Caroline Glick most recent column in the Jerusalem Post contains important demographic data. In his speech last week, President Obama stated, The number of Palestinians living west of the Jordan River is growing rapidly and fundamentally reshaping the demographic realities of both Israel and the Palestinian territories. This will make it harder and harder without a peace deal to maintain Israel as both a Jewish state and a democratic state.
Glick calls this the demographic time bomb story, and she says it is demonstrably false. I will let her provide the details:
“The demographic time bomb story is a Palestinian fabrication. In 1997, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics published a falsified Palestinian census that inflated Palestinian population data by 50 percent.
“The Israeli Left adopted this fake report as its own when Palestinian terrorism and political warfare convinced the majority of Israelis that it was unwise to give them any more land and that the peace process was a lie.
“Since 2004, repeated, in-depth studies of Jewish and Arab birthrates and immigration/ emigration statistics west of the Jordan River undertaken by independent researchers have shown that the demographic time bomb is a dud. In January, the respected demographer Yaakov Faitelson published a study for the Institute of Zionist Strategies in which he definitively put to rest the tale of pending Jewish demographic doom.
“As Faitelson demonstrated, Jewish and Arab birthrates are already converging west of the Jordan River at around three children per woman. And whereas the fertility rates of Israeli Arabs, Gazans and residents of Judea and Samaria are all trending downward, Jewish fertility is consistently rising. Moreover, whereas the Arabs are experiencing consistently negative net immigration rates, Jewish net immigration rates are positive and high.”
“Faitelson based his multiyear projections on current population numbers in which Jews comprise 58.6 percent of the population west of the Jordan River and Muslims constitute 38.7% of the overall population. Non-Jewish, non-Muslim minorities comprise the other 2.7%. Using assessment baselines for Jewish net immigration well below current averages, Faitelson showed that in the years to come, not only will Jews not lose our demographic majority. We will increase it.
“Faitelsons study, like the studies published since 2004 by the American-Israeli Demographic Research Group show that from a demographic perspective, Israel is in the same situation as many Western states today. Namely, it has to develop policies for dealing with an irredentist minority population.”