Unpromising Demography in a Promised Land: Yisrael Beytenu and the Escalation of Demographic Politics inside Israel’s Green Line

Richard P. Cincotta, Henry L. Stimson Center
Eric P. Kaufmann, University of London

Yisrael Beytenu’s (‘Israel Our Home’) rising political star befuddles much of the Israeli establishment. The party's platform taps into the fears of the country’s demographically ebbing, secular middle ground, and it feeds off of working Israelis’ frustrations with the country’s two most dissonant minorities: Israeli Arabs, and Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Jews, both of whom are on the demographic upswing. This research divides the Israeli population into three general sub-populations: Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Israeli Arabs, and ‘All other Jews and others’. Using Israeli Census data and estimates from the literature, the authors generate both “constant” and “heading-toward-replacement” fertility variants and use each variant, and an average of their two projections, to hypothesize the future age-distributed ethno-religious composition of Israel. The research pays special attention to the projected compositional outcomes of Israel's voting-age population and of its school age population. [The extended abstract appears as a brief paper on the Foreign Policy Magazine Online]

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Presented in Session 190: Population, Politics, and Conflict in the Middle East and Western Asia