Demographics are on our Side: By Moshe Feiglin
Today in the Knesset, I explained to the Absorption Minister that one million Jews will be making aliyah to Israel in the next decade.
How do I know?
Because the history of Zionism is built on waves of aliyah. And in the emerging geopolitical reality, all the harbingers of the next wave exist: anti-Semitism, economy and on the positive side, Jewish identity.
The blessed waves of aliyah come on the heels of a dramatic change in the birthrate patterns in Israel. The only community in the world (!) in which the birthrate is rising instead of declining is the Jewish community in the Land of Israel. The average Jewish woman in Tel Aviv (not ultra-Orthodox and not a settler) gives birth to no fewer children than her Arab counterpart from Ramallah. Even without the expected aliyah, demographics in Israel today are in favor of the Jewish People.
And now for some statistics from former ambassador and demographics expert Yoram Ettinger:
“An 8% Jewish minority in the Land of Israel did not deter Herzl in 1897. A 55% Jewish majority within the Partition Plan boundary of the Jewish State did not deter Ben Gurion in 1948. From a minority of 9% and 39% in 1897 and 1948, respectively, in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and “pre-1967 Israel,” Jews have surged to a 66% majority in 2013, benefitting from a robust tailwind of fertility and immigration.
The demographic pessimists have failed!
In March, 1898, Theodore Herzl’s adversary, the leading Jewish historian-demographer Shimon Dubnov, predicted that in the year 2000 there would be no more than 500,000 Jews west of the Jordan River. But in the year 2000, there were 5 million Jews west of the Jordan.
In the 1940’s, Professor Roberto Beki, founder of the Israeli Office of Statistics, warned Ben Gurion that in the best-case scenario, in 2001 there would be only 2.3 million Jews west of the Jordan River; a minority of 34%. But in 2001 there were 5 million Jews in that area, who made up a majority of 60%.
In 1967, PM Levi Eshkol was warned by leading demographers that in 1987 there would be an Arab majority west of the Jordan River. But in 1987 there was a 60% Jewish majority.
Leading demographers in Israel did not believe that there would be a massive aliyah after the War of Independence. But one million Jews arrived. In the 70’s, they did not predict an aliyah wave because ‘the western Jews can, but do not want to make aliyah, while the Jews in the Communist bloc want to make aliyah, but can’t.’ But 300,000 Jews came. In the 80’s, they rejected the notion that a wave of aliyah would come from the Soviet Union, even if the gates of Moscow were to open. But a million immigrants came!”