Holy land non jewish majority
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Last Update: 09/12/2003 11:56
Demographer: Holy Land already has non-Jewish majority
By Haaretz Service
A Haifa University demographer said Tuesday that there is already a majority of non-Jews within the total area of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Demographer Amnon Sofer also said that recent estimates of the number of Palestinians to be enclosed on the Israeli side of the West Bank fence had been vastly exaggerated, and that the maximum number would not exceed 30,000.
"At this very minute, within the western land of Israel from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the Jordan [River], there is already a non-Jewish majority," Sofer told Israel Radio.
He apparently included in his assessment the large population of foreign workers in Israel, as well as non-Jewish immigrants.
Palestinian officials, commenting on the Monday UN General Assembly decision to ask the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel's construction of the separation fence, said that the barrier would trap well over 400,000 Palestinians on the Israel side of the fence.
Sofer said that the actual number would be much lower. "My estimate is that the increase will be a maximum of 30,000 people." He said the higher figures were "exaggerations for the sake of political considerations."
Asked about the possible influence of future Jewish immigration from France and elsewhere, Sofer said that the society must also take into account the influence of the burgeoning population of the Holy Land as a whole.
Even if predicted immigration from France, the United Kingdom, and Belgium does not materialize, "within 17 years, some six million people will be added to the population, most of them poor Palestinians.
"This land is entering into a demographic-ecological whirlwhind," he said.