Daily Israel Report

‘The Jews Will Retain a Strong Majority in Israel’

Yesha Council’s deputy director general dismisses PA and demographer claims of a future Arab majority in Israel, recalls wrong predictions on 2000.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/3/2011, 5:19 AM / Last Update: 1/3/2011, 5:14 AM

The Palestinian Authority has made claims that by the end of the year 2014, there will be for the first time a majority of Arabs in what it has termed “historic Palestine.” Two left-oriented Israeli demographers joined PA predictions in recent articles in Ynet (Yediot Ahronoth's website) and JPost. However, Yigal Dilmoni, deputy director general of the Yesha Council, does not believe that this is true and he has searched the archives, coming up with similar predictions of these demographers which have been proven wrong.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva’s daily Hebrew journal on Sunday, Dilmoni quoted as proof that the PA’s claims are false an article dated 1987 which appeared in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper and was entitled ‘In the Year 2000: Israel Will No Longer be Jewish.’ The article was based on claims made by Professor Arnon Sofer (demographer who to this day publishes similarly gloomy forecasts) and which have since obviously been proven wrong.

Dilmoni said that according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2010 there was a Jewish population of 80 percent in Israel. He pointed out that even if PA Arabs were to be included in the figures, the Jewish population would still constitute 66 or 67 percent of the entire population, and this would still be a significant gap from the Arab population.

“When the statistics refer to the Arab population, they rely on Arnon Sofer’s data, which shows that there are two and a half million PA Arabs, but this is a big mistake,” explained Dilmoni. “The exact figure is a million and a half, as proven by Yoram Ettinger. Each statement by Arnon Sofer must be carefully examined. We must not scare the residents of Israel.”

He added that there has been a noted decrease in PA Arab birthrates while at the same time there has been an increase in Jewish birthrate data. He noted that even these figures exclude the Jews who have made aliyah to date as well as those who are expected to make aliyah from European countries due to the rise in Islam there.

Dilmoni noted that even if Gaza’s Arabs were to be included in the count, the Jewish population would still stand strong at a little less than 60 percent.

Dilmoni mentioned other false predictions, such as those which said that Israel’s world image would be stronger after the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the 2005 expulsion of Jews from their homes in Gush Katif.

“We were promised that the world's image of Israel will become stronger,” reminded Dilmoni. “The U.S. government said so, as did Ariel Sharon, but ever since 2005 the world’s view of Israel has been deteriorating.” He mentioned the Goldstone report as well as the events on the Mavi Marmara as examples of this. “The more we fold, the weaker we are,” he concluded.