The day of the election, gunmen stormed the Committee offices to demand that Palestinians who were not registered be allowed to vote.The deputy chairman of the Committee, Ammar Dwaik, said he “was personally threatened and pressured” and confirmed that some voters were able to remove from their thumbs the ink that was supposed to prevent double voting.The election process went smoothly and, despite Palestinian predictions of Israeli interference, international observers reported that Palestinians were not obstructed by Israel from participating in the election.In fact, Palestinian and Israeli officials were said to have worked well together to facilitate voting.The election had a much lower turnout than expected (62 percent), and supporters of the Islamic terrorist organizations largely boycotted the vote, as did Arabs living in east Jerusalem.
Seven candidates ran for president, but the only question was the size of Mahmoud Abbas’ margin of victory. His nearest challenger was Mustafa Barghouti with 19.8 percent.
The independent study focuses solely on discrediting the PA statistics and does not address the crucial issue of future trends, which Della Pergola shows are clearly in the Arabs’ favor.
The new report argues that the growth rates in Israel and the territories have been lower than previously forecast (though they use figures for only the last four years), but even the new figures show that the growth rate for the Arabs remains higher than that of the Jews, so the proportion of Jews should continue to decline.
According to Della Pergola, 4.7 million Arabs now live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River out of a total of 10,263,000. Della Pergola argues that because of the higher rate of birth in the Arab community, they have the demographic momentum, and that by 2020, the proportion of Jews is likely to drop to 47 percent and could fall to 37 percent by 2050.
Even if the new study is more accurate, it only has a minimal impact on the demographic reality.