Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Settlements Myth.

 

by Charles Krauthammer

President Obama repeatedly insists that American foreign policy be conducted with modesty and humility. Above all, there will be no more "dictating" to other countries. We should "forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions," he told the G-20 summit. In Middle East negotiations, he told al-Arabiya, America will henceforth "start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating."


An admirable sentiment. It applies to everyone — Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, even Venezuela. Except Israel. Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton imperiously explained the diktat: "a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions."


What's the issue? No "natural growth" means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining. It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them — not even within the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that. The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns — even before negotiations.


To what end? Over the past decade, the U.S. government has understood that any final peace treaty would involve Israel retaining some of the close-in settlements — and compensating the Palestinians accordingly with land from within Israel itself.


That was envisioned in the Clinton plan in the Camp David negotiations in 2000, and again at Taba in 2001. After all, why expel people from their homes and turn their towns to rubble when, instead, Arabs and Jews can stay in their homes if the 1949 armistice line is shifted slightly into the Palestinian side to capture the major close-in Jewish settlements, and then shifted into Israeli territory to capture Israeli land to give to the Palestinians?


This idea is not only logical, not only accepted by both Democratic and Republican administrations for the past decade, but was agreed to in writing in the letters of understanding exchanged between Israel and the United States in 2004 — and subsequently overwhelmingly endorsed by a concurrent resolution of Congress.


Yet the Obama State Department has repeatedly refused to endorse these agreements or even say it will honor them. This from a president who piously insists that all parties to the conflict honor previous obligations. And who now expects Israel to accept new American assurances in return for concrete and irreversible Israeli concessions, when he himself has just cynically discarded past American assurances.


The entire "natural growth" issue is a concoction. Is the peace process moribund because a teacher in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is making an addition to her house to accommodate new grandchildren? It is perverse to make this the center point of the peace process at a time when Gaza is run by Hamas terrorists dedicated to permanent war with Israel and when Mahmoud Abbas, having turned down every one of Ehud Olmert's peace offers, brazenly declares that he is in a waiting mode — waiting for Hamas to become moderate and for Israel to cave — before he'll do anything to advance peace.


In his much-heralded "Muslim world" address in Cairo yesterday, Obama declared that the Palestinian people's "situation" is "intolerable." Indeed it is, the result of 60 years of Palestinian leadership that gave its people corruption, tyranny, religious intolerance and forced militarization; leadership that for three generations rejected every offer of independence and dignity, choosing destitution and despair rather than accept any settlement not accompanied by the extinction of Israel.


That's why Haj Amin al-Husseini chose war rather than a two-state solution in 1947. Why Yasser Arafat turned down a Palestinian state in 2000. And why Abbas rejected Olmert's even more generous December 2008 offer.


In the 16 years since the Oslo accords turned the West Bank and Gaza over to the Palestinians, their leaders built no roads, no courthouses, no hospitals, none of the fundamental state institutions that would relieve their people's suffering. Instead they poured everything into an infrastructure of war and terror, all the while depositing billions (from gullible Western donors) into their Swiss bank accounts.


Obama says he came to Cairo to tell the truth. But he uttered not a word of that. Instead, among all the bromides and lofty sentiments, he issued but one concrete declaration of new American policy: "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," thus reinforcing the myth that Palestinian misery and statelessness are the fault of Israel and the settlements.


Blaming Israel and picking a fight over "natural growth" may curry favor with the Muslim "street." But it will only induce the Arab states to do like Abbas: sit and wait for America to deliver Israel on a platter. Which makes the Obama strategy not just dishonorable but self-defeating.

 

Charles Krauthammer

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

 

Obama's Arabian dreams.

 

By  C 

US President Barack Obama claims to be a big fan of telling the truth. In media interviews ahead of his trip to Saudi Arabia and Egypt and during his big speech in Cairo on Thursday, he claimed that the centerpiece of his Middle East policy is his willingness to tell people hard truths.

Indeed, Obama made three references to the need to tell the truth in his so-called address to the Muslim world.

Unfortunately, for a speech billed as an exercise in truth telling, Obama's address fell short. Far from reflecting hard truths, Obama's speech reflected political convenience.

Obama's so-called hard truths for the Islamic world included statements about the need to fight so-called extremists; give equal rights to women; provide freedom of religion; and foster democracy. Unfortunately, all of his statements on these issues were nothing more than abstract, theoretical declarations devoid of policy prescriptions.

He spoke of the need to fight Islamic terrorists without mentioning that their intellectual, political and monetary foundations and support come from the very mosques, politicians and regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt that Obama extols as moderate and responsible.

He spoke of the need to grant equality to women without making mention of common Islamic practices like so-called honor killings, and female genital mutilation. He ignored the fact that throughout the lands of Islam women are denied basic legal and human rights. And then he qualified his statement by mendaciously claiming that women in the US similarly suffer from an equality deficit. In so discussing this issue, Obama sent the message that he couldn't care less about the plight of women in the Islamic world.

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So, too, Obama spoke about the need for religious freedom but ignored Saudi Arabian religious apartheid. He talked about the blessings of democracy but ignored the problems of tyranny.

In short, Obama's "straight talk" to the Arab world, which began with his disingenuous claim that like America, Islam is committed to "justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings," was consciously and fundamentally fraudulent. And this fraud was advanced to facilitate his goal of placing the Islamic world on equal moral footing with the free world.

In a like manner, Obama's tough "truths" about Israel were marked by factual and moral dishonesty in the service of political ends.

On the surface, Obama seemed to scold the Muslim world for its all-pervasive Holocaust denial and craven Jew hatred. By asserting that Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism are Wrong, he seemed to be upholding his earlier claim that America's ties to Israel are "unbreakable."

Unfortunately, a careful study of his statements shows that Obama was actually accepting the Arab view that Israel is a foreign - and therefore unjustifiable - intruder in the Arab world. Indeed, far from attacking their rejection of Israel, Obama legitimized it.

The basic Arab argument against Israel is that the only reason Israel was established was to sooth the guilty consciences of Europeans who were embarrassed about the Holocaust. By their telling, the Jews have no legal, historic or moral rights to the Land of Israel.

