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      MK Eichler: Israel Already Has Non-Jewish Majority

      First Publish: 1/8/2004, 2:06 PM / Last Update: 1/6/2004, 8:20 PM

      MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism), speaking on Tuesday during budget deliberations in the Knesset, called upon Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to "stop hiding the truth that the State of Israel has already lost its Jewish majority." Eichler was referring to a report by the Central Bureau of Statistics stating that between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, Jews number no more than half.

      MK Eichler said that the public must be informed of these numbers: "If the public knew the truth that already today there is not a Jewish majority in Israel, its understanding of the importance of the birth rate in the Land of Israel would be different. We are talking about the number of Jews relative to Muslims, Christians and Bedouins, in addition to a Christian 'Aliyah' from the former Soviet Union, as well as the granting of Israeli citizenship to tens of thousands of foreign workers."

      Arutz-7's Haggai Seri-Levi reports that Eichler insists that the actual number of Israel's Jews has nothing to do with the number of new immigrants who arrived under the Law of Return. Although the Law of Return refers to Jews, it also grants citizenship to many non-Jews who arrive together with their Jewish immigrant relatives. "This is the fraud that I demand that Sharon reveal to the public," MK Eichler told Seri-Levi.

      Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in his speech at the Herzliya Conference last month, also spoke about a demographic problem, noting that this difficulty exists "not with the Arabs of the Palestinian Authority, but rather the Arabs of Israel... Regarding the Israeli-Arabs, who are Israeli citizens - here we have a problem." He said that if the Arabs become a minority of 40%, the State will cease to be Jewish, and therefore, "we need a policy that will first of all guarantee a Jewish majority - I say this with no hesitation, as a liberal, a democrat, and a Jewish patriot - ... and one that will balance between these two needs [a State that is both Jewish and democratic]."