Olmert wants to justify retreat by using erroneous data
HERZLIYA, Israel – Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a national address here yesterday announced his administration will push for a Palestinian state and Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, saying Arabs might soon outnumber Jews and threaten Israel's Jewish character unless the Palestinians quickly are offered a state of their own.We gotta give the Orthodox credit - they're the ones who know how to really raise a family, and even non-religious Jews, it's possible, could also accomplish similar successes (in fact, my mother once knew a non-religious family with eight children, howzabout that). So, Olmert, just what exactly are you trying to prove by relying on bloated statistics by a gang that's already proven itself evil? Even in the US, corrupt bunches like CAIR have been trying things like this for some time now, and it's simply tired by now.
His announcement comes amid a new study presented this week, which contends Olmert's withdrawal policy is based on erroneous data and predicts that in 20 years Jews will outnumber Arabs by two-to-one.
"Olmert needs to immediately redo his forecasts and look at the accurate data," said Bennet Zimmerman, leader of an American research team that released a highly regarded population study earlier this week at Israel's prestigious Herzliya Conference.
"Israel is relying on false Palestinian population statistics and outdated Jewish birth rates to act on unrealistic doomsday scenarios when in actuality Israel has a strong, unthreatened Jewish population for at least the next 20 years. There is no demographic reason whatsoever to withdraw from the West Bank," he said.
Olmert said he is seeking a West Bank withdrawal to "[set] the permanent borders of the state of Israel to ensure a Jewish majority."
However, Zimmerman's new study, titled "Forecast for Israel and the West Bank 2025," states a West Bank withdrawal based on demography is groundless because Israel's Jews will more than double Arabs in 20 years.
The study found Palestinians have inflated their population by as much as 1.5 million. It also said Jewish birthrates are far outstripping Palestinian rates, and Israel's own statistics fail to account for even low levels of Jewish immigration when calculating national demographic trends.
The study used numbers documented last year, which placed the current Palestinian-Arab population of the West Bank at 1.4 million and Gaza 1.1 million, for a total of 2.4 million instead of the 3.8 million reported by the Palestinian Authority Central Bureau of Statistics.
Zimmerman's team, comprised in part by researchers Roberta Seid and Michael Wise, found faults in the methods used by the PA to determine its population, including counting the 230,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem twice.
The PA claims a natural population growth rate of 4 to 5 percent per year, among the highest in the world, but Palestinian Ministry of Health records published annually since 1996 contradict the PA's own claim and instead claim actual growth rates averaging around 3 percent.
Zimmerman's study shows how the PA tampered with its own data, retroactively raising growth rates in 2002. His study also shows a steady pattern of decline leading to a natural growth rate in 2003 of just 2.6 percent.
The study also found a dramatic and growing decline in the number of children per Palestinian mother and says Palestinians actually have been moving away from the West Bank and Gaza in contrast to PA claims of large immigration numbers.
At the same time, Zimmerman's team has shown birthrates among Israeli Orthodox Jews are at the highest rates ever, and general Israeli Jewish fertility over the past 5 years has risen above top scenarios first considered by Israel's Bureau of Statistics. The study states Israel did not account for a likely continuation of Jewish immigration trends over the next 20 years.
Update: Caroline Glick also writes about the findings here. You can also visit Pademographics for more.
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