Israeli National Security: A New Strategy For An Era Of Change
The Israel National Security Project (INSP) highlights Israel’s urgent need for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. From former IDF Chiefs of Staff to ex-directors of Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, and Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, there is a widespread belief among leading security experts that the establishment of a Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel is an Israeli strategic priority. In contrast to the strident claims made by the settler lobby in Israel and its supporters in both Israel and in the United States, the vast majority of Israeli reserve generals and ex-intelligence officials see the continued occupation of the West Bank as harmful to Israel’s interests. It is a message that mirrors what Israeli demographers have been saying as well. Time is running out, these experts argue, for a two-state solution without which Israel’s future as a Jewish and a democratic state will be in jeopardy. INSP promotes this powerful message by providing a repository of their statements. Students, academics, policy analysts, government officials, and observers of the Arab-Israeli conflict should find the information presented here useful for gaining an improved understanding of the critical importance of the two-state solution to Israel’s future.
Population Growth Rates
According to the World Bank, the population growth rate is “the increase in a country’s population during a period of time; usually one year expressed as a percentage of the population at the start of that period.” The rate “reflects the number of births and deaths during the period and the number of people migrating to and from a country.”
Within the state of Israel, the Israeli Arab population is growing at a higher rate than Israel’s Jews. Consequently, the Jewish majority within Israel is slowly diminishing. In relation to Palestine, the population growth rate of Israel is lower than the Palestinian population growth rate, resulting in the Palestinian population growing at a faster rate than Israel’s population growth rate. Furthermore, the lack of significant Jewish migration to Israel over the last decade, coupled with relatively higher Arab growth rates, means that the share of Jews within the entire population living between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River will continue to diminish.
Within the state of Israel in 2011, the combined growth rate of Jews, non-Arab Christians, and those not classified by religion was 1.7 percent. The growth rate of Arabs was 2.4 percent. By religion, the annual growth rate of Israeli Jews was 1.8 percent, and of Israeli Muslims, it was 2.5 percent. (Source: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, “Statistical Abstract of Israel 2012,” No. 63 Subject 2, State of Israel, 92.) Click here to see the report.
Another source similarly finds that, in 2011, the Palestinian population growth rate was 2.5 percent, and the population growth rate of Israel was 1.9 percent. (Source: Population Reference Bureau, “Palestinian Territory,” Population Reference Bureau.) Click here to see the report.
Rate of Natural Increase
The rate of natural increase measures the difference between the number of live births and the number of deaths occurring in a country during a given year. According to the United Nations, it “represents the portion of population growth (or decline) determined exclusively by births and deaths,” and excludes the effects of migration on a country’s population.
The rate of natural increase of Israeli Arabs is higher than the Jewish rate of natural increase. This means that the ratio of Israeli Arab births to deaths is greater than that of Jews. More broadly, the rate of natural increase of Palestine is significantly higher than the Israeli rate of natural increase. This means that the ratio of Palestinian births to deaths is greater than that of Israel.