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Here’s a very interesting project led by Bennett Zimmerman, examining
the population data for the Palestinian Authority and coming to a
surprising conclusion that raises serious questions about the assumptions
driving Israeli and US policies in the Middle East: PA Demographics - The
Million and a Half Person Gap.
Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza THE MILLION-AND-A-HALF
The assumption that Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza pose a
demographic threat to Israel has to be radically revised. The 2004
Palestinian-Arab population was closer to 2.4 million than to the 3.8
million reported by Palestinian Authority (PA) officials. These findings
should have a significant impact on politicians, policy makers and
international aid agencies.
The million-and-a-half person gap occurred because the PA numbers are
based on Palestine Bureau of Statistics (PBS) 1997 projections, not on
actual population counts. The PBS used the PA’s official 1997 census as
a base population and assumed the population would grow at 4 to 5% a
year, one of the highest growth rates in the world. PA Ministry of
Health birth data and actual border entry/exit data, confirm that the
PBS expectations were not met in any year between 1997 and 2004. There
were dramatically fewer births and lower fertility rates, and instead of
immigration, the West Bank and Gaza experienced a steady net emigration.
When the PBS incorrect assumptions are applied over many years, the
error in population forecast compounds exponentially.
17 comments Comments are open
and unmoderated, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Little Green
Footballs. Obscene, abusive, silly, or annoying remarks may be deleted,
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Joshua (not a hamster)
Scholar 5/22/2005 01:55PM PDT
I theorized long ago that all numbers from Arab countries are
lies from beginning to end. I had that epiphony listening to Clinton
talking about UN statistics on Iraq - remember the millions of
children who supposedly died because of sanctions? To the extent
that ANY died it was because Saddamn wanted it that way (problems
with unsanitary water can be solved by boiling for instance) - who
would claim that Iraqis are incapable of boiling water?
Totalitarian countries aren't honest, ever.
Don't assume the new numbers have any basis in reality either.
Maybe my mind isn't up to par today, but I don't get the point of
I presume that Zimmerman is saying that when you add the
population of Israel to that of Jews on the West Bank and in Gaza,
the Jews are a significant majority (60% minimum) in the area taken
as a whole. Which means... what?
It doesn't change the world's mantra that the Pals should have a
state of their own. As Jews know better than anyone, it's not a
question of sheer numbers, but of self-determination.
What, then? What I fear is that the Arabs, if they accept these
numbers (which is doubtful), will say that since the Arabs aren't
really a demographic threat to Israel, there should be one state,
which will have a Jewish majority. So everything will be hunky dory.
U.S. policymakers should highlight Japan's possible nuclear
pursuit and other security repercussions for China in pressing
Beijing to stop North Korea from testing its nuclear weapons, a
Senate Republican policy panel said in a recent report. ''A test in
North Korea would certainly raise the prospect of a major public
debate in Japan over whether to turn its latent nuclear capabilities
in its civilian and space sectors into an overt nuclear weapons
program,'' the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee said.
The background of the "demographic threat" for the last 50 years
or so is that high Arab birth rates were going to swamp the Jews in
In the late 1960s, after the Six Day Way, the "demographic
threat" was a background to calls to withdraw from
The irony, though typical, is that the Arabs, and their allies
believe their own lies. On the other hands, many may simply not know
that their lies are indeed lies. And their allies are mostly of the
arm chair variety, and simply don't care anyway.
A further irony is that, while in the past Israel might have been
willing to absorb a large Arab population from Judea/Samaria/Gaza,
on the basis of the mostly peaceful and loyal population of Israeli
Arabs, the gross anti-Semitic propaganda that have flooded the PA
since its establishment, and the barbarism of their war against
Israel, and against Jews generally, must give serious pause to that
concept, because of doubts about their loyalty (yes, I'm being
In addition, while a country with a national minority in the
range of 20-25 percent is going to behave in one way, behavior with
a minority in the 40 percent range will be fundamentally different,
as we have observed in the case of Lebanon in the last 60 years.
It doesn't change the world's mantra that the Pals
should have a state of their own. As Jews know better than anyone,
it's not a question of sheer numbers, but of
No, it doesn't change the world's mantra. But the way that
'Palestinian' statehood is being sold to Israeli Jews is "if we
don't do it, we are going to be a minority in our own state by
20__." This study shows that sales pitch to be based on a lie.
It was my impression that the "We'll be a minority in our own
country" argument was based on what would happen if Israel annexed
the West Bank and Gaza. Israel did not want sovereignty over that
If Israel does not incorporate these areas into Israel (and it
will not), how would Jews become a minority in Israel?
In addition, while a country with a national minority
in the range of 20-25 percent is going to behave in one way,
behavior with a minority in the 40 percent range will be
fundamentally different, as we have observed in the case of
Lebanon in the last 60 years.
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