Demography is a central issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Conventional wisdom holds that Israel faces a demographic time bomb and, according to some demographers, who take into account the Arab and Israeli birthrates, the Jews will soon be a minority between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. But this apocalyptical scenario is false.

In effect, these statistics are based in figures that no one has verified. According to the figures of the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), there are 3.8 million inhabitants in the territories but, for us, there are only 2.4 millions. The PCBS inflated these figures and also the birth rates. Thus, demographers affirm that the Jews will be a minority in the near future because they base their studies in these errors. The PCBS made its estimate based on false birth rates; it included overseas births; it also inflated immigration in the territories and it included the Arabs in Jerusalem as part of the population of the territories - whom had already been counted by Israel.

The number of Palestinians registered in the electoral lists confirms our calculation. The population between the Jordan and the Mediterranean is 60% Jewish and 40% Arab, similar to the ratio since 1967.

Where are the demographers? Why didn’t they verify their sources? The modest but regular return of Israelis combined with the current birth rate will be enough to maintain the demographic balance in favor of the Jews.

Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Battle of the numbers: What Demographic time bomb? ”, by Bennett Zimmerman, Roberta Seid and Michael J. Wise, Jerusalem Post, May 17, 2005.