This argument is completely false. The international community recognized the legal, historic and moral rights of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel long before anyone had ever heard of Adolf Hitler. In 1922, the League of Nations mandated the "reconstitution" - not the creation - of the Jewish commonwealth in the Land of Israel in its historic borders on both sides of the Jordan River.

But in his self-described exercise in truth telling, Obama ignored this basic truth in favor of the Arab lie. He gave credence to this lie by stating wrongly that "the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history."

He then explicitly tied Israel's establishment to the Holocaust by moving to a self-serving history lesson about the genocide of European Jewry.

Even worse than his willful blindness to the historic, legal and moral justifications for Israel's rebirth, was Obama's characterization of Israel itself. Obama blithely, falsely and obnoxiously compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to white American slave owners' treatment of their black slaves. He similarly cast Palestinian terrorists in the same morally pure category as slaves. Perhaps most repulsively, Obama elevated Palestinian terrorism to the moral heights of slave rebellions and the US civil rights movement by referring to it by its Arab euphemism, "resistance."

BUT AS disappointing and frankly obscene as Obama's rhetoric was, the policies he outlined were much worse. While prattling about how Islam and America are two sides of the same coin, Obama managed to spell out two clear policies. First, he announced that he will compel Israel to completely end all building for Jews in Judea, Samaria, and eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem. Second, he said that he will strive to convince Iran to substitute its nuclear weapons program with a nuclear energy program.

Obama argued that the first policy will facilitate peace and the second policy will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Upon reflection, however, it is clear that neither of his policies can possibly achieve his stated aims. Indeed, their inability to accomplish the ends he claims he has adopted them to advance is so obvious, that it is worth considering what his actual rationale for adopting them may be.

The administration's policy toward Jewish building in Israel's heartland and capital city expose a massive level of hostility toward Israel. Not only does it fly in the face of explicit US commitments to Israel undertaken by the Bush administration, it contradicts a longstanding agreement between successive Israeli and American governments not to embarrass each other.

Moreover, the fact that the administration cannot stop attacking Israel about Jewish construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, but has nothing to say about Hizbullah's projected democratic takeover of Lebanon next week, Hamas's genocidal political platform, Fatah's involvement in terrorism, or North Korean ties to Iran and Syria, has egregious consequences for the prospects for peace in the region.

As Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas made clear in his interview last week with The Washington Post, in light of the administration's hostility toward Israel, the Palestinian Authority no longer feels it is necessary to make any concessions whatsoever to Israel. It needn't accept Israel's identity as a Jewish state. It needn't minimize in any way its demand that Israel commit demographic suicide by accepting millions of foreign, hostile Arabs as full citizens. And it needn't curtail its territorial demand that Israel contract to within indefensible borders.

In short, by attacking Israel and claiming that Israel is responsible for the absence of peace, the administration is encouraging the Palestinians and the Arab world as a whole to continue to reject Israel and to refuse to make peace with the Jewish state.

The Netanyahu government reportedly fears that Obama and his advisers have made such an issue of settlements because they seek to overthrow Israel's government and replace it with the more pliable Kadima party. Government sources note that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel played a central role in destabilizing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's first government in 1999, when he served as an adviser to then president Bill Clinton. They also note that Emmanuel is currently working with leftist Israelis and American Jews associated with Kadima and the Democratic Party to discredit the government.

While there is little reason to doubt that the Obama administration would prefer a leftist government in Jerusalem, it is unlikely that the White House is attacking Israel primarily to advance this aim. This is first of all the case because today there is little danger that Netanyahu's coalition partners will abandon him.

Moreover, the Americans have no reason to believe that prospects for a peace deal would improve with a leftist government at the helm in Jerusalem. After all, despite its best efforts, the Kadima government was unable to make peace with the Palestinians, as was the Labor government before it. What the Palestinians have shown consistently since the failed 2000 Camp David summit is that there is no deal that Israel can offer them that they are willing to accept.

So if the aim of the administration in attacking Israel is neither to foster peace nor to bring down the Netanyahu government, what can explain its behavior?

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The only reasonable explanation is that the administration is baiting Israel because it wishes to abandon the Jewish state as an ally in favor of warmer ties with the Arabs. It has chosen to attack Israel on the issue of Jewish construction because it believes that by concentrating on this issue, it will minimize the political price it will be forced to pay at home for jettisoning America's alliance with Israel. By claiming that he is only pressuring Israel to enable a peaceful "two-state solution," Obama assumes that he will be able to maintain his support base among American Jews who will overlook the underlying hostility his "pro-peace" stance papers over.

OBAMA'S POLICY toward Iran is a logical complement of his policy toward Israel. Just as there is no chance that he will bring Middle East peace closer by attacking Israel, so he will not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons by offering the mullahs nuclear energy. The deal Obama is now proposing has been on the table since 2003, when Iran's nuclear program was first exposed. Over the past six years, the Iranians have repeatedly rejected it. Indeed, just last week they again announced that they reject it.

Here, too, to understand the president's actual goal it is necessary to search for the answers closer to home. Since Obama's policy has no chance of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it is apparent that he has come to terms with the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran. In light of this, the most rational explanation for his policy of engagement is that he wishes to avoid being blamed when Iran emerges as a nuclear power in the coming months.

In reckoning with the Obama administration, it is imperative that the Netanyahu government and the public alike understand the true goals of its current policies. Happily, consistent polling data show that the overwhelming majority of Israelis realize that the White House is deeply hostile toward Israel. The data also show that the public approves of Netanyahu's handling of our relations with Washington.

Moving forward, the government must sustain this public awareness and support. By his words as well as by his deeds, not only has Obama shown that he is not a friend of Israel. He has shown that there is nothing that Israel can do to make him change his mind.

 

C 

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Obama Pressures? No Need to Panic!

