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It’s official: Israeli govt confirms Jews are no longer the majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea

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Akiva Eldar in Haaretz – “The Jewish majority is history“:

Amid a dry economic report published yesterday in TheMarker lies an official announcement/acknowledgment of unparalleled importance: The government of Israel confirms that between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River there is no longer a Jewish majority. In other words, in the territory under Israel’s jurisdiction a situation of apartheid exists. A Jewish minority rules over an Arab majority.

Hila Raz’s article reports that the Tax Authority is trying to pass an amendment to the law for the purpose of revising the ceiling for eligibility for tax benefits, whose aim, in turn, is to encourage exports. According to the Export Promotion Law approved in 2005, a factory is entitled to a tax break if at least 25 percent of its income stemmed from sales to a market with at least 12 million residents. A Ministry of Finance memorandum on the amendment to the law notes that in 2011 the population of Israel and the Palestinian Authority exceeded the 12 million mark, which enables manufacturers who market to these consumers to enjoy a tax break. The Tax Authority’s diligent officials would like to raise the threshold for qualifying for the benefit by two million residents, so that they will not have to grant the benefit to exporters who sell their wares in Israel and the territories.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (which is subordinate to the Prime Minister’s Office ), of the 12 million residents living under Israeli rule, the number of Jews is just under 5.9 million (as of April 25 ). Twelve million minus 5.9 million Jews equals 6.1 million non-Jews. In other words, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, there is a pretty Jewish state as far as its laws and customs, but the reality is not so democratic. Foreign sources report that Jews had already become a minority in the area of the greater Land of Israel several years ago. From now on, it is an official statistic.

There will certainly be those who argue that the 12 million includes the resident of the Gaza Strip, which Israel evacuated, and that I should have deducted 1.5 million people from the number of non-Jewish residents. But the 12 million, which does happen to include the residents of the Gaza Strip, is an official figure appearing on Ministry of Finance stationery. If this population “is not considered” for purposes of the demographic balance, the Finance Ministry should be so kind as to deduct it from the limit for receiving the tax breaks and from the balance of its income.

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Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Executive Editor of

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34 Responses

  1. pabelmont on October 16, 2012, 12:37 pm

    So what? Whoever thought that Israel’s moral position (or practical position) would turn a somersault when the numbers titled in this fashion? Are AIPAC going to change from tigers to pussycats? Are those American Jews who formerly wrung their hands about apartheid going to suddenly act more consistently with that (former) hand-wringing than they have done with for-more-ancient Jewish morals altogether (“Do not do unto others”).

    Still, talk it up. Maybe it matters to someone. Who knows.

  2. ToivoS on October 16, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Does the 5.9 M Jews “living” in Israel include the 750,000 Israeli Jewish citizens who work in Europe and America? I understand that they cannot vote, but it was never clear if they are tallied in the population count.

    • shachalnur on October 16, 2012, 7:25 pm

      It’s worse than that.
      According to government numbers the number is closer to 1 million,and yes,these people are still counted as Israeli citizens.
      Besides that there is the tiny problem of an estimated 0,5 million Russion “jews” ,who are not really jewish according to Halacha.
      They were allowed to come over from Russia to up the numbers in Israel,having one jewish grandparent(Sadly enough the same rule the Nazi’s used in WW2 to define a jew).
      This might explain the huge amount of Russians in Israel wearing crosses around their neck.

      • Mooser on October 17, 2012, 6:08 pm

        “It’s worse than that.”

        They sound like they might be a healthy influence on Israel. Of course, if they can get past the damning association with the Nazis you mention.

    • Abuadam on October 16, 2012, 7:53 pm

      What about us Palestinians not allowed back home, into Palestine whether 48 or 67, because we are not Jews, thats a another several million, lets count that too!!!

      • annie on October 17, 2012, 8:26 pm

        What about us Palestinians not allowed back home, into Palestine whether 48 or 67, because we are not Jews, thats a another several million, lets count that too!!!

        the israeli government only counts their own when considering citizens abroad. for palestinians, they want you off the books not on!

    • Krauss on October 16, 2012, 11:58 pm

      It’s a lower number than that, secondly, the majority of them return to Israel after a number of years abroad. They are for the most part chain migrants, and they often return home with frequent visits.

      Still, your point is valid. Even if these chain migrants are removed, we’re still left with maybe 100,000 less Jews than the 5.8 estimate.

      However, it’s important to mention that the Jewish birthrate is higher than the Arab one, and will continue to be so as the Haredi population explodes.

      Another point is that Druze as counted as Arabs, non-Jewish Russian olim are counted as “Arabs” too.

