Report: Israel's Jewish Births Up 20%
According to recent population reports, birth rates among Israel’s Jews are on the rise while those of Arab citizens are in decline.
According to Israel's Interior Minister the last decade has seen the Jewish birth rate in Israel rise by nearly 20 percent. Muslim and Christian birth rates over the last decade have fallen by 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
The findings, from the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority, offset widespread concerns that Israel’s 80 percent Jewish majority is threatened by population growth among Israeli Arabs - and residents of Palestinian Authority administered enclaves in Judea and Samaria. .
In 2001, 69 percent of births were Jewish, 28 percent Muslim and 1.9 percent Christian. By contrast, in 2010 the respective birth figures for the ethnic groups were 76 percent, 22 percent and 1.3 percent.
Israeli Arabs tend to have large families, but this has changed along with the sector’s economic elevation into the middle class. A growing number of religious Jews, meanwhile, has perpetuated higher Jewish fertility.
Analysts note the long-term implication of such a trend is an overwhelmingly Jewish future in Israel as the decades progress.
Such projections run counter to the long-held dogmas of Israel's left that date back to the Mapai government of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, which argued at the end of the 1967 Six Day War that annexing Judea and Samaria would be demographic suicide for the Jewish state.
Those now debunked beliefs also served as the underlying rationale for the now-failed 1993 Olso Accords fathered by now-President Shimon Peres, which have resulted in two Intifadas, thousands of Israelis killed in terrorist attacks, and a total impasse in negotiations with Israel's alleged PLO interlocutors.
Political observers say officials in Jerusalem will have to reassess the strategic and national value of pursuing "two-states for two-peoples" when long-term projections indicate Jewish Israelis will form an increasingly overwhelming majority between the Mediterranean and Jordan in the coming years.
Nor, they note, is it in Israel’s national interests to sacrifice land needed by future generations to an increasingly marginal opponent who continues to seek Israel's destruction.