 

by  Yoram Ettinger

 

President Obama's speech in Cairo intensified psychological pressure on the Jewish State.  Obama erodes Israel's special standing in the US.  He has adopted evenhandedness and moral equivalence toward Israel (a staunch democratic ally, a role model of counter-terrorism) and toward the Palestinian Authority (an ally of US' enemies, a role model of terrorism and hate-education). He ignores Israel's ancient history, suggesting that the justification for its existence is rooted in the Holocaust. And, he has transformed "Settlements" into the crux of the Arab-Israel conflict, although Palestinian terrorism and Arab wars against Israel preceded the 1948 establishment of the Jewish State and the 1968 establishment of the first "Settlement."

 

Obama hopes that Prime Minister Netanyahu will succumb to psychological pressure. But, he cannot break Israel's back or sever US-Israel special relationship.

 

Notwithstanding the Cairo Speech, the resolution of the Palestinian issue is not Obama's top priority.  The national security of the US and the political future of Obama do not depend on the fate of the "Settlements." Obama was elected, primarily, in order to stop the monthly increase of unemployment by over 500,000 persons, the loss of homes by millions of Americans, the collapse of credit and consumption, the disintegration of American banks and the destruction of large and small American businesses. In addition, President Obama is challenged by the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the potential volcano which could erupt following the evacuation of Iraq, the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran, a potential takeover of nuclear Pakistan by the Taliban, a possible Pakistan-India eruption, imperialist Russia and China, etc. If Obama were practically – and not just rhetorically - preoccupied with the Palestinian issue, then he would resemble a person preoccupied with tumbleweeds, while being smothered by a West Texas sandstorm.

 

The unique covenant between the US and the Jewish State has never evolved around the Arab-Israeli conflict.  It has evolved around shared values (which precede 1948 and even 1776), joint interests and mutual threats.  Between 1948 and 1992, all Israeli Prime Ministers rejected US prescriptions/ultimatum for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The 1957 withdrawal from Sinai was an exception. However, US-Israel strategic cooperation catapulted to unprecedented levels, as a result of regional reality and Israel's steadfastness in face of pressure.  For example, two unprecedented strategic memoranda of understandings were concluded in November 1983 and April 1988, in spite of brutal US pressure on Israel during the First Intifada and the First Lebanese War.  These strategic memoranda were signed due to Israel's unique contribution to vital US national security interests: war on Islamic terrorism, ballistic missile defense, restraining the USSR and regional rogue regimes, sharing of critical intelligence and battle experience, upgrading of defense and commercial industries, etc.  In fact, a critical mass among the US public, Congress and even the Administration appreciates the Jewish State – irrespective of "Settlements" - for sparing the US the need to deploy tens of thousands of US military personnel and to invest annually mega-billion dollars in the eastern flank of the Mediterranean.

 

This 2009 psychological pressure is dwarfed by past practical and brutal pressure, which was exerted by the US and by the international community and was fended off by Israel's Prime Ministers.  In 1948, the Department of State and the Pentagon imposed a military embargo and threatened to add economic sanctions, in order to force Ben Gurion to refrain from a declaration of independence and to accept a UN Trusteeship. The Administration demanded an end to "occupation" in the Negev, the internationalization of Jerusalem and the absorption and compensation of Palestinian refugees.  In 1967, President Johnson warned Prime Minister Eshkol: "If you shall act alone (in pre-empting an Egyptian-Syrian-Jordanian strike) you shall remain alone." In 1981, President Reagan threatened Prime Minister Begin with a military embargo and a severe rupture should Israel bomb Iraq's nuclear reactor.  The US was joined by the USSR, Europe, the UN and Israel's own Peres, Weitzman and chiefs of Mossad and Military Intelligence, who all opposed the bombing. Israel's Prime Ministers withstood massive US and global pressure, with relatively-limited economic, military and diplomatic resources at their disposal.

 

A US President is a very powerful leader, but he heads one of three branches of government, which are totally independent of each other. The US president is substantially constrained by an elaborate system of checks and balances.  He does not appoint congressional leadership or candidates for congressional seats.  Congress - which possesses the "Power of the Purse" – has been a consistent bastion of support for the Jewish State. The loyalty of the legislators is first and foremost to their constituents and to the Constitution, including an effective Separation of Power. Therefore, most Democrats opposed Obama's appointment of Charles Freeman to head the National Intelligence Council.  Most Democrats opposed President Clinton's free trade initiatives, over 30 Democratic House Members voted to impeach Clinton. A Democratic majority in both chambers did not prevent a failed 1992-1994 presidency and a Democratic collapse at the 1994 election. Moreover, the relative weight of Congress rises during economic crises and the assertiveness and independence of legislators grow as congressional campaign season (whish will be launched in September 2009) approaches.

 

Will Prime Minister Netanyahu retreat in the face of President Obama's psychological pressure, or will he leverage the strategic and political reality in the Middle East and in the US for the mutual benefit of both the US and the Jewish State?

 

 

Yoram Ettinger

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Palestinian moderates want peace - with Hamas, not Israel

 

by Barry Rubin

  

To see what's happening — and what's wrong — with Palestinian politics, consider Muhammad Dahlan. In him is embodied the ideological and strategic straitjacket, preventing Palestinians from making peace and getting a state of their own.

Dahlan, 48, is one of the two most able young Fatah leaders, the other being Marwan Barghouti. Dahlan, an architect of the first intifada in the late 1980s, became PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Yasir Arafat's favorite proteges. A decade later, however, Dahlan broke with Arafat because he thought his boss was letting Hamas get too strong. If Arafat had heeded him, Fatah and the PA would be far better off today.

For many years, Dahlan was the key PA-Fatah "general" battling Hamas in the Gaza Strip. So when Hamas totally defeated Fatah in a 2007 coup and seized control there, Dahlan was responsible for the debacle. Now he's back as special advisor to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Aside from his anti-Hamas credentials, Dahlan has been considered a relative moderate on the peace process. But what does this mean in practice? Dahlan told al-Sharq al-Awsat that the second (2000-2005) intifada and terrorism against Israeli civilians harmed Palestinian interests. His critique, though, was based not on moral considerations but because such acts hurt the Palestinian image and made Israel react more toughly.

