Sunday, June 15, 2008

Israel's demographic facts defy pessimistic predictions - it is still a Jewish state

Arutz Sheva reported:

by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) With Israel's population currently at 7.3 million, and over 75% of them Jews, the demographic trends continue to be pro-Jewish.

Demographer and diplomat Yoram Ettinger notes that pessimistic predictions about Jewish growth in Israel "systematically crash upon the cliffs of reality." His latest target is the "secret memorandum" presented by Israel's first statistician, the late Prof. Roberto Baki, to David Ben-Gurion in 1944.

Baki told Ben-Gurion that Jews could comprise, at best, 16% of the total population in Israel by 2001 - but possibly as low as 8.8%. If Jewish Aliyah [immigration] to Israel was taken into account, Baki predicted, Jews would make up between 21% and 34% of the total population.

In fact, however, at the end of December 2007, Jews comprised 75.6% of the total population, and Arabs were 20%. When taking Judea, Samaria and Gaza into account, the Jews still have a 60% majority.

Baki Ignored Aliyah
Baki, the founder of Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), was the "inspiration for Israel's statistical and demographical institutions," Ettinger writes. However, Ettinger says, Baki simply did not take into account the systematic and massive Jewish Aliyah [immigration] to Israel over the decades.

Only 18,000 Jews made Aliyah in 2007 and 19,000 in 2006, compared with 21,000 in 2005. However, Ettinger writes, "The current drop is simply a natural phase of the cyclical nature of Aliyah. The fall and winter herald the spring. This was the case in the 70's and 90's as well. An unprecedented amount of Jewish/Zionist education in the former Soviet Union and in the United States herald the spring of Aliyah."

On the other hand, he notes, "Arab emigration, mostly young Arabs of child-bearing age, has characterized Judea, Samaria and Gaza since 1950."

Baki also predicted, quite mistakenly, that the Arab birth rate would continue to be very high, stabilizing at 6-7 children per woman. In fact, however, it is now 4 in Judea and Samaria, and closer to 3 inside Israel. The Jewish birthrate, on the other hand, continues to crawl upward, up from 2.6 to 2.8 over the past 20 years.

Jewish Births - Up
The annual number of Jewish births has increased by 40% in the past 12 years, from 80,400 to 112,500, whereas the number of Arab births in Israel has remained stable at 39,000.

Ettinger states that many Israeli demographers, such as those of the CBS, Prof. Professor Sergio Della Pergola of Hebrew University, and Prof. Arnon Sofer of Haifa University, "consistenly ignore the principle of demographic cycles... Their predictions do not take into account the great influence on Arab demographics of emigration, urbanization, expanded education, family planning, fewer teenage pregnancies, later marriage, and divorces."

Ettinger: Jews are Non-Normative
Ettinger accuses them of "basing their predictions on linear extrapolations, which are doomed to failure, especially in the long-term. They also tend to deal with Jewish demographics in normative Western terms - corresponding income and education with child-bearing - when in fact this is generally not relevant to the Jewish nation, which is non-normative."

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1 comment :

  1. Garnel IronheartJune 15, 2008 at 9:06 PM

    One must remember a few problems with any census from Israel:

    1) The Arab numbers are generally inflated, by 50-100%. As everyone knows during voting time people who died 30 years ago are still on "the list" and manage to vote for the local Arab party. Far from 3 million Arabs in Yehudah and Shomron, for example, I've seen some estimated put it as low as 1.5 million.

    2) As a corrolary to that, Arabs who leave the country continue to be on "the list" there as well so the number never goes down.

    2) The Russian aliyah pushed back the slow growth in the arab proportion. I recall in the early 1980's people shouting that if something wasn't done soon, the country would be 50% Arab. 20 years later and it's still 80% Jewish.

    God protects even when we're not watching closely.

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