“Be Fruitful and Multiply”: The Role of Israeli Pronatalist Policy in the Pursuit of Jewish Demographic Dominance in the Holy Land

This post originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of the Yale Review of International Studies.

Photo caption: Maternity ward at Assuta Hospital


In Der Judenstaat, Theodor Herzl proposed the creation of a Jewish state as a safe haven for Jews of the European diaspora threatened by discrimination and anti-Semitism.[1] Herzl reasoned that Jews would never fully assimilate into European culture given their minority status, so the only way to save the Ashkenazim from a hostile existence was to create a state in which they were the majority.[2] Thus, from its earliest roots, the survival of the State of Israel rested upon the assurance of a European Jewish majority in a land that was for centuries inhabited almost entirely by Arab Muslims. Although no formal Israeli fertility policy has been codified,[3] leaders from the nation’s founding have promoted Jewish over Arab population growth via immigration law, economic incentives, targeted modernization programs in Arab communities, and discerning governmental coverage of reproductive health services. While these efforts largely succeeded for many decades, “population momentum”[4] has now shifted away from the secular, European Ashkenazim—the leaders and intended beneficiaries of the Zionist project—toward non-Israeli Arab Muslims and ultra-Orthodox Charedi Jews, with significant social and political consequences.


Israeli Immigration Policy

The 1948 war culminating in Israeli independence and subsequent Jewish immigration law transformed Herzl’s dream of a majority-Jewish state into a reality. In November 1947, 45% of the population living on Jewish land (as defined by the United Nations) was Palestinian; by 1951 this percentage had fallen to 11%[5] due to the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. David Ben-Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister, obsessed over Jewish demographic superiority in his new nation: he wrote in his autobiography, “For the survival and security of the State of Israel, a higher birthrate and increased immigration are essential”,[6] and he “likened Jewish women with less than four children to draftees who evade military service.”[7] However, because Israel was founded as a dual Jewish and democratic state, Ben-Gurion could not advocate for pro-natal laws that explicitly advantaged Jews over Arab non-Jews. Instead, preferring that such overt natal favoritism remain in the realm of non-profit organizations such as the wealthy and influential Jewish Agency,[8] he set a precedent of crafting legislation that introduced a Jewish population preference indirectly. The 1950 Law of Return, a cornerstone of Israeli legislation, asserted, “Every Jew has the right to immigrate to Israel.”[9] The law leniently defined “Jew”: non-Jewish spouses of Jews, their children, and their grandchildren were permitted to immigrate under the law[10] in order to encourage additional immigration of Jewish allies. The right to immigration was not extended to Arabs, and as a result of numerous waves of Jewish aliyot from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, millions of immigrant Jews padded the Jewish demographic advantage in their new state.[11] Importantly, however, Ben-Gurion’s original vision for the Jewish State did not include such extensive non-Ashkenazi immigration; indeed, when the full extent of the Holocaust’s destruction was revealed, Ben-Gurion exclaimed, “The extermination of the European Jewry is a catastrophe for Zionism. There won’t be anyone left to build the country!”[12] The decimation of the European Ashkenazim required full-scale efforts to import Eastern Mizrachim and Charedim—second-choice Jews who often did not conform to European Zionist ideals—to ensure a Jewish “critical mass”[13] in Palestine.


Pronatalist Economic Incentives

Israel’s early leaders did not rely on immigration law alone to boost the Jewish population growth rate; they also legislated pronatalist economic incentives cleverly targeting Ashkenazi Israelis in particular while avoiding outright ethnic discrimination. In 1962, Ben-Gurion established the Committee for the Problems of Natality, chaired by Italian-Jewish economist Roberto Bachi.[14] The Bachi Committee found two troubling trends: first, the Arab birthrate exceeded the Jewish one, and second, the Mizrachim, poorer, less educated, and more religious Eastern Jews, were reproducing far more rapidly than the more established Western Ashkenazim,[15] who comprised the governmental and economic elites. Given its charge, the committee could not reasonably recommend the limitation of the Jewish Mizrachi birthrate, so its members instead argued for increased economic assistance and incentives for large families in order to “improve the financial and educational status of the Mizrachim and to encourage the wealthier Ashkenazim to bear as many children as they could reasonably be expected to support.”[16] However, quotations from contemporary politicians revealed that the committee’s proposals were primarily designed to achieve the latter goal; social welfare for the disadvantaged Jewish Mizrachim was merely a positive externality. For example, in a 1964 Knesset debate regarding the child allowance program, Minister of Labor Yigal Allon lamented, “[I] only state with utmost regret that the birthrate among the veteran sections of the Jewish population in Israel and among the Western immigrants is amongst the lowest in the world.”[17] The committee’s report prompted an increase in child allowance payments and their expansion to all salaried workers, not only those of low socioeconomic status, so as to include the wealthier Ashkenazim. The Israeli government expected all Jews, and particularly those from advantaged backgrounds, to undertake “internal aliyah[18] (i.e., to procreate abundantly) in order to secure the nation’s future as a Jewish state, and in return it was willing to invest heavily in its Jewish citizens’ reproduction.

