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Old 03-21-2018, 01:00 AM
WABA WABA is offline
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Default Israel’s ‘Demographic Time Bomb’?

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Israel’s ‘Demographic Time Bomb’?




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The concept that Israel is, ostensibly, facing a demographic time bomb is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.

By: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

The “demographic time bomb” concept accords mythical standards to Arab fertility and European standards to Jewish fertility, ignoring the Westernization of Arab fertility and the surging secular Jewish fertility, while significantly underestimating the potential of Jewish immigration (Aliyah) to Israel, which has been steady and continuous since 1882.

In March 1898, the leading Jewish demographer-historian, Shimon Dubnov, published a demographic projection, aiming to dissuade Theodor Herzl from the vision of the reconstruction of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel: “in 1998, there will be only half a million Jews in the Land of Israel…. Political Zionism is wishful-thinking….” Herzl was not deterred, although there was a meager 9% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.

In October, 1944, Prof. Roberto Bachi, the founder of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, published a demographic projection, intending to convince Israel’s Founding Father, David Ben Gurion, that a population of then 600,000 Jews was not a critical mass for the re-establishment of the Jewish State: “In 2001, there will be, under the best case scenario, 2.3MN Jews, a 34% minority….” Ben Gurion proceeded to re-establish the Jewish State despite the mere 55% Jewish majority in the area partitioned for the Jewish State, and the 39% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.



In 1946, Ben Gurion published a document by Israel Trivus – No Arab Majority in the Land of Israel – which exposed substantial deficiencies in the population censuses conducted by the British Mandate in 1922 and 1931, similar to the deficiencies of the contemporary Palestinian census: the inclusion of overseas residents in the census; the double-count of people moving from rural areas to urban centers; the inflation of numbers by clan leaders for political and economic reasons; the under-reporting of deaths. A June 10, 1993 document of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics noted that according to Palestinian reporting, Palestinian life expectancy, supposedly, exceeded life expectancy in the USA….

Sustained Economic Growth and Minimal Foreign Labor

In 2018, Israel is the sole Western democracy and modern economy, which benefits from a tailwind of fertility and net-migration, providing for sustained economic growth with minimal foreign labor.

Thus, in 2016, in defiance of the “demographic time bomb” concept, and for the first time ever, the Jewish fertility rate (3.16 births per woman) exceeded the Arab fertility rate (3.11). Notwithstanding the mild decline of the ultra-orthodox fertility rate, there was a surge in the number of Jewish births from 80,400 in 1995 to 140,000 in 2017, while the number of Arab births rose mildly from 36,000 to 43,500. The share of Jewish births out of total births was 69% in 1995, rising to 76.5% in 2017, reflecting the rise of Jewish optimism, patriotism, attachment to roots, collective responsibility and the significant decline in the number of abortions.

In 2018, the fertility rates in the Muslim World (except for the Sub-Sahara region) are substantially Westernized due to urbanization (e.g., from a 70% rural society, the Palestinian Authority evolved into a 75% urban society), integration of women into the labor and education systems (completing high school and increasingly enrolling in colleges and universities), the surge of wedding-age above 20, a decline of teen-pregnancy and a dramatic expansion of the use of contraceptives. For example, Iran and Saudi Arabia feature 2 births per woman, Egypt – 3.6, Jordan – 3.2 and the Palestinian Authority – 3 births per woman.

In 2018, 7 Million Jews in Israel

In 2018, in Israel, there are 7 million Jews along with 130,000 Druze, 130,000 Christian Arabs and 1.6MN Muslims, in addition to 1.85MN Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

The 65.5% Jewish majority, in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel, benefits from a tailwind of fertility – mostly because of the secular sector – and a potential wave of Aliyah of hundreds of thousands of Jews (requiring the reinstatement of a pro-active Aliyah policy by the Israeli government) from France, Germany, additional European countries, Russia, the Ukraine, Moldova, Argentina and Britain.

Israel’s demographic surge – quantitatively and qualitatively – is bolstering the size of Israel’s future classes of military recruits and the labor force, which enhances reality-based optimism, militarily and economically. It also feeds a demographically-confident national security policy, since there is no lethal demographic threat, which could lead to a retreat from geography (the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria), in order to save demography.


The concept that Israel is, ostensibly, facing a demographic time bomb is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.


Source: The Ettinger Report

17 Comments


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screminmimi • 6 hours ago
The EU and now the US is forcing Jews to flee to Israel for safety. Israel has no choice but annex. In the future it may have to take Gaza and Palestine. Personally, I don't care. Palestinians are feral and terrorists who hate the rest of the world and even themselves. Better a Jewish state than Arab Muslims that even the other Arab Muslims refuse to take in, calling themselves eternal refugees. They are ridiculous fools in their reasoning, their politics and their speech to other nations. They produce nothing of value, export nothing but terrorism and hate.

