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Don't be too sure about demographic trends. The Palestinian birthrate seems to be going down, as in many other Muslim countries, while the Jewish birthrate is slowly going up.

But it's not going up uniformly. Rather, the increase is limited to the religious part of the population, above all the Ultra-Orthodox, or Haredim - the Ashkenazi Hardim seem to have a fertility rate over 8 (see Appendix 2 for the decline in the Arab birthrate, and Appendix 7 for the figures for the religious Jewish population. I'd appreciate more up to date figures; all I've found is some very partial data in Ha'aretz, which only has data for a few specific cities, with on indication how representative they are.)

I've no idea what the implication of this is as far as relations with the Palestinians are concerned, as I've no idea what the views of the Haredim on such matters are. One should, however, not automatically assume that they are the same as the settlers. It does suggest that in several generations Israel may resemble a theocracy more than a democracy, and should warn against making any easy predictions based on demography.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 11:45:12 AM EST
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