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

Yadlin and Ettinger both appeared on an INSS panel. When Ettinger finished speaking, Yadlin said: “I disagree with everything Yoram said except for one thing: the demographic numbers. They [Ettinger’s numbers] reflect reality.”

Others from the center and further left who have embraced or at least acknowledged the significance of Ettinger’s demographic reality include former Prime Minister (and mathematician) Ehud Barak, a high-ranking official at the U.S. Census Bureau (who is constrained by that entity’s requirement that only “official” demographic information can be utilized – too bad the standard does not require accuracy, rather than just that it be the “official” numbers), Israeli television news journalist Yaron London, and Maj. Gen. Shlomo Gazit, who served as Israel’s head of military intelligence, a two term president of Ben Gurion University, and now is on staff at Tel Aviv University’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.


Gen. Gazit is one of the co-founders of the Council for Peace and Security.  The members all wring their hands constantly about the dangers of Israel appearing too militaristic on the world stage. Their counsel consistently appears to be one of acquiescence and putting Israeli weapons and heads down. Gazit, like Yadlin, also told an audience, “please don’t pay attention to Yoram’s world view, pay attention to the numbers he will share, they are accurate, not like the refuted ones we are constantly swamped with.”

None of these center and center-left experts are demographers either, but they know from what categories the numbers should come, and they see the reality in the field.

As Ettinger shared with The Jewish Press, Bacchi, the Italian demographer and founder of the Israeli Center for Statistics, insisted that Israeli Jews would follow the model of the West, and never crest the two children per family model. Conversely, Bacchi insisted, “Arabs are Arabs” and even Israeli Arabs would continue the model of having as many as six or seven babies per family. That was initially true. In 1969, Arab women in the immediate region were having eight or nine babies, but by 2014 that number has plummeted to three and fewer babies. And Jewish Israelis, especially the secular Tel Avivis are already at the 3.5 baby mark and rising.

So, once again with feeling, the “official” numbers used for demographic projections by esteemed Israeli academic demographers substantially over inflate the numbers of Palestinian Arabs and Arab Israelis, while substantially under inflating the numbers of Jews (for purposes of this discussion, Jews constitute those who are eligible for the Right of Return or who align themselves with Jews for general purposes, including peace.) Two of the major reasons why this happens is that Aliyah rates are always predicted to drop, as are Israeli Jewish birthrates, while both continue to climb.

The source of fear for so many is that Israel as a democratic state will cease to exist because soon (the exact detonation date keeps getting pushed back) the Jews will be a minority. When that happen, the scare theorists insists, Israel’s choice will be either to be democratic or to be Jewish. This is a stale but still bright red herring. And yet that ossified herring is constantly raised against the issue of annexation of the disputed territories. It is, indeed, what convinces people that Two States is really the only possible solution, even if they are prepared to admit that the creation of a state of Palestine any time soon would surely be a Frankenstein’s monster Terrorstan.

It’s time to throw out the rotten fish with the rotten numbers and face reality. Jewish Israel is a demographic boom state. To quote Ettinger, “there is no Arab demographic time bomb. But there is an Israeli demographic tailwind.”

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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]