Tomorrow, May 8, marks Jerusalem Day, and as the celebrations get under way, The Times of Israel is reporting on the national obsession… demographics:
In 2012, some 22,800 babies were born in Jerusalem, of whom 14,600 were Jewish and 7,900 were Muslim. Fertility rates for Jews in Jerusalem were far higher than the national average: In 2011 the average Jewish woman in the capital had 4.24 children, as compared to 2.98 in the country as a whole. The average Muslim woman in Jerusalem had 3.71 children, slightly higher than the national average of 3.51 among Muslims.
Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem said Tuesday that Palestinians will never have sovereignty in the Holy City, suggesting that they rename Ramallah as “northern Jerusalem” instead.
Speaking to The Times of Israel news site, Nir Barkat said it was in Jerusalem’s DNA to be under “sole Jewish rule” and pressure from the international community to stop building on occupied territory was “illegal.”
“The answer is no separation of the city … If the world pushes us there, it’s just a matter of time before things will fall apart,” Barkat told the Times on the eve of Jerusalem Day, a controversial national holiday celebrating what Israelis call the “reunification” of the city………
Barkat said it was “ridiculous” that Jews were not allowed to pray in the highly sensitive Al-Aqsa compound and added that he was uncomfortable with the status quo on the issue.