He also complains that the uprising lacked a clear goal. Yet Dahlan never defines what that objective should have been. Here's the movement's fatal flaw. Neither he nor the PA nor Fatah tell Palestinians to accept Israel's existence and build their state alongside it in permanent peace. Such a notion is outside the actual Palestinian debate.

Next, Dahlan talks of his hatred for Hamas but not because it blocks any deal with Israel. He accuses Hamas of murdering hundreds of Palestinians; being an Iranian tool, a gang that is building a radical Islamist state in Gaza.

So what's his solution? Merely that Hamas and the PA unite. Yet, given what Dahlan says about Hamas, what possible joint strategy and activities could such a coalition pursue?

Clearly, peace with Hamas is more important for Dahlan than peace with Israel. And make no mistake: these two alternatives are mutually exclusive.

Indeed, Dahlan is ready to do anything to cooperate with Hamas, as long as it accepts the PA and Fatah as leading partner. He explains the PA won't ask Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. Fatah isn't bound either to any PA recognition of Israel and, "as a resistance organization," can continue attacking Israel whenever it chooses.

Why, then, has the PA agreed to accept Israel's existence? Dahlan says: only to get international aid money and support. If this is how Dahlan thinks, his comrades' views are more extreme. The inescapable implication is that if the PA ever signs a peace treaty with Israel — though don't hold your breath — and gets a Palestinian state whose capital is east Jerusalem this would not block Fatah or Hamas from continuing armed struggle.

This attitude fits perfectly with the fact that even today the PA does nothing to prepare its people for peace and compromise. The claim that a Palestinian state should and will some day encompass all of Israel is maintained by schools, sermons, leaders, and media. It is contained, too, in the demand for a "right of return" — flooding Israel with several million Palestinians — as more important than getting a state where refugees can be resettled in a country of their own.

No wonder every poll shows overwhelming Palestinian support for armed attacks on Israeli civilians and little backing for a compromise peace that would end the conflict forever.

Of course, there won't be a Fatah-Hamas unity deal since Hamas won't give up control over the Gaza Strip and neither faction will accept the other's rule. But Dahlan is saying that on anything concerning Israel, Fatah is ready to accept Hamas's view rather than demand the Islamist group moderate.

The idea that the world should encourage a PA-Hamas merger is one of many ridiculous notions connected to the fantasy that Palestinian leaders are ready for comprehensive peace with Israel. If there's unity, Dahlan, Barghouti, and others will join Hamas in launching new waves of armed struggle.

The PA's current rulers tell the West (but not their own people): We want a two-state solution based on peace with Israel. In contrast, Hamas says: We will only accept total victory and Israel's destruction.

Dahlan and Barghouti have another viewpoint. They advocate armed struggle to force Israel from the West Bank and back to pre-1967 borders. At that point, they say, they'd make a peace deal in which they imposed their own terms. Of course, if they were to win such a victory who can say they'd stop there? And even if they accepted a two-state solution, they would leave the door open for a two-stage solution in which Israel would disappear.

This doesn't mean Israel can't work with the PA and Fatah on immediate issues. The basic deal is that the PA gets international funds and Israel's support for keeping power on the West Bank in exchange for reducing anti-Israel terrorism to the minimum and keeping Hamas at bay. If there's a PA-Hamas deal, Israel has no further interest in cooperating with the PA.

There will never, however, be a comprehensive peace agreement ending the conflict as long as Hamas's motto is: "Today the Gaza Strip and today all of Israel," while Fatah and the PA say, "Today, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and tomorrow Israel."

If even Muhammad Dahlan can't go visibly further than that, any overall peace process is, unfortunately, a mirage.
 



Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

Politics of Palestinian demography. Part I

 

by Yakov Faitelson

 1st part of 2 

With every generation, it seems, a new demographic panic strikes Israel. Opening the Israeli Knesset (parliament) on October 8, 2007, after the Jewish New Year, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned of "a demographic battle, drowned in blood and tears," if Israel did not make territorial concessions.[1] As a new administration in Washington seeks to revive the peace process, the demographic question has again moved front and center. Citing Israel's eroding demographic position, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen urged Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton to try "tough love" to force Israeli concessions.[2] Proponents of the argument that demography mandates concessions might be sincere, but they get the science wrong. Not only does demography not show an imminent Jewish minority in Israel, but even a cursory look at Palestinian numbers shows just how false and politically motivated recent Palestinian surveys are.

On February 9, 2008, Luay Shabaneh, the new president of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), published the results of a December 2007 Palestinian Authority population census.[3] According to the new data, since 1997, the Arab population has increased to 1,460,000 in the Gaza Strip and 2,300,000 in the West Bank (including 208,000 in East Jerusalem) to a total of 3,760,000 people — an increase of 30 percent in one decade. East Jerusalem is under Israel's administration, but the Palestinian Authority nevertheless counts its Arab population as part of the territory it administers. Thus, the East Jerusalem Arabs are double-counted: once as part of the Arab population of Israel, and again as a part of the population of the Palestinian Authority.

The 30 percent population increase again caused renewed demographic panic in Israel. According to a BBC news report, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said that failure to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians would bring the end of the State of Israel.[4]

But unlike what had happened during previous demographic panics, Israeli experts began to raise serious questions about the accuracy of the census. Such questions had been a long time in coming: Most of the middle- and long-term demographic forecasts for Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip — formulated by demographers over the last 110 years — have turned out to be unsound, often dramatically so. This is due to the fact that long-term military, political, economic, and social changes in the region particularly, and in the world in general, cannot be accurately predicted; what is presented with a patina of scientific legitimacy is often simply someone's best guess. Added to this problem is a more troublesome one: Population statistics and birth rates play such an important role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — from the way that foreign aid is allocated to Israel's decision to hold or relinquish territory — that those attempting to manipulate the perceptions of both the public and policymakers are irresistibly drawn to the field.

Those who questioned the new Palestinian census were correct: The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics' demographic data arrived at its data not through objective scientific inquiry but rather by overstating the size of the Arab population residing in the territories administered by the Palestinian Authority.

