Sunday, January 16

Population Statistics: A Palestinian Fraud

From the Jerusalem Post:

While terrorism is the outward face of the post-modern aggressor, social psychology is perhaps his greatest weapon. If the target population can be manipulated to view itself as the aggressor, if it can be brought to view its position as untenable, then it will sue for peace and surrender. So it was that Kadoura Fares, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and one of the heads of Fatah who signed Yossi Beilin's Geneva Accords, said in an interview with the pan-Arab London-based newspaper Al-Hayat in October 2003 that the Palestinian aim in signing the accords was to "foment a piercing public and political debate in Israel."

While Hamas has placed its emphasis mainly on the terrorist aspect of the post-modern battlefield, the PLO has placed an equal emphasis on the psychological component of the war. In fact, it could be said in retrospect that the greatest single victory the PLO has scored in its 46-year-old war with Israel was the publication of a single report in 1997. That report, "Demographic Indicators of the Palestinian Territory, 1997-2015," is based on a census carried out by the PA's Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in 1997. It projects that the Arab population west of the Jordan River will by 2015 outnumber the Jewish population.

These numbers were immediately adopted by such prominent Israeli demographers as the University of Haifa's Arnon Soffer and the Hebrew University's Sergio Della Pergola, who have both warned that by 2020 Jews will make up between 40 and 46 percent of the overall population of Israel and the territories. The Palestinian projections, which place the Arab population of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip at 3.83 million and the Israeli Arab population at 1.33 million for a total of 5.16 million Arabs west of the Jordan River, put Israel with its 5.24 million Jews at the precipice of demographic parity with the Arabs.
If you been around this debate for a while, you know that these numbers were accepted as fact and used to further the Palestinians case. These numbers put pressure on the Israelis to settle the conflict or face the possibility that they would be facing Palestinians demanding not a state, but the right to vote in Israeli elections. This was sobering stuff for the Israelis. But, no longer...

The average of the last two scenarios, which corrected for the Palestinians living abroad and were based on base populations comprised of ICBS Palestinian population survey projections from the 1990s and Palestinian voting records in 1996 and 2004, brought the final projected number of Palestinians in Gaza, Judea and Samaria to 2.42 million - nearly a third less than the 3.83 million figure currently being used.

The study, which has been accepted by prominent American demographers Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt and Murray Feshbach, shows that contrary to common wisdom, the Jewish majority west of the Jordan River has remained stable since 1967. In 1967 Jews made up 64.1 percent of the overall population and in 2004 they made up 59.5 percent. Inside Israel proper, including Jerusalem, Jews make up 80 percent of the population.
With the political motivation gone, Israel is not likely to be looking for much compromise. That puts the ball firmly in the Palestinian's court. If they want talks if they want a state, they must end terrorism.