Expert: Kerry ignores demographics in Israel-PA policy

Former Amb. and demographer Yoram Ettinger notes Jewish presence in Israel is stronger than ever - making a 'one-state' solution possible.

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Shimon Cohen,

John Kerry (file)
John Kerry (file)

Former Ambassador to the US Yoram Ettinger criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday, noting in a special Arutz Sheva interview that Kerry's views on demographics are fundamentally flawed. 

"He does not know the demographics, as he does not know the data is political and geo-strategic," Ettinger fired. On Sunday, Kerry stated at the Saban Forum in Washington that Israel is heading for a "binational state," and that "the one-state solution is no solution at all for a Jewish, democratic Israel living in peace."

"This is the same man who was among the small minority in Washington who were supporters of Hafez Assad and his son Bashar," Ettinger noted, referring to the two Syrian leaders. "He used to eat dinner with them and tried to convince Israel that they were peaceful and loving people."

"This person wrote in his book The New War that [PLO arch-terrorist Yasser] Arafat was a prototype of a criminal who became a peaceful statesman," he continued. "This is the person who receives [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas as one of the prophets of peace despite the fact that he founded, and directs, an educational system based on hate." 

Ettinger also noted that Kerry is ignoring the past 15-20 years of fertility trends and data. While in 1969, the Jew to Arab birth ratio in Israel was 1:6, Jews are surpassing the birth rate for the first time, he said - with the average Jewish woman now producing 3-3.5 children, and Arab women fewer than three.

He also noted that Kerry is ignoring "the negative migration balance" among Palestinian Arabs, who have been steadily leaving the PA since 1950 - and who have left in droves since 2000. Concurrently, he said, mass Aliyah (immigration to Israel) has raised Jewish presence in Israel tremendously, and Israeli emigration is currently the lowest since the 1980s. 

"The bottom line is that 66% of the total people in Judea, Samaria, and over 1949 Armistice lines are Jews today - and this is on the heels of an avalanche of Jewish birthrates and immigration," Ettinger said. Even including Gaza, Jews are 58% of the total population in the so-called "Palestinian territories." 

The change in the PA population is due to a rise in women's rights and education.

"All PA Arab girls finish high school, and many more go to college," he stated. "This means that the fertility process does not begin at the age of 15 - as was the case - but at the age of 20 plus."

"In addition, in '67 the area was 70 percent rural, which meant there were more helping hands around to raise children, and today it's 75% urban - which makes raising children more difficult without family help." 

As far as Israeli Arabs, Ettinger noted the population has begun to be "Israelified." Israeli Arabs constitute about 20% of the total population of Israel, but only 10% turn to Arab MKs for representation. Polls also indicate that when given the choice, Arabs over 1949 Armistice lines - whether in Jerusalem or Judea-Samaria - prefer to carry blue Israeli ID cards than be identified as PA citizens.