The Explosive Natural Increase of Israeli Settlers

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Israeli settlers tour with soldiers through the old city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, May 23, 2020.

“The birthrate of the settlers is a kind of bomb that has to be defused. If we don’t neutralize it, it will blow up on us with even greater force. They double themselves every 12 years and this is something that has to be dealt with. The more Western we make them, the more the birthrate will come down. A lawless area has been established here, with no enforcement. Everybody builds wherever they want, they use violence. This is a ticking time bomb and the Netanyahu-Gantz government has raised a white flag. The takeover of the land is such that anyone traveling the roads can see that we’ve lost the State of Israel here. The rate of the settlers’ natural increase is a key component in the urgency of dealing with the problem."

“Now look, you can bury your head in the sand and think that if we don’t talk about the problem it will disappear (because there are a few right-wingers who don’t like it). That’s what the State of Israel has been doing for a few decades now, and so the problem has gotten worse. The first stage in solving the problem is to recognize it and put it on the table. Now let’s talk about a solution. Supporters of PC are trying to silence this discussion to prevent a solution to the problem and allow the settlers to continue to take over the West Bank and in fact occupy it and destroy the Zionist vision of David Ben-Gurion.”

These statements were made on Thursday by MKs Naftali Bennett and Bezalel Smotrich at the end of a tour of the Negev, and they are presented here word for word. Just one word in the text has been changed: Instead of Bedouin – settlers. It’s a small thing, of course. The main thing, is that these two leaders of the right-wing Yamina party really did put their finger on the source of the malady – natural increase.

The demographic problem is the root of all evil. The settlers are multiplying too quickly. They’re having too many children. If they weren’t multiplying so much, our situation would be much better. That’s the truth, it should be stated courageously and honestly. You can’t drive the roads in the West Bank without coming across them and their innumerable children. Smotrich, for example, has seven children. That’s the crux of it the fertility of the Smotriches. If they were a little more Western, they would make fewer children. They should be educated toward this, perhaps a law should be passed, perhaps IUDs should be a requirement.

The average number of children per family in Israel in 2016 was 3.1 according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Smotrich has more than double that number. He even has more children than the most fertile Bedouin community, Lakiya, where they produce 6.05 children per family. Smotrich has already produced seven. That should worry and frighten every Israeli. Who wants to live in a country of settlers? After all, Smotrich’s children will have 50 children, which means 50 more settlers with skullcaps, Lord have mercy.

In 2018, the natural increase in Israel was 1.9 percent. But in one risk group, the settlers, the natural increase was 3.5 percent, almost double. Even more than the Bedouin. The two most fertile communities in Israel are settlements, Modi’in Ilit and Betar Ilit. Lakiya lags behind in third place. In Kedumim, Smotrich’s settlement, the average number of children per family is 3.6, according to the settlement researcher Shaul Arieli.

If we don’t talk about it, the situation will get worse and the whole country will be flooded with settlers, settlers in a show of the end of Zionism. “People trying to travel in the Negev can’t leave their car even for several minutes without returning to a smashed car,” former defense minister Bennett said. The truth is, it’s much harder to leave a Palestinian car at night in the West Bank without finding it in the morning smashed, burned or its tires flattened by settlers of the vengeance-seeking price-tag genre. It’s also hard to pasture one’s flocks in the West Bank without being attacked with settler stones, fists and even live fire. The only solution is to lock up the wombs of settler women. Bennett and Smotrich should be thanked for their right and proper statements.

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