The Myth of the Demographic Machete
Yoram Ettinger, Bennett Zimmerman, Dr. Mike Wise, and Dr.
According to a groundbreaking AIDRG study, there is no need
to retreat from Judea & Samaria Jewish geography , in
order to secure Jewish demography. Such a perceived need
is based on the assumption that Jews are, ostensibly, doomed
to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
this assumption is crashed against the rocks of reality,
as evidenced by the 2006 “Green Line” data, published
by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS). In
1995, Jewish births constituted 69% of total births, growing
to 74% in 2006! A 36% increase in the number of annual Jewish
births has occurred since 1995: 109,183 in 2006, compared
with 103,599 in 2003 and 80,400 in 1995. At the same time,
the number of annual Arab births has stagnated: 38,653 in
2006, compared with 41,447 in 2003 and 36,500 in 1995.
decline of fertility rates (number of children per woman)
in Third World , Arab and Muslim countries has been documented
by the UN Population Division. For instance, Iran , Egypt
and Jordan have plummeted to 1.98, 2.5 and 3 children respectively,
down from 10, 7 and 8 children per woman 25 years ago. Moreover,
the “Green Line” Arab-Jewish fertility rate gap
has shrunk drastically from 6 children in the 1960s to 1
in 2006 (3.70:2.75). While the number of Arab births per
1,000 has sharply declined from 35.0 in 1996 to 27.7 in 2006,
the number of Jewish births has increased from 18.3 in 1996
to 19.3 in 2006.
gradual westernization of Arab/Muslim fertility rates has
Third World societies, located contiguous to Western societies.
Yakov Feitelson has shed light on the demographic evolution
of Third World societies. The first stage displays very high
birth and death rates. The initial contact with a Western
society – as took place in 1949 (“Green Line”)
and in 1967 (Judea & Samaria, Gaza ) – benefits
the Third World society with advanced medical, educational
and employment infrastructures. Consequently, infant mortality
plunges, life expectancy rises and emigration drops – a “Demographic
Explosion” which peaks in about 20 years. The sustained
decline in birth rates and the faster decrease in death rates
produce a slower expansion of natural increase. Then, birth
rates decline persists, while death rates stabilize and the
ranks of the elderly expand. Hence, the erosion of natural
increase (birth rate minus death rate). “Green Line” and
Judea & Samaria Arab natural increase rates peaked during
the 1960s and early 1990s respectively. Since then, they
have converged toward the secular Jewish natural increase
population growth rate in Judea & Samaria has been chopped substantially
due to a significant emigration rate: over 10,000 net negative
annual Arab emigration since 1950. A retreat from Judea & Samaria
would reverse the Arab migration trend, yielding a massive
immigration into Judea & Samaria, and from there – due
to economic pressures – into the “Green Line”,
which would wreck Jewish demography.
myth of the demographic machete hovering, supposedly, over
Jewish State has been nurtured by Palestinian Central Bureau
of Statistics (PCBS) numbers. They are 70% inflated in Judea & Samaria
(1.5 million and not 2.5 million) and more than 50% inflated
in Gaza , Judea & Samaria (2.5 million and not 4 million).
That inflation is documented by the Palestinian Ministries
of Health and Education, Palestinian Election Commission,
Jordan ’s Bureau of Statistics, Israel ’s Borders’ Police
and the ICBS. For example, some 400,000 non-resident Palestinians
are counted, about 300,000 babies who were projected to be
born were never born, 300,000 expected immigrants have never
arrived but 100,000 emigrants were never projected, over
200,000 Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted by the ICBS and
PCBS as “Green Line” and West Bank Arabs, and
100,000 Palestinians who married Israeli Arabs are similarly
examination of documented births, deaths and migration highlights
long-term Jewish majority of 67% over 98.7% of the land west
of the Jordan River (without Gaza ), or 60% over the entire
land. The Jewish majority benefits from a demographic tailwind.
There is no demographic machete at its throat. A formulation
of a long-term demographic strategy would bolster Jewish
majority by leveraging annual Aliya (Jewish immigration),
annual net Arab emigration, the decrease in Arab – and
the increase in Jewish – birth rates.
a retreat from Judea & Samaria geography/topography would
produce a relief of a non-lethal demographic burden, while
exacerbating a lethal security and water burden.
groundbreaking study was recently published – in Hebrew
and English – by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.