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September 19, 2011

International Herald Tribune Doubles West Bank's Jewish Population

iht doubles settlements.jpgiht doubles settlements.jpg
International Herald Tribune sees Israeli settlements in double

The International Herald Tribune, published by the New York Times, today doubles the West Bank's Jewish population. In an article about the upcoming Palestinian appeal to the United Nations, Neil MacFarquhar writes that since 1991 Palestinians

remain under occupation, the number of settlers in the West Bank has tripled to around 600,000, and they have far less freedom of movement in the territories ostensibly meant to become their state.

In fact, the West Bank's Jewish population is approximately 300,000, half the figure that MacFarquhar cites. According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, 303,900 Jews lived in Judea and Samaria at the end of June 2010. According to B'Tselem, a watch group which opposes settlements, the West Bank's Jewish population in 2009 stood at 297,009. According to the CBS, the West Bank Jewish population stood at 94,100 in 1991, meaning it did triple between then and now, but the total numbers are just half of what the IHT claims.

The New York Times, which also ran the MacFarquhar story, goes to press after the Tribune, and editors there apparently caught the erroneous figure -- sort of. The Times version reads:

They remain under occupation, the number of Jewish settlers has tripled to around 600,000, and they have far less freedom of movement in the territories ostensibly meant to become their state.

By deleting the reference to the West Bank, the figure of 600,000 may also include Jews living in parts of Jerusalem annexed after the Six Day War. But do 300,00 Jews live in eastern Jerusalem? Not according to the CIA World Factbook (which puts the figure at 192,800) or B'Tselem (186,646). In other words, the combined Jewish presence in both the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem nears 500,000, 100,000 less than the New York Times claims.

But hey, in the context of the article told much from the Palestinian point of view (contending that negotiations "achieved little after 20 years." ignoring the fact that Palestinians had several opportunities to achieve a state, and that their rejectionism began with rejection of the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan, citing the George Soros-funded International Crisis Group without any qualification, and more), what's a little numerical padding here and there?

Oct. 6 Update: The Tribune corrects.

Posted by TS at September 19, 2011 01:39 AM


Apparently MacFarquhar includes the Jews now living in previously Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem, now often fashionably called out of ignorance or malice or deceit --"East Jerusalem." But I disagree with the tone of CAMERA's critique. Rather than focussing on palestinian Arab failure to seize opportunities offered to their leadership to actually have a state --which interests them less, it seems, than destroying Israel-- the focus should be on the betrayal by the Great Powers, UK first of all, of the principle of the Jewish National Home accepted by San Remo [1920] and the League of Nations [1922]. The UK compounded its betrayal in 1939 with the notorious "White Paper on palestine" which effectively excluded Jewish refugees from finding refuge in the internationally designated Jewish National Home when the Jews most needed a home.

Posted by: Eliyahu at September 19, 2011 06:33 AM

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