Photo Credit: Yoram Ettinger

In 1898, the top Jewish demographer, Simon Dubnov, projected 0.5mn Jews in Israel in 2000. He was off by 5.5mn Jews.

In 1944, the founder of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Prof. Roberto Bacchi, projected 2.3mn Jews in 2001, a 33% minority. He was wrong by 3.7mn Jews.


In 2015, there are 6.5mn Jews and 3.4mn Arabs in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel: a 66% majority.

In June 2015, there is a 1.1mn gap between the real number of Arabs in Judea & Samaria (1.7mn) and the number claimed by the Palestinians (2.8mn).

The 1.1mn excess consists of the inclusion of 400,000 Arabs living abroad for over a year, in defiance of internationally accepted standards, which stipulate their inclusion in the count of their new country of residence.

The 300,000 Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted as Israeli Arabs, by Israel, and as Palestinians by the Palestinian Authority.

A 32% excess in the number of births claimed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics was documented by The World Bank in a September 7, 2006 study.

While the Palestinians claimed net annual immigration, net annual emigration of Judea & Samaria Arabs has been documented since 1950:  25,000 net-emigration in 2014, 20,000 in 2013, 17,000 in the four prior years, etc.

Over 100,000 Palestinians, who received Israeli ID cards as a result of marrying Israeli Arabs, are doubly-counted as Israelis and Palestinians.

The Arab population growth rate, in Judea & Samaria, trends sharply downward as a result of surging modernity: expanded education among women, declining teen pregnancy, higher wedding age, shorter reproductive age, intensified use of contraceptives, rapid urbanization and youth emigration. Judea & Samaria Arab fertility rate was 5 births per woman in 2000 and 2.83 births in 2014. Median age was 17 in 2000 and 22.4 in 2014.

Westernization of fertility rate characterizes all Muslim countries other than the sub-Sahara: Iran – 1.8 births per woman, Saudi Arabia – 2.3, Syria – 2.5, Egypt – 2.9, North Africa – 1.8, Jordan – 3.4.

In 2015, Israel’s fertility rate (above 3 births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries other than Yemen, Iraq and Jordan.

A 68% increase in the annual number of Jewish births has occurred from 1995 (80,000) to 2014 (136,000), despite a moderate decline in the Ultra-Orthodox fertility rate. Modernity (integration) has lowered Israeli Arab fertility rate, stabilizing the annual number of Arab births at 40,000 during the same period.

The Arab-Jewish gap of fertility was reduced from 6 births in 1969 to 0.3 in 2015. 

The current potential of a 500,000 Aliyah wave (Jewish immigration) in five years – awaiting a pro active Israeli policy – further bolsters the future of Jewish demography west of the Jordan River.

Demographic reality sheds light on the systematic squandering of the American taxpayers’ money by the Palestinian Authority, which receives annual foreign aid, based – partly – on highly inflated numbers.

Once again, conventional so-called wisdom is refuted by reality, and the demographic trend is Jewish. Anyone claiming that Israel must concede geography (Judea & Samaria), in order to secure demography, ignores reality, and is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.


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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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