According to a March 17, 2006 Gallup Poll survey, preferred family size has a strong bearing on actual fertility rates: Israeli Jews aspired to 3.7 births per woman, while Palestinians aspired to 4.7 births. Although, 2014 indicates compatibility with Jewish preference, Palestinian fertility is decreasing much faster than expected by Gallup.
All doomsday demographic projections have failed due to their reliance on past demographic data, underestimating Jewish fertility, overestimating Arab fertility and discarding the feasibility of significant waves of Aliyah (Jewish immigration). Since 1898 and 1944, the demographic establishment has issued multiple projections on the ostensible inevitability of an Arab majority in the Land of Israel, attempting to scare Zionist leaders into inaction and retreat. In 1967, Prime Minister Eshkol was urged to evacuate Judea and Samaria, lest there be an Arab majority by 1987. On July 6, 1987, Prof. Arnon Sofer contended that an Arab majority was expected by 2000. Together with Prof. Sergio DellaPergolla, they dismissed any prospect of Jewish immigration from the USSR. In fact, one million Jews arrived! A pro-active Aliyah policy could produce 500,000 Olim in the next ten years, catapulting the Jewish majority in Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel to 80% by 2035.
The demography of doom distorts reality, instills pessimism, subordinates long-term strategic vision to baseless fatalism, rationalizes a policy of submission to pressure and self-destructive retreat, intensifies global pressure and radicalizes Arab demands, thus promoting violence and undermining peace.
Will Secretary Kerry embrace demographic reality, which highlights a robust Jewish demographic tailwind and not an Arab demographic time bomb?!
About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.
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