Bintel Blog

Israel's North Is 53% Arab

By Nathan Jeffay

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While the international community is, for understandable reasons, fixated on the population balance between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, a demographic war is being fought in a lower-profile part of Israel — the north.

Zionist groups have long been encouraging residents of central Israel and new immigrants to move to the north in a bid to strengthen the Jewish presence. And there is a similar interest in laying roots by some Arabs. Influxes of Arabs in to certain northern towns, such as Carmiel are taken by many locals as evidence of this.

New figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, an agency of the Israeli government, show that if you take Haifa out of the equation, there is already an Arab majority in Northern Israel. Some 53% of residents, the bureau reported, are Arabs.

Taking a national view, today 1.49 million of Israel’s 7.3 million citizens are Arabs. The bureau predicted that in 20 years time, one in every four Israeli citizens will be Arab. These figures are important for the debate on what is known as the “bi-national” solution. As discussed in this recent Bintel Blog post, the belief across the center of Knesset is that Israel needs a peace deal that will take it out of the West Bank. Otherwise the only option left will be a single bi-national state in which, as demography runs its course, Jews will be outnumbered. Obviously, any statistical data such as this which seems to point to the changing balance between Jews and Arabs even within Israel’s pre-1967 borders will taken by advocates of this view to argue that it won’t take long for demography to run its course.

Another interesting figure in the new CBS statistics relates to the changing population balance among Arabs, discussed in this Bintel Blog from a couple of months ago. Back in 1950 one in five Arab citizens of Israel was Christian — now that number is one in 13.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Arab, Carmiel, Demographics, Israel, Northern Israel

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Comments
Raed Kami Thu. Feb 18, 2010

and soon it will be 100% Arab, just like Al Quds

Emiliano Rodrigues Sat. Feb 20, 2010

Sou brasileiro e sou fã do estado judeu e seu povo que sofre muito com os ataque dos terroristas palestinos isso tem que ter um fim chega de tanto sofrimento deste povo que já foi vitima do holocausto outro perigo é esse presidente iraniano que representa um grande mal para a humanidade já que ignora o holocausto essa corrida armamentista com enriquecimento de urânio para a fabricação de armas atômicas isso é um perigo

alan margolis Sat. Feb 20, 2010

Complete the exchange of population of Jews from Arab countries by sending Arabs from Israel to Arabia. This was done between Greece and Turkey, India and Pakistan and Germans vis a vis Poland and Czechoslovakia. It can be done in a humane way with new homes provided elsewhere.

Phillip Cohen Sat. Feb 20, 2010

This article left me with more questions then answers. I know it did not provide "solutions." However the issue of 'transfer' raised by one respondent is, by international standards, inhumane and illegal. It was not until late in the article that the mention of Arabs as Israeli was posted. Unfortunately, which Arabs, other then Israeli was not mentioned. Druze in the north completely identify with Israel and fight in her armies. A Druze General help win the 1967 war. There are others. Again, most identify with Israel but...distinctions were not made. Do we want to transfer Israeli arabs who love Israel and fought along side her from before the Israel was a state? What would that make us? Was Israel ever supposed to be just for one ethnic group? Should citizenship be based on level of observance next? I am Jewish. Israel, I hope wishes to see itself as democratic, western and multiethnic and...free. Phillip Cohen




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