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Michael Mann • 8 hours ago
Even a rato of 2:1, Jews to Arabs, in Israel extending from the River to the Sea, represents an imbalance that woud undermine the Jewish character of the Jewish state. A unitary state is not in Jewish interests.

While citizenship of Israeli Arabs may not lawfully be revoked, it must not be offered to territorial Arabs who should be administered on the basis of a governance model involving demilitarized, semi-autonomous, "emirates" resembling municipalities. They should not vote in Israeli national elections.

Would that compromise Israeli democracy? Perhaps but politics is the art of the possible. There are no perfect democracies.

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jgarbuz Michael Mann • 3 hours ago
Also, even the "American Indians" finally got citizenship in 1923, though they also got about 87,000 square miles of tribal lands reserved for them, our about 2.5% of US territory upon which only they can reside. If Israel "reserves" about 900 square miles (10% of overall Eretz Yisrael), or about 45% of Judah and Samaria for them to live in without any more Jewish settlements, and they accept that Israel is the Jewish state, then it won't matter if they get Israeli IDs or not. Otherwise no reason to not build Jewish "settlements" wherever.


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Michael Mann jgarbuz • an hour ago
Native reserves -- at least in Canada where I am from -- permit non-Natives to lease or rent residential and commercial property. I would not expect areas of Arab semi-autonomy within a Jewish state to be Judenrein, but all residents would have to conform to laws of the areas. Jurisdiction would be limited to what we know as municipal law -- schools, land use (zoning), health, social assistance, policing,

The compromise to democracy is that Arabs would not vote in national elections, only in municipal elections for their own town councils. This compromise is necessary for security reasons and to ensure continuity of a state that is Jewish.

Jewish 'settlements' exist in territorial areas that were historically Jewish and would not comprise any part of Arab semi-autonomy. The would be part of the Jewish state.

In legal terms, Arabs are entitled to domicile in the Jewish state but not to sovereignty.


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jgarbuz Michael Mann • an hour ago
I'm not too familiar with the situation in Canada, but in the USA about 2.5% of the total territory, or some 87,000 square miles of tribal lands are reserved to the "Indian" nations/ tribes to keep for themselves, and no one but they may live on their lands without their permission. But as citizens of the US, they can choose to live anywhere outside their reservations, where they choose and can afford. I would give the Arab tribes living in Judah and Samaria the same scenario. Some areas, perhaps 40%, of Judah and Samaria where Jews could visit but not settle or build, but those who accepted ISraeli citizenship, and pledge to be loyal, would be able to live in their "reservations" or live in Tel Aviv if they can afford to do so. Same as in the USA. But no "right of return" and no weapons other than for local tribal police.


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Michael Mann jgarbuz • an hour ago
The situation is similar in Canada. I agree with you: give teritorial Arabs the same privileges as you describe above. The real limitation is that I do not think they should vote in national Israeli elections or anywhere outside their zones of semi-autonomy. That does compromise liberal democracy but is necessitated by the current security reality.

Arabs with Israeli citizenship should and do vote in Israeli national elections.


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jgarbuz Michael Mann • 4 hours ago
That is what the leftists have always been saying since Herzl's time. When the Balfour Declaration and the later League of Nations Mandate was declared, the percentage of Jews in "Palestine" was only about 9%. When US senators and congressmen King and Crane came to the Levant to poll what the majority of Arabs had to say about a Jewish National Home, they reported that well over 90% were dead set agains the very idea, If you listen to liberals who worship at the alter of "democracy," there was no right for a jewish state to come into existence against the will of over 90% majority. But here we are despite their constant qualms and bitter naysaying. First of all, there is nothing in the Torah or even in the Balfour Declaration that says that Israel has to be a democracy. Russia isn't a democracy. Most states in the region are not democracies. The kingdom of Judah and Israel were not democracies. The Weimer Republic was a democracy. The Natzi party won, so why didn't the Jews listen to the majority and leave for Palestine? Democracy is fine, most of the time, but it's not God. In any case, if Judah and Samaria were annexed tomorrow, Jews would still be over 60% west of the Jordan river, provided Gaza was not included. But if Gaza was annexed, which nobody wants to do, it would mean the Jews would be about 49% of the population. Still more than 9%.
And what is the "Jewish character" anyway? Tel Aviv represents the "Jewish character?" What is this "Jewish character?" If you mean that the Jewish tribe should be the majority in its own land, I would agree. Otherwise there is very little agreement of what is the "Jewish character:" is or means. Is it like the Irish character in Ireland, or the Swedish character in Sweden? Other than a solid Jewish majoity, we cannot agree what the "Jewish character" means. Kibbutzniks? Haredim? What does it even mean? Anyone?


