'Israel is not facing a demographic threat'

Monday, January 03, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Most Israelis remember that just 40-some years ago, Judea and Samaria (including the eastern half of Jerusalem) were in Arab hands. They are smart enough to realize that surrendering those areas back to the Arabs wouldn’t result in peace today any more than it did before 1967.

As such, international pressure alone is not enough to get the Israelis to meet Arab demands, which the world insists must be done for peace to reign in the Middle East. So, instead of howling that Israel must make concessions to appease the world, advocates of the land-for-peace process both in Israel and abroad claim that if Israel does not facilitate the birth of a Palestinian Arab state, the Jewish state itself will soon cease to have a majority of Jews.

They call this the demographic threat.

But the demographic threat has been repeatedly debunked, although the mainstream media tends to only cover those predictions that support the demographic threat.

Two left-wing Israeli demographers have again been pushing the demographic threat in major local newspapers. This week, the deputy director of the Yesha Council of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria sought to once again set the record straight.

Speaking to Arutz 7 radio, Yigal Dilmoni noted that one of the demographers made similarly gloomy predictions decades ago. In a 1987 feature article that appeared in Israel’s largest daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, demographer Prof. Arnon Sofer insisted that by the year 2000, Israel would no longer be majority Jewish.

Of course, that prediction turned out to be utterly erroneous, as Jews today, in 2010, make up about 80 percent of Israel’s population.

Dilmoni noted that even if Israel annexed Judea and Samaria and added the Arabs there to its population, Jews would still hold a majority of 67 percent in the lands west of the Jordan River.

One of the biggest problems with these demographic games is that Israel’s leading “experts” and the government itself too easily accept Palestinian-provided population figures, which naturally are massaged to benefit the “Palestinian cause.”

A recent study done by the American-Israel Demographic Research Group revealed that instead of the 2.5 million Arabs the Palestinian Authority claims live in Judea and Samaria, in reality only 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs live there. Additionally, the Palestinian Arab birthrate has been dropping, while the Jewish birthrate in Israel has seen a slight increase over the past decade.

The bottom line is that Israel is not facing a demographic threat, even if it fully exercises its biblical mandate and annexes Judea and Samaria. And even if the demographic threat that many claim exists was real, it would still pale in comparison to the actual demographic threat that existed in 1948, but which did not deter David Ben Gurion and his fellow Jews from declaring statehood.

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