Inaccurate population data in Palestine costs U.S.

Palestinian Demography –
Squandering US Policymakers and Taxpayers

by Yoram Ettinger

Grossly erroneous demographic assumptions underline US policy on the Palestinian issue and US contributions to Palestinian-related international organizations and to the Palestinian Authority.

2.5MN Palestinians reside in Gaza (1.1MN) and Judea & Samaria (1.4MN), and not 3.8MN, as contended by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). The latter is a 1998 projection, and not a tangible figure. It has been embraced by the UN, the Department of State and by the CIA without scrutiny.

Corroboration of the 2.5MN figure was concluded with the Palestinian Ministries of Health and Education, the PA Election Commission and Jordan’s Bureau of Statistics, which sharply depart from the PCBS projection. For example:

a) 325,000 Overseas Palestinians are included in the projection, according to the PCBS web site, and according to a March 1998 statement by the PCBS director.

b) 210,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who benefit from Israel’s social security, are doubly-counted (as Israeli Arabs by Israel and as West Bankers by the PA).

c) 238,000 Palestinian Babies have never been born (1997-2003), when comparing the PCBS projection to the documented births by the Palestinian Ministry of Health (from midwives to clinics and hospitals deliveries).

d) 310,000 Deduction from Projection. Rather than 236,000 projected net positive migration there was an actual 74,000 net negative migration (1997-2003).

e) 105,000 Palestinians received Israeli ID cards via marriage (since Oslo 1993) and are doubly-counted (by the PA as well).

f) The 59%:41% Jewish majority west of the Jordan River (including Gaza) is more sustainable in 2004 (systematic decline in Arab population growth) than it was in 1967 (initial rise in Arab population growth). It could be upset by a significant net positive Palestinian migration, which has not occurred since the early 1940s.

The aforementioned data, scrutinized by leading DC demographers, is based on a January 2005 study, led by Ben Zimmerman of LA, which will be shortly published (