April 23, 2008


Jews in Israel and the Diaspora follow the peace process closely and a majority of them favour the two-state solution. As Yoram Ettinger explains below, this is due in part to their fear of the alleged Demographic Time Bomb.

Yoram Ettinger explains.

1. Support – among Israeli Jews – for the proposed Palestinian state (“Two States Solution”) is soft and reluctant, according to a March 31-April 1 poll conducted by the Tel Aviv University Center For Peace Research.

2. The establishment of the proposed Palestinian state is supported by 68%, many of whom – other than the Israel’s traditional Left – subordinate their security and historical concerns to their demographic concern. However, the demographic scare has been debunked by the Bennett Zimmerman-led American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), as summarized below.

3. 55% of Israeli Jews define Judea & Samaria as “Liberated Territory,” compared with 32% who consider it “Occupied Territory,” in defiance of a 15 year old Political-Correctness promoted by Israel’s government, media, academic and k-12 education systems.

4. 57% of Israeli Jews do not accept the “Green Line” as Israel’s border, compared with 23% who accept it.

5. 49%:43% oppose an agreement, which entails painful concessions - a code name for substantial withdrawals.

6. 47%:40% of Israeli Jews consider the 1993 Oslo Accord a mistake.

7. 75% of Israeli Jews don’t believe that negotiation would lead to an agreement with the Palestinians. 75% believe that even if an agreement would be concluded, the Palestinians would not consider it an end to their conflict with Israel.

8. Most Israeli Jews oppose the tangible – potentially lethal - consequences of the “Two State Solution.” Their soft & reluctant support of the “Two State Solution” has been based on unfounded demographic fatalism. It has benefited from the absence of a systematic, full scale educational media campaign, highlighting historical, security and demographic aspects of Judea & Samaria mountain ridges (the “Golan Heights” of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean, surrounded by the conflict-ridden, volatile, violent, non-compliant Arab Mideast, which is yet to experience inter-Arab peace).

The American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG)

Key Findings
April 2008

Western taxpayers have provided, since 1994, a multi-billion dollar foreign aid to the PA, based on dramatically inflated Palestinian numbers. President Bush stated that Prime Ministers Sharon and Olmert argued that Israeli territorial concessions were required, in order to spare Israel a demographic calamity. Really?

I. AIDRG documents a 1.1MN (46%) inflation in the official number of Palestinians in Gaza, Judea & Samaria (2.7MN and not 3.8MN) and a 53% inflation in the official number of Palestinians in Judea & Samaria alone (1.5MN and not 2.3MN). The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) includes in its census some 400,000 overseas residents, 200,000 Israeli (Jerusalem) Arabs who are also counted as “Green Line” Arabs, ignores about 200,000 emigrants (since 1997), etc. The World Bank documents a 32% gap between the PCBS and the Palestinian Ministry of Education - documented – number of Palestinian births.

II. A long-term 67% Jewish majority on 98.5% of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (without Gaza). A long-term 60% Jewish majority west of the Jordan River compared with 33% and 8% minority in 1947 and 1900 respectively.

III. Arab fertility rate (within the “Green Line”) has declined 20 year faster than conventionally projected – due to modernity and integration - while Jewish fertility rate is rising.

IV. A 40% rise in annual Jewish births (from 80,400 to 112,000) and a stagnation of annual Arab births (39,000) in the “Green Line” during 1995-2007. Arab-Jewish gap of fertility (number of children per woman) reduced from 6 in 1969 to 0.8 in 2006. Arab fertility rate has declined, in Judea & Samaria, to about 4.5 since its peak (about 8) in the late 1980s.

V. Arab-Jewish fertility rates have converged in Jerusalem – 3.9 children per woman – for the first time since 1948.

VI. Net annual emigration of over 10,000 has characterized Judea & Samaria (mostly) and Gaza Arabs since 1950: 12,000 in 2004, 16,000 in 2005 and 25,000 in 2006.

VII. The Jewish State has benefited from annual Aliya (immigration) since 1882. Repeatedly, since 1948, Israel’s demographic establishment has projected no waves of Aliya.

VIII. Secular Olim (immigrants) from the former Soviet Republics experience fertility increase from the Russian rate of one child per woman toward the average secular Israeli rate of 2.2.

IX. Repeatedly, projections of demographic doom have been refuted by robust Jewish demography between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. For example, Ben Gurion was urged by Israel’s demographers to delay declaration of independence, lest the 600,000 Jews of 1948 become a minority by 1967!

X. There is a demographic problem, but it is not lethal, and the demographic trend is Jewish and not Arab. The demographic momentum is shifting from the Arab to the Jewish sector. Demography constitutes a strategic asset, not a liability, for the Jewish State.


As Israelis come to understand there is no demographic time bomb, they will be more inclined to vote against the two-state solution. But many will still favour the two-state solution because they do not want another 1.1 million Arabs in the country even if Israel gets to keep the Westbank and Jerusalem.

But what happens if that ratio is improved by a program to induce Arabs to leave with generous financial support and by expelling everyone connected to terror.

And what if a constitution is passed which protects Israel as a Jewish state and new citizenship rules are passed which require a loyalty test and knowledge of Hebrew and National service.

This suggests they will strongly support annexation of Judea and Samaria rather than painful concessions.

Ted Belman

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