In the late 20th century, it was a truism that Israel’s long-term survival as a Jewish democracy was impossible due to Muslim fertility being so much higher. Either Israel would cease to be Jewish or it would cease to be majority-ruled, because, of course, it was unimaginable that anything could be done to drive down Arab fertility and drive up Jewish fertility.
But the Israeli majority didn”t agree that it must become the minority in its own country, and the Israeli government tends to be adroit at devising policies to implement the majority’s wishes. Hence, births to Muslim mothers have fallen slightly, from 36,000 in 2000 to 35,000 in 2013. Meanwhile, births to Jewish mothers have exploded from 92,000 in 2000 to 127,000 in 2013. The total fertility rate (expected number of births per woman per lifetime) of Muslim women has fallen to 3.35 in 2013, while the TFR of Jewish women continues to climb, reaching 3.05, an extraordinary level for a population as prosperous as Israel’s Jews.
Of course, this rapid expansion of the supply of Israeli Jews increases their demand for housing. Real estate agents will tell you that land naturally goes up in price because they aren”t making any more of it (although Israelis have been making more territory for themselves in the West Bank since 1967).
In Israel, even secular Jewish women average more than two babies apiece. But one reason for Israel having such high Jewish fertility is because of the maintenance of the ultra-Orthodox population as, in effect, a reserve breeding stock in which fathers are subsidized by the government to study during the day and procreate during the night. It’s as if the U.S. government paid the Amish to breed more white people.
With the haredi now comprising eleven percent of the population, the tradition of excusing them from working for a living or serving in the Army is getting expensive to the state. One ultra-Orthodox leader has been willing to share with the Army his young men in the bottom 20 percent of their IQ range:
Bar Chaim in 1999 established the Nahal Haredi unit with the help of Yehuda Duvdevani, a retired brigadier general. The battalion has since recruited more than 6,000 soldiers from the roughly 20 percent of ultra-Orthodox men who Bar Chaim says aren”t interested in a life of study. For these people, he says, the army is a far more suitable place than an unskilled job such as delivering pizza.
Historically, ultra-Orthodox Jewish populations could turn into highly educated secular Jews fairly rapidly. For example, linguist Noam Chomsky’s four grandparents were ultra-Orthodox.
On the other hand, the Amish appear to have been evolving over the last ten generations to be more Amish; they”re breeding themselves to be more plain, more resistant to the lures of “English” culture by allowing those Amish youths most attracted to modern fun to leave. Whether the ultra-Orthodox are also being selected for “ and, if so, for what personality traits “ is an interesting question relevant to the future of Israel.
A victory for Netanyahu’s Democrat-aligned opponents would be good for American Republicans, since it might slightly dampen their unrequited crush on Israel.
Just as, say, the Seattle Seahawks act out the territorialist passions of Puget Sound cubicle drones, Israel has become the beneficiary of white American gentiles” natural ethnocentrism. Since American whites aren”t allowed to display ethnic pride in themselves, Republicans displace their feelings onto Israel’s uncowed Likud Party as a respectable proxy.
This means, however, that American gentile Republicans give their support for Israel away for free and ask for nothing in return from billionaire Zionist promoters of mass immigration, such as Sheldon Adelson and Mark Zuckerberg. Conservative gentiles are pushovers, and are treated, not unreasonably, with contempt.
The path to mutual respect is to insist upon reciprocity. The most reasonable bargain would be for conservatives to demand of neoconservatives that in return for American support for Zionism, Zionists must publicly support America deploying the same immigration policies as Israel currently enjoys.
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