      If you discount Gaza, and you should, and add all these numbers up you’re at about 60 % Jewish, and less than 40% Arab(Druze, non-Jews(like Russians) and others make up the difference).

      Add to this the explosive Jewish birthrate.

      • Krauss on October 17, 2012, 12:15 am

        However, one final point.
        What matters is not the number of absolute Jews but what kind of Jews we’re dealing with here. For Israel to be able to sustain itself in the world of PR, it needs a “western population”. That means, by shorthand, secular – and, let’s face it, lightskinned – Jews who it will be easier to sell to the Western public at large and easier for the Ashkenazi Jewish diaspora to accept as their own.

        50 % of all schoolchildren now entering kindergarten in Israel are either Arabs or Haredi Jews. Over the past decade, the number of Arab children has increased by 33 %, the number of Haredi children has increased by 55%. The number of Jewish children enrolled in secular public schools has declined by 0.2% over the last decade.

        The trend is unmistakable. The ruling class, secular Ashkenazi Jews, simply won’t be able to hold on to its legitimacy as the Haredi and the Arabs start to want more.

        Israel will be crushed from within due to demographic trends, but it won’t be because of falling Jewish birthrates, rather from too high and the ‘wrong kind’ for Israel to be able to maintain its secular identity.
        The Haredi will want to make Israel into a Jewish Saudi Arabia and the Arabs will want democracy. Neither will be given to neither population and this spells huge problems for Israel down the road.

      • Ranjit Suresh on October 17, 2012, 1:25 am

        I doubt that this matters. Americans – who afterall, are Israel’s principal benefactors – are not aware of, and do not recognize the distinction between Ashkenazi and Haredi Jews. In American discourse, a Jew is a Jew, regardless of how swarthy they are.

        Nobody in the U.S. will mind if Israel becomes a fundamentalist Jewish state, because the truth is, Americans don’t know anything about Judaism to begin with. How can someone criticize a fundamentalist strain of a religion if they don’t even know what the mainstream is like?

        Your average American has a vague sense that Jews believe in the Old Testament. They don’t even know about the Talmud. In other words, many Americans know more about Islam than Judaism.

      • seafoid on October 17, 2012, 7:50 am


        I generally read your stuff and agree with a lot of it. Do you think you could drop the Zionist classification of “Arabs” and call that proportion of the Israeli population by its correct name- Palestinians ?

      • on October 17, 2012, 9:58 am

        “the number of absolute Jews” – Krauss

        “Absolute Jews” is a funny term – you of course mean the ‘absolute number’ of Jews in Israel.

      • Krauss on October 17, 2012, 1:41 pm


        Palestinian is a nationality, just like American, not an ethnicity. Therefore there are Jewish Palestinians, Arab Palestinians, Druze Palestinians, Russian Palestinians and so forth.

      • on October 17, 2012, 3:34 pm

        I understand ‘Palestinians’ to mean a geographical subset of the ethnic group of Arabs. They are Arabs living in the a geographical area called ‘Palestine’. The Israeli identity card classifies its citizens by ‘nationality’ (ethnicity):
        Jews, Arabs, Druse, other.
        Note: There is no Israeli nation and no Israeli nationality.

      • shachalnur on October 17, 2012, 4:27 pm

        I beg to differ.
        I was in Israel a few month ago ,listening to reshet bet radio program at night(ha kesher ha israeli be hutz learetz,Israeli contact abroad).
        There, a leader of an organization for Israeli’s in the US stated that there are about 750.000 Israeli’s permanently living in the US.
        If you go to wikipedia under “yerida” lots of links for(verifiable) info on numbers of Israeli’s living outside Israel.
        Netanyahu claimed there to be between 800.000 and one million Israeli’s living abroad ,when he tried to push a law through ,giving them the right to vote.
        An Israeli consulate official claimed 650.000 Israeli’s living in the US permanently.
        By law ,children born out of Israeli parent(s) abroad are considered Israeli citizens,consequently about 60.000 US jewish children are Israeli citizens without ever having been in Israel . etc.etc.
        Israel’s number of Israeli citizens are cooked ,for obvious reasons
        Russian “jews” are desperate to leave Israel,and are going back to russia ,if they can’t get into the US.
        I’m sure you’ve noticed that part of Zionist desparation is the enormous amount of lies being spread.
        I dislike to confront people with their erronious information but your numbers on jewish vs. arab birthrates, haredi education,ashkenazi PR absolute jews etc. is suspect and ,frankly,incorrect.
        You’re claim of only 100.000 Israeli’s living abroad is not true .
        I wonder why you write these things .
        Please state your sources.

