Friday, December 31, 2010

Do You Believe In Headlines?

Here's a headline from Yedioth Ahronot from July 7, 1987:



It translates:

"In the year 2000, Israel won't be Jewish"

The person who uttered that prognostication is Prof. Arnon Soffer.  He's to Geula Cohen's right.

If you go here, htis Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel site, in Hebrew, you'lll find this information:

there are 7.7 million persons residing in Israel.

of them, 5.8 million are Jews (75.4%)
            1.57 million are Arabs (20.4%)
              .320 million are other (4.2%)

How's that for academic professional ability?

Now, take into consideration that in Judea and Samaria live 1.6 million Arabs (the 'official figure' of 2.5 million is off as it includes a double-count of .200 million residing in jerusalem and .400 million who actually reside abroad (and do you know how many Israelis live abroad?), that leaves a Jewish majority between the River and the Sea of 66%.

After 23 years.

Not bad.


UPDATE

Yoram Ettinger adds:

...Demographobia has shaped Israel's public debate on the future of Judea and Samaria, in spite of the 50% rise in the annual number of Jewish births since 1995, compared with the stabilization of the annual number of Arab births since then...Demgoraphobia has corrupted movers and shakers in defiance of a September 2006 study by The World Bank, which documented a 32% "inflation" in the number of PCBS births. Demographobia has clouded the Israeli state-of-mind notwithstanding the demographic tailwind which bolsters the current 66% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel...There is a demographic problem, but there is no demographic machete at the throat of the Jewish State.

Dr. David Passig, a futurist and the Head of the Graduate Program of Communication Technologies at Bar Ilan University, analyzes [in Hebrew] [and here, too, in Hebrew] the collapse of Middle East and global demographic projections and the blossoming of Jewish demography in Israel. According to Passig, Muslim fertility is experiencing the fastest decline in the world, while Israel's Jewish fertility rate is surging. In 2010, Israeli Arab fertility rate declined to its lowest level, as a result of unprecedented modernization process. "Among Palestinians, natural birth and fertility rates are similar to those in Jordan (2.8 births per woman)."

Is demographic pessimism justified in 2011 while Herzl and Ben Gurion were solidly optimistic in 1900 and in 1947 when Jews were a minority of 8% and 33% respectively in their Homeland?!

Is it responsible to subordinate Jewish vision and national security to tenuous demographic problems in 2011, while Ben Gurion and his successors – until 1992 – proactively upgraded demography in order to advance vision and national security?!

On Passig:

Well, in a fascinating study that was publicized last month in the weekly B'Sheva, Haggai Segal claims that as opposed to the prophecies of demographic doom - "a fundamental and free-of-defeatism analysis proves that the Arabs are still not the majority between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, nor will they be in the next few years."

Segal partly bases himself on studies conducted by Yaakov Feitelson (Netanyahu's former demographic adviser), Dr. Yitzhak Ravid and Dr. David Passig of Bar-Ilan University, who claims that the majority of pessimistic predictions rely on outdated methodology, and that in fact time is working in Israel's favor. From what he says, the time should get a little encouragement in the form of voluntary transfer, which he claims is in any case happening, but is thwarted by the Shin Bet and the Jordanians.


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