Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Demographic threat

For many years, Israelis who were in favour of handing parts of Eretz Yisrael over to the Arabs claimed that this was the only way to create Peace - they even had a phrase for it "Land for Peace" i.e., if we give the Arabs "Land", they'll give us "Peace". Over recent years that phrase has become less common, for the simple reason that it turns out that if you give the Arabs "Land" they give us 'War", and "Land for War" didn't have such a good ring to it.

You would have thought that the Left wing would have said "opps, my bad - you were right all along, let's all move to Hevron", instead they came up with a new slogan, a new reason to surrender territory - the 'Demographic Time Bomb".

The logic runs something like this: the Arabs reproduce faster than the Jews, there is nothing that we can do to change that, therefore soon we'll have an Arab majority if we don't withdraw from territory - yes it might lead to war, but the only other alternative is to give up on the idea of a "Democratic Jewish State".

There are so many holes in this argument I don't know why anyone takes it seriously (*why is war a better alternative?), but possibly the biggest problem is that the numbers are just plain wrong.

Firstly, no one has a clue how many Arabs there are in the Palestinian territories, the PA puts the figure at 3.8 million, but Demographer Yoram Ettinger puts the number at 2.6 (see Arutz Sheva's story).

But Wait - it turns out that the real demographic threat isn't the Arabs after all. Amnon Rubinstein has and article in today's Jerusalem Post where he admits that the demographic threat isn't the Arabs, rather it's those damn Charadim, it seems like the biggest threat to Israel is Charadim having babies, and we must do everything in our power to prevent this.

If the result is a decrease in the Jewish population, and a real demographic threat from the Arabs, that's OK - we'll just give them a State (what other choice do we have), and if they use that state to lob missiles at us, well, at least that would be better than having to share a country with those damn Religious Jews.

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