Dramatic Demographic Shifts For Israel As Jews Return Home
By Tom Olago
New data released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics shows that the gap between Jewish and Arab birthrates in Israel has significantly declined over the last decade.
According to a CBS report, in the year 2014, the average lifetime fertility rate of Arab women to Jewish women stood at 3.17 to 3.11 children respectively. In contrast, fertility statistics published in the early 2000s stood at 4.3 children for Arab women compared to 2.6 children for Jewish women.
At the end of 2014, there were 2.74 million children (ages 0-17) in Israel, making up 33% of the population. 71%, or 1.945 million, of them were Jewish children, 26% or 713,000 of them were Arab, and 3% or 82,000 were listed as “other.”
The current population of 8.4 million is forecast to reach 10 million between 2025 and 2030, 15.6 million by 2059 and 20.6 million in a high case scenario.
Government policies have long been geared to encouraging a high Jewish birth rate for fear that a higher Arab birth rate would eventually result in a power shift in the country. The changes in birth rates and increase in Jewish population due to immigration is dramatically revising such warnings.
Already, there are quite a number of Jews who emigrated from other countries to Israel. For example, Americans, are said to form fifteen percent of the total Jewish settler population in the West Bank.
Immigrant numbers are now set to rise even further, given significant developments regarding Ethiopian Jews. According to Sam Sokol for the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Cabinet recently unanimously approved an Interior Ministry proposal to resume Aliya Dramatic Demographic Shifts For Israel As Jews Return Home (immigration to Israel) from Ethiopia, which was suspended in 2013.
Consequently, any Ethiopian who moved to Gondar or Addis Ababa after January 2013, who is willing to convert to Judaism and has relatives in Israel who can apply for his/her acceptance, will be eligible to move. Around 9,000 eligible people have been waiting in Addis Ababa and Gondar transit camps for the past several years in the hopes of making their way to the Jewish state.
Since the suspension, Ethiopian-Israeli activists had been protesting what they saw as the breaking up of families. Certain supporters of the decision, such as Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund chairman Eliezer Sandberg, claimed that those left in Ethiopia were only gentile relations of Ethiopians in Israel, not Jews.
Following the reinstatement of the Aliya policy, the Interior Ministry announced that a committee will be in charge of examining applicants’ eligibility. Interior Minister Silvan Shalom described the cabinet’s move as “a significant decision that will bring the last descendants of Ethiopian Jews and will unite them with their families in Israel.”
Besides the increase in the natural birth rate and the Aliyah process, yet another source of increase to the Jewish population in Israel would be Jews returning from Europe due to anti-Semitic persecution.
Florence Taylor of Christiantoday.com warned in early October that there were fears of a mass exodus of Jews from Europe for this reason. Germany was said to be Europe’s worst offender with regards to anti-Semitic behavior, based on the reported statistics of 1,596 hate crimes in 2014. France was the second worst at 815 reported hate crimes targeting Jews.
Net migration to Israel over the last year was 32,000, representing a 35% increase over last year.
Most of the immigrants came from the Ukraine (26%), France (25%), Russia (21%), and the US (9%). With the sustained increases of attacks against Jews, this figure is expected to rise higher over time. No telling how much the demographics of Israel may change by the time immigration quotas reach their final limits.
The convergence of Jews in Israel from all around the world may seem natural for Israel, given the reasons they have fronted. Bible scholars, however also see its end-times significance as prophesied in the Scriptures.
One such section is in the Book of Isaiah:
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, `Give them up!’ and to the south, `Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth…” (Isaiah 43:5-6, 21).
According to the refinersfire.org, the first returning Jews to Palestine came primarily from eastern Arab countries. The next major movement came from the western countries of Europe, especially Germany. Then they came in great numbers from Russia (north) during the end of the 1980’s. The last great migrations of Jews returning to Israel came from Ethiopia in the south. This precise order of return was predicted by Isaiah the prophet.
This has God’s signature all over it. His enemies hate his people and deny them their right to the land of Israel that He gave them. They also chase them out of other countries. So they increasingly go home to the land God gave them.
Who are the fools here?