Israel By the Numbers 2009
(With Some Observations)
Total Population: 7,344,000
Jewish population: 5,886,300
Arab-Israeli population: 1,487,600
Percentages: Jewish: 80%
Jewish population in "occupied territories": West Bank (Judea/Samaria): 280,000
East Jerusalem: 190,000
Golan Heights: 20,000
Palestinian population: West Bank: 2,407,681
East Jerusalem: 209,000
Observations: When you add up the Palestinian population now living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza -- along with the Arab-Israeli population living within Israel -- you can see there are about as many Arabs/Palestinians as there are Jews! Furthermore, statistically Arabs/Palestinians have a higher birth rate than do Jews. So it is easy to see how Jews in Israel are fearful of being overrun by Arabs/Palestinians in their own land. This may help to understand some of their thinking behind the Security Fence being built to separate Palestinian areas from Jewish ones.
It doesn't take much imagination to see how changing demographics will only bring more difficulty into an already tense situation. The faster-growing Palestinian population is confined within walls -- both in Gaza and the West Bank -- and there is little room for growth. Not only is serious overcrowding taking place, but also there is growing resentment since any travel outside of these areas requires passport control by Israel.
There is another problem which no one seems to be talking about, but you can be sure Israelis are thinking seriously about it. The 1,330,000 Arabs (mostly Muslims) who live in Israel with Israeli citizenship are targets for radical Muslim propaganda -- attempting to incite them to turn against their fellow Israeli citizens. Because of this, some in Israel are advocating that Arab-Israelis sign a loyalty oath, and there has been much resistance to this on the part of Arab-Israelis. How does the Israeli government guard against this possible internal threat -- especially when Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran could attack at any time. Would Arab-Israelis side with these mortal enemies when war breaks out?
Israelis certainly don't want 20% of their population to turn against them internally at this critical time of war when at the same time they are facing external attacks on all sides!
In some ways, the situation has been reversed when Israel sojourned in Egypt 4000 years ago. Then, Egypt was fearful of being overrun by the Jews. Now, Israelis are fearful of being overrun by the Palestinians!