Photo Credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90
Lots of Jews in Israel!

And, of course, as Ettinger and others have said so many times in the past, the data obtained from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, upon which the Israeli demographers rely for all of their information regarding the regional Arabs, are flawed due to: the underreporting of Arab deaths, the double-counting of Arabs who have blue (Israeli) ID cards, as well as Arabs married to Israelis (Arab Israelis), and also by including Palestinian Arabs who live abroad.

The doom and gloomers’ numbers also ignore another significant phenomenon: Palestinian Arabs who emigrate. That number, according to Ettinger et al., is approximately 20,000 every year.


The PCBS claims that Palestinian Arabs living west of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea is approximately 6.08 million. Of that number, 4.62 live outside of Green Line Israel.

The PCBS predicts, and many happily trumpet these predictions as if it were truth from Sinai, that by 2016 the number of Jews and Arabs in the region will both be approximately 6.42 million, and by 2020, there will be fewer Jews than Arabs: 6.87 million to 7.14 million. Sounds scary. And it would be scary, not just sound scary, if it were true.

Enter, stage right, some facts.

The facts presented here were provided by Ettinger and his team (which includes those who agree with his political views and those who don’t) who have been examining the data produced by the PCBS for a decade.

And here is what Ettinger’s team finds: the number of Arabs between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River is 3.1 million, not 4.4 million. And the Arabs living east of Gaza and west of the Jordan River is only 1.7 million, not 2.7 million. That’s a huge difference, and it is the pertinent one, because very few of those who are talking about annexation of the disputed territories include Gaza in that discussion.

The reason Ettinger’s numbers are so dramatically different are the factors mentioned above: the failure of the PCBS to accurately report Arab deaths, decreasing Arab births, Arab Palestinian emigration, soaring Jewish Israeli birthrates and the reality of Aliyah. This should give comfort to those who have been traumatized by the Demographic doom bomb, but instead it is so often simply ignored.

The Jewish Press asked Ettinger, if DellaPergola and Sofer’s numbers are so demonstrably false, why are people still relying on them? In a Times of Israel article, Ettinger’s detractors do what they always do to attack his numbers. They point to two facts: Ettinger is “right wing” and Ettinger is not a demographer.

Both of those facts are true and both are irrelevant. Notice what his critics don’t do. They don’t provide refutation of Ettinger’s numbers.

As Ettinger explains, while he is not a demographer, he does know how to analyze and perform due diligence on the numbers spit out by the PCBS. And the due diligence shows the numbers, the computations and the input are all wrong. So if one relies on flawed data, as DellaPergola and Sofer do, what does it matter if you are a demographer or a dermatologist? The resulting calculations will be wrong.

DellaPergola, Sofer and their acolytes “neither examine nor audit the numbers, they simply echo them,” stated Ettinger.

What’s more, Ettinger points to a long list of significant people who disagree with him politically, but who agree his numbers are the accurate ones. This list includes people like Israeli Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin.

Yadlin is a former deputy commander of the Israel Air Force, and served as the IDF’s chief of Defense Intelligence. He also served as the commander of the IDF Military Colleges and the National Defense College. Yadlin is currently the director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. If Israel were any other country, all those prestigious military positions would mean that Yadlin was a hard-core right wing hawk. Israel, however (if you did not yet know) is different. In fact, Yadlin is close to Israel’s Labor party and firmly supports the “Two State” idea, but that view is based on issues such as international concerns and appearances, not the demographics.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: [email protected]