforced by the shrinking scope of Israeli emigration: from 14,200 net-emigration in 1990 to 10,800 in 2020 (while the population doubled itself), which is higher than the 7,000 average annual net-emigration in recent years. The 2020 numbers may reflect the impact of COVID-19 on air travel.

Westernization of Arab demography

*A dramatic decline in the fertility rate from 9 births per woman in the 1960s to 3.02 births in 2022 is documented by the CIA World Factbook, which generally echoes the official Palestinian numbers. It reflects the Westernization of Arab demography in Judea and Samaria, which has been accelerated by the sweeping urbanization (from a 70% rural population in 1967 to a 77% urban population in 2022), as well as the rising wedding age for women (from 15 years old to 24), the substantial use of contraceptives (70% of Arab women in Judea and Samaria) and the shrinking of the reproductive period (from 16-55 to 24-45).

*The median age of Judea and Samaria Arabs is 22 years old, compared to 18 years old in 2005.

*The Westernization of fertility rates has characterized all Muslim countries, other than the sub-Sahara region: Jordan (which is very similar to the Judea and Samaria Arabs) – 2.9 births per woman, Iran – 1.9, Saudi Arabia – 1.9, Morocco – 2.27, Iraq – 3.17, Egypt – 2.76, Yemen – 2.91, United Arab Emirates – 1.65, etc.

*The number of Arab deaths in Judea and Samaria has been systematically under-reported (for political power and financial reasons), as documented by various studies since the British Mandate. For example, a recent Palestinian population census included Arabs who were born in 1845….

Artificially-inflated Palestinian numbers

*The demographic and policy-making establishment of Israel and the West refrains from auditing the official Palestinian data, and therefore it does not report the following well-documented Palestinian departure from a credible census:

*500,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over a year, are included in the Palestinian population census. However, internationally accepted procedures stipulate only a de-facto count. It was 325,000, as stated by the Head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in the aftermath of the first Palestinian census of 1997; increasing to 400,000 in 2005, as documented by the Palestinian Election Commission. The number grows daily because of overseas births.

*375,000 East Jerusalem Arabs, who possess Israeli ID cards, are doubly-counted. They are included in the Israeli census as well as in the Palestinian census. The number grows daily due to births.

*Over 150,000 Arabs from Gaza and (mostly) from Judea and Samaria, who married Israeli Arabs and received Israeli ID cards, are doubly-counted counted by Israel and by the Palestinian Authority. The number expands daily because of births.

*390,000 Arab emigrants from Judea and Samaria are not excluded from the population census of the Palestinian Authority. The latter ignores the annual net-emigration of mostly-young-Arabs from Judea and Samaria (20,000 annually in recent years). Net-emigration has been a systemic feature of the area, at least, since the Jordanian occupation in 1950. For example, 15,466 in 2022, 28,000 in 2021, 26,357 in 2019, 15,173 in 2017 and 16,393 in 2015, as documented by Israel’s Immigration and Population Authority, which records all Jewish and Arab exists and entries via Israel’s land, air and sea international passages.

*A 32% artificial inflation of Palestinian births was documented by the World Bank (page 8, item 6) in a 2006 audit. While the Palestinian Authority claimed an 8% increase in the number of births, the World Bank detected a 24% decrease.

*The aforementioned data documents 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when deducting the aforementioned documented-data (1.6 million) from the official Palestinian number (3 million).

The bottom line

*The US should derive much satisfaction from Israel’s demographic viability and therefore, Israel’s enhanced posture of deterrence, which is the US’ top force and dollar multiplier in the Middle East and beyond.

*In 1897, there was a 9% Jewish minority in the combined area of pre-1967 Israel, Judea and Samaria, expanding to a 39% minority in 1947. In 2023, there is a 69% Jewish majority (7.5mn Jews, 2mn Israeli Arabs and 1.4mn Arabs in Judea and Samaria), benefitting from a robust demographic tailwind of births and migration.

*In contrast to conventional wisdom, there is no Arab demographic time bomb.  There is, however, a robust Jewish demographic tailwind.

Support Appreciated









The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb