The Demographic Future Of Israel

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 5 2012 @ 1:20pm

The latest government data predicts that the ultra-orthodox haredim and Israeli-Arabs will form a majority by the middle of this century in democratic Israel. Whatever secular democratic middle is left will be very isolated:

According to the CBS forecast, the ultra-Orthodox population will number 1.1 million people by 2019, compared with 750,000 in 2009. By 2059, there will be anywhere between 2.73 million and 5.84 million haredim – a 264%-686% increase.

The Arab proportion of democratic Israel's population will also increase. Yousef Munayyer believes that "to hope for a 'democratic' Israel is foolish," even if there were a two-state solution:

Think about what “democratic” Israel would be like. In order to insure a Jewish majority, the state will have to continue to not only discriminate against the Palestinian citizens in Israel but also continue to treat them as a “demographic threat.”

Numerous Israeli laws discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel. Because of a 2003 law, Palestinians like me can’t reside in Israel with their Palestinian spouse from outside of “Israel proper.” This means that if I want to live in Israel, my wife from the West Bank cannot live with me. Yet Jews are exempt from this hardship. These laws exist to prevent what Netanyahu refersto as a "demographic spillover"; the movement of Palestinians into Israel, which would threaten the state’s desired Jewish majority.