In Israel, the number of emigrants exceeded the number of immigrants for the first time in 20 years, the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported Friday. Many emigrants were recent arrivals who wanted to leave Israel again, the report said. In 2007, 14,400 immigrants are expected in Israel while 20,000 people are expected to leave the country, according to the report based on figures for the first months of 2007.
The last time emigration exceeded immigration was in the aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and in 1983 and 1984 when inflation was high. Meanwhile the Maariv newspaper reported that approximately a quarter of the Israeli population was considering emigration.
Almost half of the country’s young people were thinking of leaving the country, the report said. Their reasons included dissatisfaction with the government, the education system, a lack of confidence in the political ruling class and concern over the security situation. But this is not the only demographic threat to Israel.
Jews are facing a differential in fertility rate not only between Israel and neighbouring Arab and Muslim countries, but also from within the Jewish State. According to a 2005 study, there are more than 1,300,000 Arabs who are a part of the State of Israel, and there are another 3.4 million Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (based on Israeli data and not on the Palestinian census), bringing the Arab total to 4.7 million, out of a total population between the river and the sea of 10,263,000. Of these, 51 percent are Jews. Furthermore, the high level of fertility of the Arabs gives them demographic momentum. The Jewish fertility rate has not fallen as in other advanced societies, especially in Europe, and stands today at 2.7 children. However, the fertility rate of Israeli Muslims has remained virtually constant since 1985 at 4.5 children.
By 2020, on the whole territory, according to a medium projection which assumes a decline of Arab fertility, Jews will be about 47 percent of the total and by 2050 they might be 37 percent.