Reality-based vs. Palestinian-based Demography

"Israel Hayom",, October 11, 2015

Israeli opposition leaders, Yitzhak Herzog, Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni recently echoed the erroneous assumption – shared by the White House and Department of State - that Arabs will, eventually, become a majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel. Driven by demographic pessimism and fatalism – which has eroded Israel's negotiation posture - they urge a retreat from geography (the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria) in order to secure demography. 

They rely on Israel's demographic establishment, which regurgitates the numbers of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) without examination, ignores the dramatic transformation of Jewish and Arab demography, understates Jewish fertility, overstates Arab fertility, disregards the flawed practices of the PCBS, overlooks the burgeoning Arab net-emigration and Jewish net-immigration, and discards the feasibility of significant waves of Aliyah (Jewish immigration), which have occurred – in defiance of the demographic establishment - every 20 years since the 1930s. 

The 2025 projection by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) doomed the Jewish fertility rate of 2.6 births per woman in 2000 to 2.6-2.1 by 2025.  However, it has been significantly refuted by its own documentation of a 3.11 in 2015 and trending upward. The ICBS expected the Arab fertility rate of 4.6 births per woman to decline to 3.8 by 2025, but in 2015 it's already 3.35.

Demonstrating the bankruptcy of Israel's prophets of demographic doom:

In October 2015, Israel's Jewish fertility rate is higher than in any Arab country, other than Yemen, Iraq and Jordan (e.g., Egypt – 2.8 births per woman, Syria – 2.6, Saudi Arabia – 2.1).

*In October 2015, the ICBS documents the Israeli Jewish fertility rate at 3.11 births per woman (3.4 when both parents are Israeli-born), higher than the CIA World Factbook 2015 estimate of the rapidly Westernized Arab fertility rate in Judea & Samaria - 2.76, a significant decline from 5 births per Arab woman in 2000. The Israeli Muslim fertility rate is 3.35, trending below 3 births per woman.

*In 2015, Israel's Jewish births constitute 78% of total births, compared with 69% in 1995. 

*In 2015, a soaring fertility rate of Israel's secular sector - while the ultra-orthodox sector is experiencing a moderate decline - produced a 68.5% surge of annual Jewish births from 1995 (80,400) to 2014 (136,000). Israel's Arab-Jewish fertility gap has been reduced from 6 births in 1969 to 0.25 in 2015, with young Jewish women already above 3 births and young Arab women trending below 3.

*According to the CIA World Factbook, 2015, Judea and Samaria Arabs are growing older, featuring a median age of 22.7, compared with 17 in 2000, older than Israeli Arabs – 22.4.

*In October 2015, the documented number of Arabs in Judea and Samaria is 1.7mn – 1.1mn less than the number claimed by the PCBS.

*In October 2015, there are 6.6mn Jews and 3.4mn Arabs in the combined area of Judea, Samaria (1.7mn) and pre-1967 Israel (1.7mn): a 66% Jewish majority, benefitting from robust fertility and a migration tailwind, compared with an 8% and 39% Jewish minority in 1900 and 1947, respectively.  In 1947, Ben Gurion accepted a Jewish State with a 55% Jewish majority.

*In 2015, the Palestinian Authority squanders American taxpayer money, by receiving foreign aid, which is based – largely – on highly inflated population numbers.

Contrary to conventional "wisdom," the Jewish-Arab demographic balance does not portend an Arab demographic time bomb, but an unprecedented Jewish demographic tailwind. In fact, there is no demographic time bomb; only a demographic scarecrow.

On December 11, 1997, upon concluding the first Palestinian census, the Head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Hassan Abu Libdeh, told The New York Times that the Palestinian census “is a civil Intifada,” alluding to the wave of Palestinian terrorism during 1987-1992.

The 1997 "civil Intifada" was launched during the peak of the one million Aliyah wave from the USSR, which was about to burst the mythical Arab demographic bubble - the most effective psychological weapon against the Jewish State.

Leveraging its immunity to auditing by the international demographic establishment, and the fear-driven Israeli demographic establishment, the PCBS contends a 313% population growth from 1.5mn in 1990 to 4.7mn in the 2015, a dramatically higher growth rate than that of the fastest growing populations in the world.

The PCBS records include – in defiance of international regulations – more than 400,000 Arabs (mostly from Judea and Samaria) living abroad for over a year, the 300,000 Arabs of Jerusalem who are included in the Israeli records (hence a double-count), and over 100,000 Palestinians, who married Israeli Arabs, received Israeli ID cards and are also doubly-counted. 

A substantial Arab net-emigration (e.g., 25,000 in 2014 and 20,000 in 2013 from Judea and Samaria) – while Jewish net-immigration is mounting - is documented by Israel's Border Police, which supervises all international passages, as was documented by Jordan and Egypt, which controlled the international passages of Judea, Samaria and Gaza from 1950-1967. However, the PCBS claims a non-existent zero net-migration…. 

Moreover, the latest Palestinian census (2007) includes many people with mythological life expectancy, who were born in 1845 (ID #997751029), 1850 (ID #940353444), 1860 (ID #998181242), etc.….

Reality-based demography reflects the unique growth of Israel, nurturing optimism over pessimism, confidence-driven national security policy over fear-driven policy and responsible planning of national infrastructures over flawed planning.

In defiance of doomsday demography, Israel's demographic trend bodes well for the Jewish State, economically, technologically and militarily.