 

The History of Demographic Forecasts

In a March 1898 letter, the famous Jewish historian, Simon Dubnow, criticized Zionist ideas, writing,

During seventeen years of tense work to encourage substantial emigration, after the expense of vast means and with the help of millions donated by Rothschild, we managed to place on the land of Palestine only about 3,600 settlers, which makes up approximately 211 people per year. Let us allow that the Western Zionist committees will work with significantly larger capitals and energy and will move to Palestine not two hundred, but one thousand settlers annually ... then in a hundred years the Jewish population of Palestine will reach one hundred thousand men. Let's increase this number five times and add to this the natural increase and inflow of the industrial population to the cities, then we shall receive about a half million Jews in Palestine after one hundred years ... Certainly, all of us treasure the hope to see at the beginning of the twenty-first century about a half-million of our brothers living in our ancient homeland, but can it solve the problem of 10 millions Jews, who are dispersed?[5]

In May 1948, only fifty years after Dubnow's projections, the Jews in Palestine already numbered 649,600 people.

Such mistaken projections, however, have been the rule rather than the exception. At the end of 1944, Roberto Bachi presented to the Jewish National Council, the main institution of the Jewish community during the British Mandate, a secret demographic report[6] that included four forecasts: optimistic and pessimistic, and with Jewish immigration as a variable. Bachi based his forecasts on the existing demographic data for 1938-42 and on estimates of trends that could be accepted as reasonable. He assumed that Arab fertility for the ensuing sixty years would continue to be very high (seven children or more per woman) or that it would decrease only slightly (six children per woman). He also assumed that Jewish fertility would remain at about two children per woman but might increase slightly to three children per woman. He also predicted that Jewish immigration might bring about one million Jews to Israel during the five to fifteen years starting from 1946.[7]

These estimates could not be treated as prophecy, wrote Bachi, since the differences between reality and forecast increase as the projected time period lengthens. According to Bachi's pessimistic scenario, by 1971, the population of Palestine would include 2,467,000 Arabs and 604,000 Jews without Jewish immigration[8] or 1,695,000 Jews should there have been one million Jewish immigrants.[9] According to Bachi's more optimistic forecasts, the population of Palestine in the same year could consist of 2,186,000 Arabs and 698,000 Jews without immigration or 1,898,000 Jews with a million Jewish immigrants.

Fast-forward to 1971. Israel controlled the whole territory of the former British Mandate in Palestine, and 2,662,000 Jews already lived in Israel — about half a million more than in Bachi's most optimistic projection. The Arab population stood at 1,460,000,[10] about one million fewer than he had predicted. Then in 1972, Bachi predicted, as he had in 1956,[11] that immigration to Israel would stop as the Jews of the West were indifferent and the Jews of the Soviet Union were forever trapped.[12] Nevertheless, over the next seven years, more than a quarter million Jews migrated to Israel.

His projections for 2001 were similarly off-base: According to the pessimistic forecast, the population of Palestine in 2001 would comprise 5,871,000 Arabs and 563,000 Jews without immigration or 1,580,000 Jews with a million Jewish immigrants. Following his optimistic forecast, the population of Palestine in 2001 should have been 4,415,000 Arabs and 831,000 Jews without immigration or 2,258,000 Jews with a million Jewish immigrants.

The reality was quite different. The Jewish population reached 5,025,010, nine times more than his pessimistic projection, and 2.2 times more than his most optimistic forecast. When combined with the immigrant population from the former Soviet Union, the total comprised 5,281,300 people.[13] The total Arab population reached 3,570,000, some 1,300,000, or 39 percent less than Bachi's projection for 2001.

Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics forecast in 1968 that, by 1985, the Jewish population would increase to 2,923,000, and the Arab population would rise to 49 percent of Israel's total population.[14] In reality, there were 3,517,200 Jews in 1985, representing 62.7 percent of the total population.

Amidst the 1987 Palestinian uprising against Israeli control in the West Bank and Gaza, demographic predictions — no matter how sloppy — became the stuff of headlines. In 1987, the Israeli newspaper Yedi'ot Aharanot quoted Arnon Sofer's bombshell forecast: "In the year 2000, Israel will become non-Jewish."[15] The New York Times' Thomas Friedman picked up Sofer's prediction and ran with it in an 1800-word, page one story.[16] Sofer claimed that by 2000 there would be "4.2 million Jews versus 3.5 million non-Jews. The 3.5 million Arabs would include: 1.2 million Israeli Arabs within the Green Line, one million Arabs in the Gaza Strip, and between 1.1 and 1.5 million in the West Bank."[17] Sofer's tally indicated for 2000 a range of between 2.1 to 2.5 million Arabs in the Palestinian territories.

Putting aside the fact that the figures did not justify the headlines proclaiming a Jewish minority, Sofer actually miscalculated the Arab population twice: First, by using the 1986 Central Bureau of Statistics forecast made for 2002 for all Arabs — defined officially as citizens and permanent residents of the State of Israel, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights — as the Arab population of Israel only "within the Green Line," i.e., exclusive of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights; and, second, by folding the Arab population of East Jerusalem into the forecast of the Arab population in the Palestinian territories. Then, he presented the forecast for the West Bank and Gaza Strip including East Jerusalem, as it was usually done by the U.N., CIA, and Palestinian sources. In effect, this results in double counting the East Jerusalem population, first as permanent residents of the State of Israel and then as the residents of Palestinian territory.

A month later, Sofer explained his forecast: "Without even considering birth rates, to make up one percentage point today, we need an additional 170,000 Jews ...Who among us really expects that sort of aliya (migration to Israel) in the near future?"[18] Two years later, though, just such a migration occurred, underlining the inability of the demographers to forecast political developments. Over the ensuing decade, more than one million Jews were repatriated to Israel from the former Soviet Union. Including mixed Jewish families, this wave of immigration totaled 1.2 million people and increased Israel's Jewish population by 31 percent. Demographic prediction is such an uncertain science that even Israeli specialists get it wrong repeatedly.

