(San Francisco Chronicle, Saree Makdisi, Op-Ed, 3/31/06): As the state of the Jewish people, Israel is, after all, the only country in the world that expressly claims not to be the state of its actual citizens (one-fifth of whom are non-Jews), let alone that of the people whom it governs (half of whom are Palestinian).
: a) Nowhere does Israel "expressly" claim not to be the state of its citizens. b) Although Israel describes itself as a "Jewish and democratic state," it is hardly the only country to do such a thing. c) It is untrue that "half" of the people governed by Israel are Palestinian. According to the CIA Factbook, there are 3,953,239 mostly Palestinian non-Jews in Israel and the West Bank (2,460,492 non-Jews West Bank and East Jerusalem and 1,492,747 non-Jews inside pre-1967 Israel) and 4,859,370 Jews in Israel and the West Bank. Numbers from Israeli and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics paint a similar picture. (Note: Palestinian demographic figures have been criticized as inflated.)
(MSNBC, Ara Ayer, 12/22/04): Throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories, Christians are losing both turf and population.... More than 110,000 Christians lived in the occupied territories before 1948, only some 50,000 remain.
: While the Christian population in the West Bank is shrinking, the population within Israel has grown steadily since 1948. In 2003, the growth rate of this population mirrored the growth of the Jewish population - 1.4%.
In addition, the Department of Statistics of Mandatory Palestine estimated that only 56,500 Christians lived in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1944 – not 110,000.