Family Day in Israel: A holiday that leaves us with nothing to celebrate...
Never heard of it?
Don't worry. If the statistics that were released in honor of Family Day by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (along with New Family) concerning the makeup of families in Israel ('defined as two or more people living in the same household as partners or as parents with children') are accurate, then it seems that in the not to distant future, there won't be much of a need to celebrate Family Day in the Jewish State.
Marriage becomes less popular, family rights 'ignored'
The latest report published by New Family notes a 35% decrease in marriage rates in 2005 compared with 2004 - down from 40,537 to 26,454 marriages...
In 2004, there were 1.6 million families in Israel who fit this definition, each averaging 3.7 people. Of these, 82% were Jewish and 16% were Arab. Half of all families were composed of parents with children under the age of 18.
The number of single-parent families is growing 1.8 times faster than other families. In 2004, they numbered 103,000, totaling 6.4% of all families.
While 73% of families in the Arab sector are composed of two parents and their children, only 46% of Jewish families follow this pattern - 26% of them do not have children, and 13% have only one parent. In contrast with 4.9 people in the average Arab family, the average Jewish family has 3.5 members.
There are 18,000 families composed of same-sex couples. In lesbian households, 30% of couples are raising children, compared with 20% of male homosexual couples.
Now, let us add to the mix an additional set of statistics taken from Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics annual report on the make-up of the State of Israel's population:
* By the end of 2004, Israel's population reached 6,869,500, including 5,237,600 Jews (76.2 percent), 1,340,200 Israeli Arabs (19.5 percent) and 291,700 "others" (4.2 percent).
* In 2004, the Jewish community constituted 76.2 percent of Israel's total population in comparison to 77.8 percent in 2000. However, the Muslim population reached 16.1 percent in 2004, in comparison to 15.2 percent in 2000.
* The Israeli population is regarded as the "youngest" population, with 28.4 percent under the age of 14 years, compared to an average of 17 percent in other westernized countries. However, in comparison to other communities in Israel, the Jewish population is the "oldest", while the Muslim community is considered the "youngest".
* Furthermore, 11.6 percent of the Jewish population is over the age of 65, compared to 2.7 percent in the Muslim community; 43 percent is under the age of 14 compared 25.6 percent among the Jewish community.
* The growth rate among Israel’s Jewish population was 1.4%. The growth rate among Muslims was double the Jewish rate, at 3.3%
* Fertility rates have remained stable, however, among the Jewish population at 2.9 children per woman, according to the CBS. Since 2000, the rate has dropped among Muslims, from 4.7/4.6 to 4.4.
From the above statistics, we can deduce a number of frightening conclusions:
1) The demographic threat to the Jewish State of Israel is not merely from the "Palestinians" but even more so from Israeli (Muslim) Arabs, whose growth rate is double that of Jews within the State of Israel.
2) The foundations of the Jewish family in Israel are crumbling. Fewer Jews are getting married, and the ones that are are having fewer children. Single parent and same sex families are on the rise. All the while, Israeli (Muslim) Arab families remain strong and stable, having more children than there Jewish counterparts.
3) The Jewish population of the State of Israel is aging, and with fewer marriages and children born each year, this trend is not going to change. On the other hand, Israeli (Muslim) Arab's have the youngest average age of any community in Israel, while having the most children.
In my previous post, I highlighted the inherent conflict that exists between the State of Israel being both a Jewish and democratic state (and the preference of Israel's Supreme Court, along with others, democracy over the State of Israel's Jewish character) and it is statistics like the ones above that prove this point beyond a shadow of a doubt.
All of the Statistics above are dealing only with those with Israeli citizenship, so even if Israel were to retreat from all areas liberated in the Six Day War, it would not change a single thing.
If the State of Israel were truly a democracy, it would not matter whether Israeli Arabs were having more children that Jewish Israelis, how old they were, or their growth rate. However, if the State of Israel is a Jewish State, then these statistics should be cause for alarm and for decisive action. Steps must be taken to strengthen the traditional Jewish family within the Jewish State of Israel, while neutralizing the demographic threat posed by non-Jews to the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish State.
* For further analysis of the threat that these statistics pose to the Jewish State of Israel, click here.
* To understand the role of American Jewry in overcoming the demographic threat that is plaguing the Jewish State, click here.