(Yakov Faitelson )

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

Politics of Palestinian demography. Part II

 

by Yakov Faitelson

 2nd part of 2 

A Demographic Intifada

Palestinian Arab numbers have always been spotty. There is very little historical data. As University of Illinois economics professor Fred M. Gottheil has noted,

Palestinian demography of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has never been just a matter of numbers. It has always been — and consciously so — a frontline weapon used in a life-and-death struggle for nationhood ... The problem with staking so much on so narrow a focus as past demography is that the data generated by demographers and others since the early nineteenth century are so lacking in precision that, in some matters of dispute concerning demography, "anyone's guess," as the saying goes, "is as good as any other."[19]

Justin McCarthy, a University of Louisville historian with a specialization in demography, notes that Israel's 1967 census of Gaza's population was the first in more than thirty-five years; before that census, procedures were not rigorous. At best, McCarthy notes, pre-1967 counts of Palestinian Arabs are "estimations" although he also notes that subsequent Israeli-conducted censuses were scientific and objective.[20]

In 1997, three years after the Oslo accords handed control of large portions of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestine Authority, the Palestinians conducted their first independent census, according to which the Arab population numbered 2,895,683 people: 1,873,476 in the West Bank (including 210,209 in East Jerusalem) and 1,022,207 in the Gaza Strip.[21] It also included 325,253 Arab emigrants contradicting international standards regarding the enlistment of only permanent residents in the population registry.[22] According to the "U.N. Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses," people to be enumerated by the census are defined as "usual residents":

Usual residents may have citizenship or not, and they may also include undocumented persons, applicants for asylum, or refugees. Usual residents then may include foreigners who reside, or intend to reside, in the country continuously for either most of the last 12 months or for 12 months or more, depending on the definition of place of usual residence that is adopted by the country. Persons who may consider themselves usual residents of a country because of citizenship or family ties, but are absent from the country for either most of the last 12 months, or for 12 months or more, depending on the definition adopted, should be excluded.[23]

Even without contesting the professionalism of the count itself, the Arab population stood, in fact, at only 2,360,231 people when the East Jerusalem and emigrant Arabs are subtracted.

Yet the numbers of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics themselves seem improbably high. According to data released by the Israeli census bureau at the end of 1993, the Arab population numbered 1,084,400 in the West Bank and 748,400 in the Gaza Strip, for a total of 1,832,800.[24] If the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics census was accurate, the Arab population in the Palestinian territories increased by an astonishing 527,431 people, or 29 percent, in only four years. In order to reach such phenomenal population growth, the geometrical mean of the annual growth rate would have to be an improbable 6.6 percent per year during this period.

U.N. data for 2006 indicate that the natural growth of the Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was much smaller: an annual average of 3.89 percent per year between 1990 and 1995, 3.7 percent between 1995 and 2000, and 3.56 percent per year between 2000 and 2005.[25] Even these U.N. estimates may be high, as they accepted Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics data uncritically.

In contrast, a 2003 study conducted by this author demonstrated that the Palestinian population grew by about one million people from 1990 to 2000.[26] By coincidence, this figure seemingly offsets the mass immigration to Israel from the former Soviet Union during the 1990s. The study found that Palestinian data suggested that the Arab population had doubled and that the Palestinian Arab population nominal growth was actually larger than the Jewish population growth at the time of the migration of Soviet Jews to Israel. Given the strain and management problem that a population growth of 31.2 percent represented for Israel, it defies logic that Palestinian growth could double without outside observers noticing. As McCarthy noted,

It is difficult to see how the agricultural or industrial base of Palestine can cope with the increased numbers that will result from high Palestinian fertility ... Possessing neither the agricultural potential nor the economic base ... Palestine can expect a demographic crisis.[27]

This study prompted Haggai Segal, an Israel-based Ma'ariv, Makor Rishon, and BeSheva columnist, journalist, and commentator, to undertake additional investigation on this subject, which he published in BeSheva.[28]

In 2005, an American and Israeli demography team headed by Bennett Zimmerman and Yoram Ettinger confirmed the 2003 findings and, again, criticized both the illegitimate inclusion of Arab emigrants from the Palestinian Authority and the double counting of the East Jerusalem Arab population.[29] The Zimmerman and Ettinger study also revealed that, at the end of 2000, the Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip numbered 2,246,000 people — 1,280,000 in the West Bank and about 966,000 in the Gaza Strip.

According to the data provided by the Palestinian Authority at the end of 2005, in contrast, the population in the territories numbered 3,762,005 — 2,372,216 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 1,389,789 in the Gaza Strip.[30] The Palestinian numbers get even stranger: According to estimates by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2006, the population of the Palestinian Authority jumped to 3,952,354[31] — an increase of 190,349 over the previous year, or more than 5 percent in a single year. Not only is this improbable but, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the rates of natural population growth were half of this: 2.4 percent in 2003, 2.6 percent in 2004, and 2.5 percent in 2005.[32]

In February 2005, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released a study conducted by Yousef Ibrahim, a professor of geography and population studies at al-Aqsa University in Gaza, which said that the Arab population would reach 6.3 million in 2010, compared to 5.7 million Jews, provided that the current growth ratios continued along the same pattern,[33] consciously utilizing the words of Israeli demographic expert Sergio DellaPergola, who said that "the direction is quite obvious. Before the end of this decade, Jews will become a minority in the lands that include 'Israel,' West Bank and Gaza Strip."[34] The Atlantic, a widely read American monthly, asked shrilly, "Will Israel Live to 100?"[35]

Then, in December 2006, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics issued a statement asserting that a "population dichotomy at 5.7 million is expected at the end of 2010," i.e., that in 2010 the number of Palestinian would be equal to the number of the Jews,[36] a discrepancy of 600,000 in less than two years.

