A decline is being recorded in the number of Jews in mixed cities, while the number of Arabs is on the rise, according to a study conducted ahead of the Ramla Conference: Between Israel
and the Nations.
Figures presented by the conference's organizers show that the city of Lod saw a 24% rise in the number of its Arab residents from 2003 to 2009, while the number of Jewish residents dropped by almost 8%.
In the six years during which the research was conducted, some 1,000 Jews left Nazareth Illit (7% drop) while 200-300 Arabs moved to the city (a rise of nearly 40% in the city's Arab population). In Haifa, the number of Jews dropped by 7,000 from 2003 to 2009.
The conference's organizers said that according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures, a similar trend has been recorded in Akko, Ramla, Jaffa, and Jerusalem.
In general, the study shows that the Jewish majority in the State of Israel is slowly declining every year: The growth rate of the Arab and non-Jewish public is 1.1% higher than the growth rate of the Jewish public.
In the northern district, the Jewish majority is declining at a rate of 3.17% a year, and in the southern district – at a rate of 4.3% a year (3.2 times the national rate).
A review of the CBS data shows that the reason for this trend is massive emigration of the Jewish public from these areas to communities in Judea and Samaria and central Israel.
The Ramla Conference was founded by the Komemiut movement and sponsored by the Ramla Municipality. One of the conference's sessions dealt with halachic rulings and legislation aimed at maintaining the national interest, following different letters issued by groups of rabbis in recent months.
A special session was dedicated to the problem of unrecognized Bedouin communities in the Negev. Kiryat Arba's Rabbi Dov Lior chose to use the platform to say
that the State of Israel "must encourage Bedouins to return to their native land in Saudi Arabia and Libya".