Theodore Herzl (in 1900) and David Ben Gurion (in 1947) did not subordinate
their vision and long-term strategy to tenuous demographic constraints: A
Jewish minority of 8% and 33% respectively between the Jordan River and the
Mediterranean. Their defiance of odds was responsible for the 1948
establishment of the Jewish State.
In 2010, there is a solid 67% Jewish majority in the combined area of
pre-1967 Israel and Judea and Samaria. However, some Israeli politicians
employ toxic demographic assets. They inflate the number of Arabs in Judea
and Samaria in order to scare the Jewish State into a retreat from a most
critical area, historically and security-wise.
The following OpEd, by Haim Rozenberg, former Head of Long-Term Planning at
RAFAEL (Israel Defense Ministry's Armament Development Authority), addresses
the issue of toxic demographic assets.
Toxic Demographic Assets
News First Class, February 8, 2010
Haim Rozenberg, former Head Long-Term Planning, RAFAEL (Israel Defense
Ministry's Armament Development Authority)
Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, said on February 4, 2010 that there are 12
million persons between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean: 6 million
Jews and 6 million Arabs. Therefore, he concluded, a two state solution
would spare Israel the wrath of Apartheid. Really?!
Barak's conclusion is based on a dramatic error of a two million person gap.
In fact, the total population west of the Jordan River is 10 million.
According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS), Israel's
population includes 6 million Jews and 1.5 million Arabs. The ICBS has not
dealt with Judea, Samaria and Gaza Arabs since 1997.
Recent studies, which were published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic
Studies ( http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/MSPS65.pdf ) and by the Institute
for Zionist Strategies ( http://izsvideo.org/papers/faitelson2009.pdf ) have
documented about 4 million - and not 6 million - Arabs between the Jordan
River and the Mediterranean: 1.5 million in pre-1967 Israel, 1.5 in Judea
and Samaria and 1.2 in Gaza.
Barak has been off by two million Arabs!
A solid 67% Jewish majority - without Gaza - has existed west of the Jordan
River since 1967. The 10 million persons west of the Jordan River consist of
some 6 million Jews, 3 million Arabs in the combined area of "pre-1967
Israel" and Judea and Samaria and 1.2 million Arabs in Gaza.
Current demographic bode well for the Jewish majority, which is expected to
grow during the next 20 years due to a substantial rise in fertility since
1995, while Arab/Muslim fertility throughout the Middle East has declined
sharply. In addition, the Arab minority has experienced an accelerated
net-emigration from Judea and Samaria: 580,000 since 1967.
Barak's position that demography is "more threatening than Iran" is detached
from reality. Apparently, scrutinizing facts is not a Barak trait, as was
also evident during his May 2000 disorderly withdrawal from Lebanon and his
July 2000 Camp David negotiation with Arafat and Clinton.
Demographic trends are not deterministic. The current Jewish demographic
tailwind can be bolstered and leveraged, provided that Israeli leaders study
the facts and implement a sound demographic policy.
The options available to Jerusalem are not limited to the establishment of a
Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria on one hand or an Apartheid state on
the other hand. Au contraire, a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would
severely destabilize the Middle East and deteriorate the region toward
Demography is a serious subject. It cannot be handled through off-the-cuff
statements and must be presented accurately, avoiding toxic demographic
View this article at Israel Behind the News