In February 2008, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistic, using data from the Palestinian Authority's December 2007 census,[37] found that the population of the Palestinian Authority reached 3,760,000 people: 1,460,000 in the Gaza Strip and 2,300,000 in the West Bank, including 208,000 in East Jerusalem, an increase of 30 percent from 1997. But, according to these data, the population in East Jerusalem is 2,209 less than it was in 1997. This report provoked harsh criticism from the Palestinian Authority, which demanded that these "distortions" be "corrected."[38] Hatem Abdel Kader, an adviser on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, said he did not believe the Jerusalem figures were reliable and that the Palestinian Authority believed that census takers had failed to visit many households.[39]

Once again, by coincidence, the results of the population census for the end of 2007 were almost identical to the estimates of the Palestinian Authority at the end of 2005. What happened to the 192,354 people that existed according to the estimates of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics at the end of 2006? Two answers are possible: During 2007, there was a massive emigration of Arabs from the Palestinian territories, unprecedented since the Six-Day War, and the results were registered in the population census; or this was a crude manipulation of the data and estimates of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, especially the gaps in their data for 2005 and 2006. The latter is more plausible. As Hassan Abu Libdeh, director of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in the 1990s, told The New York Times, "In my opinion, [the data] is as important as the intifada. It is a civil intifada."[40] Indeed, such an attitude explains why the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Health has erased from their Internet site official reports containing demographic data since 2000, which might contradict the Palestinian leadership's current line.

The 2007 census clearly shows that the yearly growth rate of the Arab population, according to a calculation of the annual geometric mean over the last ten years, should have been 2.66 percent. By extending this 10-year period to fourteen years, and basing calculations on the data of the Israeli census bureau for the population of the Palestinian territories for the end of 1993, the population of these areas should, in fact, stand at 2,646,871 — 1,113,129 fewer than the 2007 Palestinian census. The difference between the likely actual Palestinian population and the results of the two Palestinian censuses (1997 and 2007) is probably around one million people, just as the Zimmerman and Ettinger study showed four years ago. The major data distortion was made in 1997, and then the overstated population number became the basis for the future estimates.

 

Conclusions

On May 15, 2008, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics president Luay Shabaneh claimed that the Arab population in Palestine would become equal to the Jewish population by 2016,[41] echoing similar predictions of an impending Jewish minority by earlier generations of demographers and analysts: Bachi in 1944,[42] Patrick Loftus in 1947,[43] Bachi again in 1968,[44] Pinkhas Sapir in 1973,[45] Sofer in 1987,[46] DellaPergola in 2005, and the Palestinian bureau in 2005 and 2006.

Then, three months after this last Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics statement, DellaPergola once again postponed his previous projection of Arab and Jewish populations reaching equality from 2010 to 2020.[47] From DellaPergola's statement, it seems that the gap of one million persons could be closed in ten years, making necessary an additional annual yearly increase of 100,000 Arabs, more than double the current numbers. But, far from doubling, Arab fertility and natural increase are decreasing following the demographic transition rules.

Why fudge the numbers? There are two important reasons: First, overstating the Palestinian population is good for Palestinian morale, bad for Israeli morale, and heightens Jewish fears of the so-called "demographic time bomb"; second, there is a significant financial incentive, as the international community provides money to the Palestinian Authority according to the number of its inhabitants. When the Palestinian Authority pads its population numbers, the Palestinian Authority receives more money.

Careful demographic analysis, however, should lead to a conclusion in stark contrast to the demographic time bomb thesis. The natural increase of the Jewish population in Israel — that is, its yearly birth rate less its yearly death rate — stabilized thirty years ago and, since 2002, has even begun to grow. The natural increase of the total Arab population, comprising both Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, continues to descend toward convergence with the Jewish population, probably in the latter half of this century.

The data, moreover, point to rising levels of Arab emigration, particularly among young people. According to the survey conducted by Bir-Zeit University, 32 percent of all Palestinians and 44 percent of Palestinian youth would emigrate if they could.[48] The official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida has reported similar numbers.[49] A public opinion poll conducted by the Near East Consulting Corporation in the Gaza Strip reveals an even higher rate — 47 percent of all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. [50] Translated into numbers of people, as of 2006, more than a million Arabs in the Palestinian territories wish to emigrate. As journalist Amit Cohen noted in 2007, "Close to 14,000 Palestinians, more than 1 percent of the population in the Strip, have left the Gaza Strip since the implementation of the withdrawal program,[51] largely for financial reasons.[52]

In an interview reported in the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat around the same time, Salam Fayyad, head of the Emergency Palestinian Government, commented: "How will we be able to deal with the problem of 40,000 to 50,000 Palestinians who have emigrated and many more that are not emigrating just because they do not have the means? We are losing in this respect."[53]

The misuse of demography has been one of the most prominent, yet unexamined, aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many Israelis have so thoroughly absorbed the repeated claims of a diminishing Jewish majority that they do not consider whether their conventional wisdom is false. Before an accurate demographic picture of Israel and the Palestinian territories trickles down to the consciousness of the residents of the region, it must first be understood by Israeli and Palestinian policymakers, academics, and journalists, who need accurate, factual information to do their jobs. The impact on the conflict of such a development would be substantial.
 

