MembersHow United is Jerusalem?

Celebrating 50 years since the reunification of the western half of Jerusalem with its eastern half begs the question – what’s on the eastern side?

By Tsvi Sadan |

Looking at the following map – kindly provided by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (JIIS) – eastern Jerusalem (light green) is made up primarily of Arab villages. Among those are Beit Hanina, A-Tur and Sur Baher. Of the 850,000 residents of Jerusalem, 304,000 (36 percent) are Arabs. This makes Jerusalem both the largest Jewish city and the largest Arab city in Israel.

 

Jerusalem’s demography touches upon one of Israel’s biggest fears. An accepted myth, created mostly for political reasons, says that demography works against the Jews, and so at some point in the not-to-distant-future, the Arab population will grow so large that Israel will no longer be a “Jewish” state.

 

This is the main argument for the two-state solution. But JIIS research shows that the opposite is true: Arab fertility rates have dropped dramatically over the past decade. Today, Arab women in Jerusalem give birth to 3.2 children, on average. This, says JIIS researcher Yair Assaf-Shapira, is due to improved economic conditions and modernization. Jewish fertility...

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