AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER – ISRAEL NEWS 4th JANUARY 2014
- JEWS NOW THE MINORITY IN ISRAEL AND TERRITORIES
- WE MUST GUARD ARAB CHRISTIANS WITH OUR LIVES SAYS ISRAELI NEWSPAPER
- NIGERIAN PRESIDENT BRINGS 30,000 CHRISTIAN PILGRIMS TO ISRAEL
- CHRISTIANS A BIG PART OF HUGE JERUSALEM TURNOUT
JEWS NOW THE MINORITY IN ISRAEL AND TERRITORIES
One of the most common arguments in favour of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the so-called demographic threat or demographic time-bomb. Proponents worry that if Israel continues to control the Palestinian territories, with or without formal annexation, the different birth-rates of Jews and Arabs will eventually result in Jews being a minority in the territory under Israeli control. At that point Israel will no longer be a Jewish state — or, alternatively, will be a Jewish state with a non-Jewish majority that is disenfranchised because of its ethnic identity. How far off such a situation might be has always been a topic of considerable debate.
Some have said the threshold will be crossed within a decade. Others have suggested a longer timeline. A few believe there’s no threat at all, either because Jewish and Arab fertility rates are converging or because Palestinian population figures are inflated. Well, worry no more. We are there already. Comparing a report from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, with the population figures for the West Bank and Gaza in the CIA World Factbook, it turns out that Jews are outnumbered by Arabs under Israeli sovereignty by a grand total of 50,827. So the question is not whether or when the Jewish state will feature a minority ruling a majority. The question now is what to do about it.
Here are the numbers:
Palestinian Arabs, West Bank: 2,676,740
Palestinian Arabs, Gaza Strip: 1,763,387
(Total Palestinians, Israeli military-administered territories: 4,440,127)
Israeli Arabs (citizens): 1,666,800
Total Arabs under Israeli sovereign administration: 6,106,927
Israeli Jews: 6,056,100
A few notes on the figures:
The West Bank page in the CIA World Factbook states that the West Bank population includes two “ethnic groups,” “Palestinian Arab and other 83%, Jewish 17%.” It goes on to note that there were “approximately 325,000 Israeli settlers” living in the West Bank in 2011, which raises the
question of whether or not the total West Bank population figure includes the settlers. That would bring the total Arab population down below the Jewish population. However, Haaretz published a report on the Palestinian (Arab) population for May 2012 (2,657,029) and it was a pretty close match to the CIA’s figure for that year (2,623,000). Neither one included Jewish settlers.
Another 4.2% of Israel’s population, including some 344,000 individuals, is neither Jewish nor Arab but “other,” a category that includes Christians, Armenians, Samaritans, African Hebrew Israelites, several thousand Roma and Vietnamese, plus people who appear to be immigrants, mostly Russian, who entered the country under the Law of Return but are not considered Jewish. If those 344,000 persons are counted in the Jewish population, then Jews are still a majority. The Israeli government does not count them as Jews however, and the likelihood of that happening is getting steadily dimmer as bills flood the Knesset hopper to narrow Israel’s self-identity as a Jewish state.
Source: The Jewish Daily Forward
WE MUST GUARD ARAB CHRISTIANS WITH OUR LIVES SAYS ISRAELI NEWSPAPER
Israel’s largest daily circulation newspaper, Israel Hayom, recently carried in its weekend edition a moving story regarding the growing group of “Arab” Christians from northern Israel who are increasingly identifying with the Jewish state. The newspaper was covering a conference where Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Nadaf reiterated his position that “Jews and Christians are of the same covenant.” Father Nadaf also again took issue with the term “Arab Christian,” noting that Christians were present in the land long before the Arab Muslim conquest. “We are not Arabs,” he said. “We are simply Christians who speak Arabic.”
The priest and those siding with him have faced fierce opposition even from within their own communities, and have received many death threats. Nevertheless, as Father Nadaf noted, “we have broken through the fear barrier,” and many more “Arab” Christians will now start taking a stand for Israel. Also speaking at the conference were retired IDF officer Bashara Shlayan, who recently formed a Christian political party in Nazareth, and Shadi Haloul, who represents the Christian Maronite community in Israel. These brave Christians have been at this now for a while.
What is encouraging to see is that the mainstream Israeli press is really starting to take notice and spread the word to average Israeli Jews that they have a new ally. Israel Hayom’s conclusion was that Israelis “must embrace these courageous people. …We must help them, improve their circumstances and integrate them into our society. And, most important of all, we must guard their lives with ours.”
Source: Israel Today
NIGERIAN PRESIDENT BRINGS 30,000 CHRISTIAN PILGRIMS TO ISRAEL
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, the first Nigerian president to reportedly ever visit Israel, has begun bringing 30,000 Christians on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Not only that, but Jonathan is also signed a Bilateral Air Services Agreement between Nigeria and Israel, making them allies united in the global war on terror. The Nigerian president said, “I seek the cooperation of your country to confront the security threat from terrorist groups that my country is now facing. There is no doubt that Israel has had decades of experience in combating terrorism.”
“My administration will also welcome the greater deployment of Israel’s renowned expertise in furtherance of Nigeria’s agenda for national transformation in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, electric power supply, and the management of water resources.” While in Jerusalem, President Jonathan reportedly visited the Holocaust Memorial as well, laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and lighting a candle in honour of the dead.
Source: Breaking Christian News
CHRISTIANS A BIG PART OF HUGE JERUSALEM TURNOUT
Over 60,000 people took part in the annual Jerusalem March held each year during the Biblical festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. The turnout was nearly double the 32,000 that participated in the event last year. Israelis from all over the country ascended to Jerusalem for the march, as did thousands of Evangelical Christians from all over the world. The Christian delegations are always the most colourful part of the march, which winds through the streets of downtown Jerusalem, ending at the walls of the historic Old City.
Israelis are fascinated by the demonstration of support by the Christians, and announcers along the route of the march always make a point of singling out these foreign visitors both in order to express their thanks and to make fellow Israelis aware of what is happening. For the Christians, participation in the march is a precursor to the fulfilment of Zechariah 14:16-21, which foretells a time when all those remaining from the nations will be required to “go up to Jerusalem” during Sukkot.
Source: Israel Today