Footnotes

[1] "Address by PM Ehud Olmert to the opening of the Knesset winter session," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oct. 8, 2007.
[2] The New York Times, Dec. 1, 2008.
[3] The International Herald Tribune (Paris), Feb. 9, 2008; Associated Press, Feb. 9, 2008; "Zionists Have Lost the War, Israel's Defeated in the Demographic Battle: An Interview with Dr. Yousef Ibrahim," The International Press Center (Palestinian territories), Feb. 14, 2005.
[4] BBC News, Nov. 29, 2007.
[5] Shimon Dubnow, Pisma o Starom i Novom Evreistve (1897-1907) (St. Petersburg: Obshchestvennaia pol'za, 1907), pp. 171-2.
[6] Robero Bachi, Maskanot politiot metoch hakirotaj al hahitpathut hademografit shel ha'yehudim veha'arvim be'Eretz-Israel (Jerusalem: Hadasa, 1944).
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid, Table no. 1, p. 2.
[9] Ibid., Table no. 3, p. 5.
[10] "Population Estimates and Sources of Its Growth," Israel Central Bureau of Statistics Yearbook for Israel 1996, no. 47, Table 27.01, p. 573; "The Population by Religion and Population Group," Israel Central Bureau of Statistics Yearbook for Israel 2006, no. 57, Table 02.01, p. 85.
[11] Roberto Bachi, Encyclopedia Ha'Ivrit, Ha'Ukhlusiya, vol. 6, 1956 ed., s.v. "a. demografia," p. 672.
[12] Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 9, s.v. "state of Israel, population," p. 472-93.
[13] Ibid.
[14] "Tahazit Ha'Ukhlusiya beIsrael ad 1985 (al basis sof 1965)," Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem, 1968, Table 2, p. 2, Table 10, p. 10, Table 11, p. 11.
[15] Yedi'ot Aharonot (Tel Aviv), July 6, 1987.
[16] The New York Times, Oct. 19, 1987.
[17] Yedi'ot Aharonot (Tel Aviv), July 6, 1987.
[18] The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 1988.
[19] Fred M. Gottheil, "The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931," Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2003, pp. 53-64.
[20] Justin McCarthy, "Palestine's Population during the Ottoman and the British Mandate Periods, Total Population: The Quality of the Data," PalestineRemembered.com, Sept. 8, 2001, accessed Sept. 18, 2008.
[21] "Census Final Results — Summary (Population, Housing Units, Buildings and Establishments)," Population, Housing, and Establishment Census ג€" 1997 (Ramallah: Palestine National Authority, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 1998), "Table 1: Population by Sex and Governorate."
[22] McCarthy, "Palestine's Population."
[23] "2. Usual resident population count," Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 2, Statistical Papers Series (New York: U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Statistics Division, 2008), ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/67/Rev.2., sec. 2.31, p. 115.
[24] "Population Estimates and Sources of Growth," Israel Central Bureau of Statistics Yearbook 1996, no. 47 (Jerusalem: ICBS, 2006), Table 27.01, p. 573.
[25] "Demographic Profile, Medium Variant, 1950-2050: Growth Rate," World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision Population Database, United Nations, Population Division, New York, accessed Sept. 18, 2008.
[26] Yakov Faitelson, "Mispar sheelot benose haba'aya hademographit," Dec. 8, 2003.
[27] McCarthy, "Palestine's Population: Palestinians in the World."
[28] Hagai Segal, "The Demono-Graphic Problem: The Faitelson Riddle,'" BeSheva, Jan. 22, 2004.
[29] Bennett Zimmerman, Roberta Seid, and Michael L. Wise, "The Million Person Gap: A Critical Look at Palestinian Demography: Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza," BESA Perspectives, no. 15, May 1, 2006; idem, "The 1.5 Million Population Gap," presentation at American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2005.
[30] "Population 2005," Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health, Feb. 17, 2008; Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health Annual Report 2005, MOH-PHIC. Population and Demography. Health Status in Palestine 2005, Chapter 1, Demography and Population, Oct. 2006. All Palestinian Authority demographic and health annual reports from 2001 until November 2007 have been removed from the Palestinian Authority site after publication of comparisons by the author and by Bennet Zimmerman showing the differences between the data presented by the PCBS and the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health.
[31] "Table 1: Estimated Palestinian Population in the World by Reside [sic] Country, End Year 2006," Palestinians at the End of the Year 2006 (Ramallah: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 2006), p. 31.
[32] "Population and Demography: Health Status in Palestine 2005," Annual Report 2005 (Ramallah: Ministry of Health-Palestinian Health Information Centre, Oct. 2006), p. 4.
[33] "Israel Defeated in the Demographic Battle: An Interview with Dr. Yousef Ibrahim," The International Press Center, Feb. 14, 2005.
[34] Ibid.
[35] Benjamin Schwartz, "Will Israel Live to be 100?" The Atlantic, May 2005.
[36] "1. Demography, 1-1 Projection of Palestinians worldwide," Demographic and Socioeconomic Status of the Palestinian People at the End of 2006 (Ramallah: Palestinian National Authority, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Dec. 2006), p. 3.
[37] The International Herald Tribune, Feb. 9, 2008; Associated Press, Feb. 9, 2008.
[38] The International Herald Tribune, Feb. 9, 2008; Associated Press, Feb. 9, 2008.
[39] Associated Press, Feb. 9, 2008; Ynet.com, Feb. 9, 2008.
[40] The New York Times, Dec. 11, 1997.
[41] Arutz Sheva (Beit El and Petah Tikva), May 17, 2008.
[42] Roberto Bachi, quoted in Ezra Zohar, "Demographia ג" sakana kiyumit o mitus?" Nativ, Nov. 2004.
[43] "The Elements of the Conflict: A. Geographic and Demographic Factors, Population, (c) Future Trends," Official Records of the Second Session of the General Assembly, Supplement No. 11, Report to the General Assembly (Lake Success, N.Y.: U.N. Special Committee on Palestine, 1947), vol. 1, chap. II, p. 14.
[44] Roberto Bachi, "Tahazit Ha'Ukhlusiya be Israel (al basis sof 1965)," Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem, 1968, pp. 2, 10-11.
[45] Pinkhas Sapir, quoted in Shmuel Fridman, "Al demographia ve kzavim," Ma'ariv (Tel Aviv), July 7, 1987.
[46] Yedi'ot Aharonot, July 6, 1987.
[47] DellaPergola, Tah Ofek seminar, July 19, 2008.
[48] The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Nov. 20, 2006.
[49] Palestinian Media Watch, Aug. 14, 2008.
[50] IsraelNationalNews.com (Arutz Sheva, Beit El and Petah Tikva), Oct. 5, 2007.
[51] Ma'ariv, June 11, 2007.
[52] Gottheil, "Arab Immigration into Palestine;" McCarthy, "Palestine's Population: Migration After 1948;" Janet Abu-Lughod, "The Demographic War for Palestine," The Link (Americans for Middle East Understanding), Dec. 1986; The Globe and Mail, Nov. 20, 2006
[53] Arutz Sheva, July 2, 2007.
 

Yakov Faitelson is the author of Demographic Trends in the Land of Israel, 1800-2007 (Israeli Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), 2008).

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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