John Brown of Jewschool brings to our attention that according to the US State Dept. the demographic balance from the ocean to the Jordan River, when you count in the territories, is now more Arabs than Jews (5.3 million to 5.2 million). This came out in the 2004 Human Rights report they generate annually.
The section on Israel and the Occupied Territories states that the population of Israel stands at 6.8 million, of whom 5.2 million are Jews, 1.3 million Arabs and another 290,000 are other minorities. The report then notes that the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip stands at approximately 1.4 million while in the West Bank it is approximately 2.4 million. There are 237,185 Palestinians in Occupied [sic] East Jerusalem. Therefore the Arab population stands at over 5.3 million while the Jewish population stands at 5.2 million.
John represents the far Left view of things and he’s probably salivating at this spectactular new tool he has for undermining Israel’s legitimacy. But he’s just a harbinger of things to come. Expect the drumbeat for a single state “solution” to start banging loudly very soon.
It should be noted that there is at least one serious group contesting the traditional population count of the Palestinians, claiming it is significantly lower than most estimates show. We also know that the PA was very worried prior to the January election because only about 1.25 million Palestinians registered to vote. Mysteriously, another 600,000 or so registrations suddenly appeared in the last two weeks before the election.
You can read an article condensing the debate about whether the numbers are right here. To go to the source, the group boldly challenging the commonly accepted numbers, you can go here. You can download the entire report. I have to admit that when they came out, I dismissed them out of hand, but their report is compelling and definitely raises some questions about the official numbers. Here, let me quote from them, but please read it with a grain of salt because they are, in fact, no less politically motivated than the people on the Left wanting a single state solution:
Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza
THE MILLION-AND-A-HALF PERSON GAP
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.
*Fewer births: PA Ministry of Health birth reports were substantially lower than the number predicted by the PBS.
*Lower Fertility Rates: Palestinian fertility rates declined from the mid-90’s through 2003, according to PA Ministry of Health, consistent with the trend occurring in other Middle Eastern Arab societies.
*Net Emigration: Instead of the large immigration originally projected by the PA, the West BAnk and Gaza experienced a steady net emigration averaging 10,000 a year.
*Double Counting: 210,000 Jerusalem Arabs who are already counted in Israel’s population survey were included in the PA survey.
*Inclusion of non-residents: Palestinians with IDs living abroad for over one year were included in the PA Census & Projection.
*Internal migration: 150,000 PA Arabs who have legally relocated to Israel since 1993 are still counted by the PA.
*Retrospective Alterations of Recorded Birth data.
The PA’s Central Election Commission press release of October 14 2004 acknowledged that the number of eligible voters living in the West Bank and Gaza was only 1.3 million.
The resident population in January 2004 was 2.4 million: 1.35 million in the West Bank and 1.07 million in Gaza in January 2004.
Of course, what this group claims doesn’t carry the same weight as what the US State Dept. tells the world, but there we are…
Did I mention that the disengagement from Gaza would remove 1.3-1.4 million Palestinians from under Israel’s control?