      • annie on October 17, 2012, 8:06 pm


        They are Arabs living in the a geographical area called ‘Palestine’. The Israeli identity card classifies its citizens by ‘nationality’ (ethnicity):
        Jews, Arabs, Druse, other.

        but palestinians identify themselves as palestinins, regardless of what the israeli identity card says. are you rationalizing not identifying them by their chosen self identification?

        However, it’s important to mention that the Jewish birthrate is higher than the Arab one, and will continue to be so as the Haredi population explodes.

        in the entire region of israel and the occupied territories? do you have any documentation to back that up? while i understand the haredi is the fastest growing demographic, they are a small percentage in comparison to all the jews in the region.

        Over the past decade, the number of Arab children has increased by 33 %, the number of Haredi children has increased by 55%.

        note you are not identifying the haredi children as they appear on their israeli identity card. either way, these figures do not represent all the children in israel and palestine, but all the children in israel. please provide a source for your allegation the jewish birthrate is higher than the palestinian one in the region.

        50 % of all schoolchildren now entering kindergarten in Israel are either Arabs or Haredi Jews.

        source please, with a breakdown of the 2 groups.

        and if you continue to refuse to ignore palestinian self identification, i will interpret that as a willful choice stemming from denial of palestinian identity and self determination.

      • ToivoS on October 17, 2012, 8:26 pm

        shachalnur, thanks for the information. This question has puzzled me for some time and it seemed just too tempting for Israeli census officials stretching the numbers to inflate Jewish numbers. I asked the question because over the past 3 decades I have been acquainted with three sabra who for all intents and purposes look like US citizens. Except they still self identify as Israeli without any intention of returning.

      • on October 17, 2012, 9:05 pm

        Annie –

        Krauss said:
        – “there are Jewish Palestinians, Arab Palestinians, Druze Palestinians,
        Russian Palestinians and so forth.”

        I considered this definition complete nonsense.
        I said therefore (and you quote me, not Krauss):
        – “They are Arabs living in the a geographical area called ‘Palestine’. The Israeli identity card classifies its citizens by ‘nationality’ (ethnicity): Jews, Arabs, Druse, other.”

        I mean, the Palestinians belong to the larger ethnicity of Arabs (similar descent, same language etc.) but have developed their own identity over time. That the Israelis classify them just as ‘Arabs’ is of course a denial of that fact.
        One more note on Israel’s understanding of ‘nation’ and ‘nationality’:

        – In their understanding, the state of Israel with its citizens is not a nation. (The supreme court in Israel said so in a ruling a few years ago.) There is no Israeli nationality but only Israeli citizenship. Its citizens are of different nationalities: Jewish, Arab-Palestinians, Druse, other.

        It’s comparable to the former Soviet Union. There was USSR citizenship but the passport had an entry ‘nationality’. That could be ‘Russian’, ‘Georgien’, ‘Estonian’ etc. and also ‘Jewish’.

      • shachalnur on October 17, 2012, 9:29 pm

        thanks Annie,
        you state things a lot clearer than I could ever do.
        krauss’ numbers ring a bell ,only in another context.
        smells like shill.
        Clever and very confusing to most readers.

      • on October 18, 2012, 2:48 pm

        “By law ,children born out of Israeli parent(s) abroad are considered Israeli citizens,consequently about 60.000 US jewish children are Israeli citizens without ever having been in Israel . etc.etc” –
        shachalnur (what does that name mean?) –

        Overall I agree, but just for the sake of correctness:
        – A census is always a census of the resident population of a country. This resident population is then broken down into citizens and foreigners/non-citizens residing in the country. People who hold the citizenship of a country but reside abroad are not included. I don’t know what criteria the Israeli statistical office uses to determine a resident (someone who has an address in Israel and resides just in a mailbox?).
        For instance: The largest number of people with German citizenship who live abroad (and consequently are not counted as residents in the German census) are Israeli Jews who got German citizenship (you understand – just in case).

