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On Israeli Support for a Palestinian State

by Yoram Ettinger

55% of Jews define Judea & Samaria as “liberated.”

Support – among Israeli Jews – for the proposed Palestinian state (the “two-state solution”) is soft and reluctant, according to a March 31-April 1 poll conducted by the Tel Aviv University Center for Peace Research.

The establishment of the proposed Palestinian state is supported by 68%, many of whom – other than Israel’s
The demographic scare has been debunked.
traditional Left – subordinate their security and historical concerns to their demographic concerns. However, the demographic scare has been debunked by the Bennett Zimmerman-led American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), as summarized below.

Other results of the Peace Research Center survey include:

Fifty-five percent of Israeli Jews define Judea and Samaria as “liberated territory,” compared with 32% who consider it “occupied territory,” in defiance of a 15-year-old Political Correctness promoted by Israel’s government, media, academic and k-12 education systems. Fifty-seven percent of Israeli Jews do not accept the “Green Line” as Israel’s border, compared with 23% who accept it.

Forty-nine percent oppose an agreement that entails “painful concessions” – a code name for substantial territorial withdrawals. Forty-seven percent of Israeli Jews consider the 1993 Oslo Accords a mistake.

Seventy-five percent of Israeli Jews don’t believe that negotiations will lead to an agreement with the Palestinians. Seventy-five percent also believe that even if an agreement could be concluded, the Palestinians would not consider it an end to their conflict with Israel.

Most Israeli Jews oppose the tangible – and potentially lethal – consequences of the “two-state solution.” Their soft and reluctant support of the idea has been based on unfounded demographic fatalism. It has benefited from the absence of a systematic, full-scale educational media campaign highlighting historical, security and demographic aspects of Judea and Samaria’s mountain ridges (the “Golan Heights” of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the 9-15-mile sliver along the Mediterranean), surrounded as Israel is by the conflict-ridden, volatile, violent, non-compliant Arab Mideast, which is yet to experience inter-Arab peace.

AIDRG’s Key Findings for April 2008
Western taxpayers have provided, since 1994, multi-billions of dollars in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, based on dramatically inflated Palestinian population numbers. President George Bush stated that Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert argued that Israeli territorial concessions were required in order to spare Israel a demographic calamity.


AIDRG documents a 1.1 million (46%) inflation in the official number of Palestinians in Gaza, Judea and Samaria (2.7 million and not 3.8 million), and a 53% inflation in the official number of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria alone (1.5 million and not 2.3 million).

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) includes in its census some 400,000 overseas residents, 200,000 Israeli (Jerusalem) Arabs who are also counted as “Green Line” Arabs, ignores about 200,000 emigrants (since 1997), etc. The World Bank documents a 32% gap between the PCBS and the Palestinian Ministry of Education’s numbers on Palestinian births.

AIDRG foresees a long-term 67% Jewish majority on 98.5% of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (without Gaza). And a long-term 60% Jewish majority west of the Jordan River, compared with a 33% and 8% minority in 1947 and 1900 respectively.

The Arab fertility rate (within the “Green Line”) has declined 20 years faster than conventionally projected – due to modernity and integration – while the Jewish fertility rate is rising. There has been a 40% rise in annual Jewish
AIDRG foresees a long-term 67% Jewish majority.
births (from 80,400 to 112,000) and a stagnation of annual Arab births (39,000) in the “Green Line” during 1995-2007. The Arab-Jewish fertility gap (number of children per woman) reduced from 6 in 1969 to 0.8 in 2006. The Arab fertility rate has declined in Judea and Samaria to about 4.5 since its peak (about 8) in the late 1980s. Arab and Jewish fertility rates have converged in Jerusalem – at 3.9 children per woman – for the first time since 1948.

A net annual emigration of over 10,000 has characterized Judea and Samaria (mostly) and Gaza Arabs since 1950. There were 12,000 emigrants in 2004, 16,000 in 2005 and 25,000 in 2006. The Jewish State has benefited from annual Aliyah (immigration) since 1882 (repeatedly, since 1948, Israel’s demographic establishment has projected no waves of Aliyah). Furthermore, secular Olim (immigrants) from the former Soviet republics experience fertility increase from the Russian rate of one child per woman toward the average secular Israeli rate of 2.2.

Repeatedly, projections of demographic doom have been refuted by robust Jewish demography between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. For example, David Ben-Gurion was urged by Israel’s demographers to delay declaration of independence, lest the 600,000 Jews of 1948 become a minority by 1967.

There is a demographic problem, but it is not lethal; and the demographic trend is Jewish, not Arab. The demographic momentum is shifting from the Arab to the Jewish sector. Demography constitutes a strategic asset, not a liability, for the Jewish State.

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