Jewish Journal


December 10, 2012

Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Settler Demographics Behind One-State Impetus



Demographic changes within the West Bank may obstruct the possibility of the two-state solution.  In-migration of ideological Jewish settlers has dwindled since the Second Intifada around 2000 and Jewish natural increase among non-Zionist Jews has created a new reality on the ground. Yinon Cohen and Neve Gordon recently highlighted the phenomenonal growth of the ultra-orthodox in the settlements where most would rather live within Israel, but live in settlements because of cheap housing.  This is congruent with my earlier blog of August this year that argued that the growth of settlements was driven by attainable quality of life rather than ideological considerations on the part of most Jewish migrants to West Bank settlements.

Ironically, the non-Zionist Haredi Jews who are driving the "natural growth" of West Bank Settlement, having an average of 7.7 children per ultra-Orthodox women, are the least ideologically motivated settlers or residents in Israel.  Haredi Orthodox Jews have a higher poverty rate of 54%, higher than the Israeli Arab estimated poverty rate of 53% of households.  The West Bank has become the safety valve of indirect subsidies to the Haredi Orthodox Jews through subsidized housing and services.



This infogram was designed by Michal Wexler

Source for the infogram: Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, International Data Base, US Census, and Israeli Statistical Abstract, 2009, 2010, 2011.

Neve Gordon is the author of Israel's Occupation with Yinon Cohen, who is Yerushalmi Professor of Israel and Jewish Studies, Department of Sociology, Columbia University, New York, and can be reached through his website.

Pini Herman, PhD. has served as Asst. Research Professor at the University of Southern California Dept. of Geography,  Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Social Work,  Research Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles following Bruce Phillips, PhD. in that position (and author of the “most recent” 15 year old study of the LA Jewish population which was the third most downloaded study from Berman Jewish Policy Archive in 2011) and is a past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. Currently he is a principal of Phillips and Herman Demographic Research. To email Pini: pini00003@gmail.com To follow Pini on Twitter:

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