      • shachalnur on October 18, 2012, 10:35 pm

        for klaus bloemker.
        You might be looking at Israel through European or US pink glasses.
        Israel makes it’s own rules on almost anything,and is able to make other countries rules as well.
        When the State of Israel was created ,one of the first decisions was to write a Constitution immidiately;Well we’re still waiting(there’s no law above G_d’s law,bla ,bla )
        Therefore,for example, there’s no country in the world that states your religion in identity papers(Jew,Arab;Cristian,LOL,what a mess).
        Israel can make you an Israeli citizen,without you ever requesting Israeli citizinship and stop you from leaving the country or put you in jail(happened to me,for legal and political reasons)
        Once you’re an Israeli ,there’s no way to get rid of it.
        israel can make any law they want,inside Israel, that wouldn’t stand in any other country with a constitution(no habeus can be put in jail for years on the simple declaration of anybody without proof or witnesses,etc.etc.)
        Israel has been doing all kinds of crazy stuff to keep people coming to Israel to up the numbers,olim hadashim leaving Israel after they’ve got disappointed,are counted as Israeli citizins ,children born out of “Israeli” yordim(the one’s that left),Russian non-jews ,counted as jews (and not as Krauss said”as arabs”) etc.etc.
        You have to understand that “the numbers” are extremely important to Israel ,it gives them legitimacy(they think),and makes it possible to go on behaving like (moral) barbarians,under the excuse of “national security” and being different or G_d chosen.
        Israel does whatever it wants,and think they get away with it,bringing shame and grave danger to jews all over the planet.
        Manipulating the numbers is just a minor “crime”.

  3. Henry Norr on October 16, 2012, 1:12 pm

    By writing that “in the territory under Israel’s jurisdiction a situation of apartheid exists” immediately after reporting that Jews are no longer a majority in that territory, Akiva Eldar seems to imply that apartheid exists only when a minority rules over a majority. That’s wrong: the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid makes no mention of majority or minority rule, nor does it limit the scope of the term apartheid to situations that closely resemble the South African model. Here’s how Article II of the Convention defines apartheid:

    For the purpose of the present Convention, the term “the crime of apartheid”, which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:

    (a) Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person:

    (i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;

    (ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

    (iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;

    (b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;

    (c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;

    d) Any measures including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, the prohibition of mixed marriages among members of various racial groups, the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof;

    (e) Exploitation of the labour of the members of a racial group or groups, in particular by submitting them to forced labour;

    (f) Persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.

    In other words, Israel has been an apartheid state since its foundation in 1948.

  4. on October 16, 2012, 1:50 pm

    I think the number of Israeli Jews that are counted as residents include those who are just registered there and have an address but actually aren’t resident there any longer but live and work abroad; 200,000?

  5. heb on October 16, 2012, 2:12 pm

    “between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, there is a pretty Jewish state” . Pretty ? Not from where I am sitting. How about ” Jewishish”.

    Great find. How to explain that away ?

  6. braciole on October 16, 2012, 2:55 pm

    No wonder the Zionists want to do away with the Palestinians right of return.

  7. Exiled At Home on October 16, 2012, 4:13 pm

    Well, then it would seem that the demographic relationship is normalizing. With the exception of a very small chunk of time in which Israeli Jews outnumbered the non-Jewish indigenous populations of Palestine, perhaps between the 1980s-2010, the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea has had a Muslim/Christian majority for nearly 2000 years.

  8. Les on October 16, 2012, 4:30 pm

    Akiva Eldar

    “The government’s acknowledgement that Jews are a minority in this land means one thing only: Apartheid is here.”

  9. Blake on October 16, 2012, 5:40 pm

    Oh dear. 7.3 million awaiting a Right of Return. Not looking good.

  10. GilGamesh on October 16, 2012, 9:59 pm

    Adam, why did you decide to change the title of the article rather than answer my questions about your definition of “historic” Palestine ?

  11. Nevada Ned on October 17, 2012, 12:22 am

    “Apartheid” doesn’t just mean that the majority of the population is oppressed. It can apply to an oppressed minority as well. In the US, for example, before the passage of the civil rights voting act (1964?), much of the African-American population was disenfranchised. The situation in the former Confederate states was similar to apartheid, even though African-Americans constituted far fewer than half of the population.

    • kalithea on October 17, 2012, 1:05 pm

      Very true, but Zionists like to bamboozle the world by redefining what Apartheid means so as to wiggle out of criticism and condemnation. The other way they do it is by accusing everyone who sees blatant Apartheid in Israel today with Anti-Semitism. The third way is by crying WOLF and using the “security” issue as a club to beat Palestinians into submission.

      Zionists excel in the art of smoke and mirrors; i.e. manipulation.

  12. seafoid on October 17, 2012, 7:48 am

    Wow. The Jewish majority in the eternal Altneuland of Judaism didn’t even last 2 generations. The ancient homeland and they ethnically cleansed it and everything and they couldn’t manage it for more than 60 years.

    Maybe pauperisation was the wrong strategy to deal with the Palestinians.

  13. on October 18, 2012, 10:53 pm

    of course, there is little import in that figure as the majority of the 6.1 million are not Israeli citizens or desirous of being Israeli citizens. they mostly are people who unhappily ended up without their own country.

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