Israel’s Jews Are Not on Their Way to Becoming a Minority

Oct. 14 2015

It is frequently claimed—especially by the Israeli left—that if Israel does not facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Jews will become a minority in their own country. This claim, writes Yoram Ettinger, rests on very shaky grounds:

Israel’s demographic establishment . . . regurgitates the numbers of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) without examination, ignores the dramatic transformation of Jewish and Arab demography, understates Jewish fertility, overstates Arab fertility, . . . overlooks the burgeoning Arab net emigration and Jewish net immigration, and discards the feasibility of significant waves of aliyah (Jewish immigration), which have occurred—[contrary to the predictions] of the demographic establishment—every two decades since the 1930s. . . .

The PCBS records include—in defiance of international regulations—more than 400,000 Arabs (mostly from Judea and Samaria) living abroad for over a year, the 300,000 Arabs of Jerusalem who are included in the Israeli records (hence a double-count), and over 100,000 Palestinians who married Israeli Arabs, received Israeli ID cards, and are also doubly counted. . . .

Moreover, the latest Palestinian census (2007) includes many people with mythological life expectancy, who were born in 1845, 1850, 1860, and so forth.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Aliyah, Demography, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian statehood, Palestinians, West Bank

Leaked Emails Point to an Iranian Influence Operation That Reaches into the U.S. Government

Sept. 27 2023

As the negotiations leading up to the 2015 nuclear deal began in earnest, Tehran launched a major effort to cultivate support abroad for its positions, according to a report by Jay Solomon:

In the spring of 2014, senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials initiated a quiet effort to bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues—particularly its nuclear program—by building ties with a network of influential overseas academics and researchers. They called it the Iran Experts Initiative. The scope and scale of the IEI project has emerged in a large cache of Iranian government correspondence and emails.

The officials, working under the moderate President Hassan Rouhani, congratulated themselves on the impact of the initiative: at least three of the people on the Foreign Ministry’s list were, or became, top aides to Robert Malley, the Biden administration’s special envoy on Iran, who was placed on leave this June following the suspension of his security clearance.

In March of that year, writes Solomon, one of these officials reported that “he had gained support for the IEI from two young academics—Ariane Tabatabai and Dina Esfandiary—following a meeting with them in Prague.” And here the story becomes particularly worrisome:

Tabatabai currently serves in the Pentagon as the chief of staff for the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, a position that requires a U.S. government security clearance. She previously served as a diplomat on Malley’s Iran nuclear negotiating team after the Biden administration took office in 2021. Esfandiary is a senior advisor on the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group, a think tank that Malley headed from 2018 to 2021.

Tabatabai . . . on at least two occasions checked in with Iran’s Foreign Ministry before attending policy events, according to the emails. She wrote to Mostafa Zahrani, [an Iranian scholar in close contact with the Foreign Ministry and involved in the IEI], in Farsi on June 27, 2014, to say she’d met Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal—a former ambassador to the U.S.—who expressed interest in working together and invited her to Saudi Arabia. She also said she’d been invited to attend a workshop on Iran’s nuclear program at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. . . .

Elissa Jobson, Crisis Group’s chief of advocacy, said the IEI was an “informal platform” that gave researchers from different organizations an opportunity to meet with IPIS and Iranian officials, and that it was supported financially by European institutions and one European government. She declined to name them.

Read more at Semafor

More about: Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy