Sunday, April 14, 2013

Just Who Is Manipulating Demographic Data?

I have many blog posts here on the issue of demography or, to politically phrase it: should Israel remove itself from the territories of Judea and Samaria because if we keep them, the Arabs will outnumber us and either we'll be forced to deny them the vote, the democracy spin, or simply, they'll swamp us and we'll lose the Jewish character of Israel.

A recent one noting the issue of fertility.  Another.  An older one on decline.  Relating to a mainstream media report.  Another from 2009.  There are many more.  Another blogger.

Yesterday, I posted on an academic article by Ian Lustick (and here's an earlier treatment dealing with the "reinvigoration of the demographic issue").  It's main thrust is that there is revealed a

complex but systematic manipulation of data 

and that exposes 

the political objectives and drastic distortions of the campaign.

If Lustick worked on this article for years, I don't think a few days is enough time to adequately refute his charge.  Also, I am not a specialist in demographics (although I am not sure Lustick is).

But I asked around and for a start, consider these points:

a) why did he ignore Yaakov Faitelson's  "The Politics of Palestinian Demography". That article's research is very heavily based on... Arab sources, including the Palestinians, Jordanian and Egyptian, as also on US CBS, the UN and World Bank Data sources. 

b)  also ignored is the research of "Metzilah Center" demographers, Dr. Uzi Ravhon from Hebrew University and Gilad Malach, who came to the same conclusion in their work, "Demographic Trends in Israel", published in December 2008 and then in April 2009 that the Jewish population element in Israel will start to increase after 2030: 

"We have seen that the long-term projection flowing from existing trends allows the Jewish majority to hold firm at around 75 percent of the population"

two contrasting views — that Israel is inevitably moving toward binationalism and that the current trends are not threatening the preservation of the Jewish majority — should be revisited and assessed with greater caution.

c)  the demographic processes and ongoing trends in the Land of Israel for the last 100 years is working in the benefit of the Jewish population. 

d)  over the last 20 years, Arab demography is in the collapse stage whereas Jewish  demography is in the stage of the stabilization. 

e)  Prof. Arnon Sofer, who, previously was quite negative, and foresaw what didn't occur, (and note: "in an article published on July 6, 1987 in the newspaper "Yediot Ahoronot". The title of this article quoted Professor Arnon Sofer: "In 2000: Israel will be not Jewish". One year after this publication Professor Sofer was quoted once again in the title of another article published on August 2, 1988: "In 20 years from now, we'll beg for the Jewish autonomy in the country" and in 2001, was quoted so: "“If we continue with the status quo, with no decision-making, we have only another 15 years...If we talk about Greater Israel, we’re a minority from this year on” - just to show how predictions can be problematic) is now recognizing hat there is no demographic danger for the Jewish majority in the State of Israel while including for the first time the members of the Jewish families who were not defined as a Jews into the Zionist majority, isn't significantly in the Lustick study (he is mentioned in passing in note 3, sourced in Gadi Taub's blog??).  Actually, Soffer is more concerned about religious, and specifically Haredi Jews.

f)  he also never cited Dr. Ahmed Hleihel, Director of Demography Sector at Israeli Central Bereau of Statistics, who indicated that there was a mistake in the assessment of Jewish fertility, and on the other hand, the rate of Arab fertility decline. He came to believe that the Arab population's fertility will continue to fall in the direction of 2-3 children and this

in 2009, for the first time, the fertility rate of Jewish women in Jerusalem (4.3) was higher than the fertility rate of Arab women (3.9) and was even higher than that of Muslim women (3.9).

and this

The number of births among ultra-Orthodox women has dropped by 15 percent - from a 7.6 average per woman to 6.5 in the past decade and the average birth rate among Muslim women dropped from 5.6 births in the early 1980s to 3.63 in the second half of the last decade, the report found.

g)  there's also this missing: "in 2010, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of the Jewish woman resident in the Jewish communities throughout Yesha was 5.18 versus 3.12 of an Arab woman in the the same area (the WB).  And the natural increase of the Jewish population there was 3.54% that year versus 2.13% for the Arab population.  That's the natural increase per 1000, from CIA World Factbook 2010."

Who is manipulating data?

More to come.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In scandinavia people think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it " Ful nasa". the word "ful" is pronounced like the english word "fuel". i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.
It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work "nasa" can mean both "to marry" and "to lift" and "to desire" among many other verbs..