Are Jews 'Judaizing' Jerusalem? Are they overpopulating it and displacing Arabs?
In Jerusalem Arab growth rate surpasses that of the Jews
1. Since 1967 Jerusalem's Jewish population has increased by only 105%, while its Arab population has increased by 156%. In other words, despite Arab charges that Israel is "Judaizing"the city, Jerusalem is less Jewish today than it was in 1967. (This and the next 2 points are based on 1993 data from the Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem.)
2. Excluding the Old City (where little building takes place), the average size of Jewish homes in Jerusalem is 67.2 square meters, while the average size of Arab homes is 75.1 square meters.
3. While the Arab population of Jerusalem has increased greatly, crowding has actually decreased. Since 1967 the number of rooms-per-person in Arab households has increased by 11%.
4. Much of the new Arab building in Jerusalem has taken place in the neighborhoods of Ras al-Amud and Arab a-Suwachra in the south-east, and in Shuafat and Beit Hanina in the north. Arab villages within the city, such as Isawiya, A-Tur, Sur Bacher and Beit Safafa, have also grown significantly.
5. Meron Benvenisti, the former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, now much quoted by Israel's critics, in the past criticized propagandists who distorted Arab and Jewish population growth in Jerusalem:
"These complaints were taken up and accepted in wide circles all over the world. However, demographic data did not justify such complaints. The massive Israeli efforts only ensured that the growth of the Jewish population of the city did not lag behind that of the Arab community. As in many other areas, the complaints rested not so much on real facts as on the declarations of politicians. The efforts made for the rapid construction and development of the city brought about a relatively swift growth of the Jewish population, but they also brought about a relatively faster growth of the Arab community. Like Siamese twins, the two communities nourished each other and were obliged to advance at the same pace. The true beneficiary of the efforts directed towards development was not the Jewish community, nor the Arab one, it was the city as a whole". (Jerusalem, The Torn City, 1976)
Since Benvenisti wrote these words in 1976, Jewish building in Jerusalem has continued to lag behind the Arab efforts, as noted above.
Alexander Safian, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Are the Jews a majority in Jerusalem, and how far do such estimates go back?
"The sedentary population of Jerusalem numbers about 15,500 souls, of whom 4,000 are Mussulmans [Muslims] and 8,000 Jews. ...[the] Mussulmans, forming about a fourth of the population [are not a uniform group, as they are] consisting of Turks, Arabs and Moors."
- Karl Marx, 1854, quoted in Karl Marx and Jerusalem, by Shlomo Avineri, The Jerusalem Post, Sept 4 2000 -
What is the population at present?
"It is variously estimated," said Mr. Crunden. "No accurate census has been taken, and we have to estimate. Ten years ago it was placed at from 25,000 to 30,000. The Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem now estimates it at from 50,000 to 60,000. It has increased rapidly of late years."
Are the most of these Mohammedans?
"No. The majority are Jews. The Mohammedans are next in number. There are, however, perhaps 10,000 Christians, mostly Greeks, though there are many Roman Catholics, several hundred Armenians, and some Protestants."
- by B. W. Johnson, in Young Folks in Bible Lands: Chapter X, 1892 -
Israel is the only Jewish State, while there are 22 Arab States. Are Israelis committed to remaining a viable Jewish State?
...We are dealing with politicians who daily perceive Arab hostility but who cannot cope with such hostility because of their compulsive, egalitarian mentality. A mindless self-defense mechanism induces them to defame as "racist" anyone who, out of concern for the cultural self-preservation of the Jewish people, recommends some limitation on the voting power of Israel's burgeoning Arab population. (The simple desire for cultural self-preservation prompted Japan to limit citizenship to ethnic Japanese. Which indicates that democracies which do not make equality a fetish or totalitarian principle [need not succumb from egalitarinism].)
Is it rational, is it just, that Arabs opposed to Israel's existence should be accorded the equal political rights of Jews who work or fight and even die for Israel's existence? How shall we describe those who insist on such indiscriminate, such monstrous, equality even though this democratic principle will logically lead to democratic Israel's demise?
...the egalitarian and culturally neutral principle of one adult/one vote will enable Israel's prolific Arabs to Transform the country into an Arab-Islamic dictatorship. ...compulsive egalitarianism prevents them from addressing this dilemma. This compulsion, permeated by fear, inhibits politicians across the political and religious spectrum from confronting the problem of Israel's shrinking Jewish majority. They surely know from current estimates that Arabs, now 20% of Israel's population, may number 8.5 million by the year 2010, a demographic time-bomb. Even before then, and thanks to the policy of "territory for peace," Israel will have the highest population density in the world!
- Prof. Paul Eidelberg is the Co-founder and President of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy in the Middle East -