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Michael Mann jgarbuz • an hour ago
It's not a case of worshipping at the altar of democracy but liberal democracy is the best system for ensuring security, continuity, order and productivity in a society. I'm not sure what alternative you have in mind -- except that model cannot include the group now comprising territorial Arabs for reasons of security and to ensure that the rest of Israel retains its Jewish character.

"Jewish character" means minimal intrusion of Islamic characteristics such as the muezzin's call, women's dress styles, Arabic language. Arab zones in the new reality would be like China town is currently in North America; or like any other ethnic enclave. For a dose of Arab culture or food or crafts or local color, go to the 'emirates' that I define in other posts here.


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jgarbuz Michael Mann • an hour ago
I'm not suggesting any alternatives to democracy, which Churchill reminded us "Is the worst system, except for all the others." But the League of Nations Mandate had nothing to do with the majority wishes of the Arabs in the region. A Jewish homeland was imposed on the majority Arabs at that time, because the League decided that justice required the restoration of a homeland for the much maligned Jewish people. Especially since the Arabs were soon to get 11 states of their own, now 21. Of course it was hoped that many Jews would RUSH to Palestine after 1920 and rapidly become the majority, but alas, that did not happen from 1922-1939. So Jews remained a minority in the "Jewish National Home" until after 1948. But Jews are today 49% in the lands assigned to the "Jewish National Home"in 1922, and well over 60% if Gaza is excluded.
But as for loud Muezzins and Church bells ringing, I admit there have to be noise laws that keep such noise pollution to a minimum. As for clothing styles, I have no objection if it keeps Jewish boys and Muslim girls separated. I have no problem with Muslims wearing whatever they want as long as there are no bombs, guns or knives under their clothes.

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Katalina Wierzba • 9 hours ago
Thank God for the fact that the "demographic bomb" is a mistake

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Geoffrey Rogg • 8 hours ago
One observation. Without pointing fingers, recent demonstrations against Sabbath restrictions on certain store openings demonstrate that we do have a potentially dangerous situation in our midst from certain elements in the emerging demographic. Olim from the UK and France are mostly highly respectful of Jewish tradition and practice but this is not the case for Olim from some other countries mentioned. Israel is a Jewish State and anyone not respecting this as an unalterable fact of life should not make Aliya, we don't want them nor need them.

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JB Silver • 6 hours ago
The direction of the article is correct, but not enough. And the 'throwaway line' that most of the Jewish increase in births is among the Secular, is total BS. Especially since they constitute MAXIMUM 2% of the Jewish population.
I don't know about you, but a population which fasts on Yom Kippur [98+%]; attends a Passover Seder [95%]; Lights Sabbath Candles & does Kiddush on Erev Shabbat [91%]; keeps a Kosher kitchen [86%]; keeps Kosher outside [81%]; visits a Sukka during Sukkot [81%]; etc., is to my mind, Traditional.
The real numbers are: 65% Traditional Jews {3.5-4 kids/woman}, 26% Orthodox Jews {5.5-6 kids/woman}; 7% UltraOrthodox Jews {9-10 kids/woman}; and 2% Secular Jews {1.5-2 kids/woman}.

The number of Moslems in pre-1967 Israel is roughly 1.2 million; the Moslem population in Judea & Samaria is about 700,000; in the Gaza Strip, just under 600,000; in Jerusalem, 120,000. Total: 2.6 million. And their reproduction rate is, like Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, etc.: 1.5-2 kids/woman.

There are 7.5 million Jews in the Greater Land of Israel. We are outbreeding the Moslems, and we have Aliya, while they have a lot of their best and brightest emigrating to Canada, South and Central America, etc.
I wish them speedy travels.

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David S • 9 hours ago
And what about the Charedi (ultra orthodox ) Jewish population, where there’s an average of something like 8 children per family.

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jgarbuz • 4 hours ago
How about the abortion rate of over 40,000 mostly Jewish babies killed every year in Israel. IS that fact figured into the equation? What if an additional 40,000 Jewish babies were allowed to live every year, wouldn't that decrease the "demographic threat" even further?


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Eliyahu100 • 5 hours ago
Just remember that Ettinger excludes Gaza from his calculations. He does not want to annex Gaza, at least not now.


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jgarbuz Eliyahu100 • 2 hours ago
Nobody wants Gaza.Not Egypt and not ISrael. If they make a peace treaty recognizing the Jewish state they can make their only little state like Singapore. But if not they will just remain a cancer, hopefully under control.


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