Since the purpose of child allowances was to “arrest negative trends in demographic developments,” as Minister of Labor Mordechai Namir euphemistically stated in 1959,[19] Israeli Arabs saw limited economic benefits in the first several years following the implementation of Bachi’s recommendations. Initially, Israeli Arabs collected fewer child allowance benefits due to the inconvenient placement of national insurance offices, which were not typically located in remote Arab regions.[20] This de facto ethnic disparity in fertility allowance access soon became codified, formalizing the unspoken rule that pronatalist policies were intended to benefit Jews alone. In 1970, the Knesset passed the Veteran’s Benefit Law, which offered low-interest housing loans to couples looking to expand their families as long as a spouse or a spouse’s family member had served in the Israeli military.[21] Both Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Charedi Jews typically did not serve in the IDF, but under-the-table practices revealed the policy’s pro-Jewish bias: some Charedim were issued IDF reservist cards that qualified them for the allowance, but they were never called to serve,[22] and an additional stipend was authorized for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students and their families.[23] In 1983, the so-called “Law for Families Blessed with Children” offered significantly higher child allowance payments only to those eligible under the Veteran’s Benefit Law—that is, Jews.[24] The unspoken intent of Israeli pronatalist economic policies—to advantage Jewish over Arab population growth—had become overt, and when an Arab-sponsored law eliminating the veteran requirement to receive large-family benefits passed the Knesset in 1993, old-guard Israelis were outraged.[25] Conservative MK Rehavam Ze’evi shouted on the Knesset floor, “[The Arabs] will give birth to 70 children; they do anyway… They will make 50, 60, 70 children and we will pay them discharged soldiers’ grants.”[26] Thus, in the minds of governmental officials, the exclusion of non-Jewish Arabs from many pronatalist economic benefits constituted an essential component of Israeli fertility policy.


Modernization in the Arab Sector

While less accessible economic incentives for childbirth may have indirectly reduced Arab population growth, Israel’s targeted program of modernization, or “Israelization,”[27] of the Israeli Arab population has almost certainly contributed to the Arab birthrate’s significant decline since the mid-20th century. In 1965, Arab Israeli women bore on average 9.2 children,[28] a remarkably high birthrate characteristic of a population in its earliest stages of economic development. By 2015, this statistic had dropped to an average of 3.3 children per Israeli Arab woman, with even lower, replacement-level fertility levels observed among Arab Christians and Druze.[29] Israeli environmental scientist Alon Tal argued that a portion of this decline was due to natural demographic transition in developing nations: the introduction of Western medicine and social institutions during the pre-1948 British Mandate lowered mortality rates, but it required multiple generations for birthrates to fall (and mindsets to adjust) to a new population equilibrium.[30] However, from its founding, Israel implemented aggressive modernization policies in Arab communities in order to hasten this natural transition. In 1949, Israel established compulsory public education for all citizens, including Arabs.[31] Coupled with the Marriage Act of 1950, which raised the minimum marriage age for girls to 17,[32] this policy reduced Arab birthrates by limiting a woman’s opportunity to bear children in her teenage years, as had previously been the custom.[33] Furthermore, education, particularly for females, raised awareness of effective contraception and opened new opportunities for employment, typically in urban sectors like industry and service.[34] The shift from traditional rural to modern urban life “integrat[ed] [Arabs] into the Jewish controlled economy”[35] and exposed them to Western, capitalist norms that encouraged higher consumption at the expense of lower fertility. Furthermore, the Israeli Ministry of Health “disproportionately focused on the ‘Arab sector’” when implementing their first family planning initiatives in the 1980s.[36] In her book Birthing the Nation: Strategies of Palestinian Women in Israel, Israeli-Arab anthropologist Rhoda Ann Kanaaneh argued, “Despite the Ministry [of Health]’s reluctance to start family planning programs in Jewish communities, it was eager to do so among Arabs. It was widely known that approval for a general clinic in an Arab area was difficult to get… but approval was all but guaranteed if [it] included a family planning unit.”[37] Through education, women’s initiatives, economic integration, and readily accessible family planning, Israel deliberately increased the pace of demographic transition within Arab communities, instilling Western reproductive norms that favored smaller families in order to halt the non-Jewish population momentum.


Reproductive Healthcare Access and Coverage

Israel’s nationalized healthcare system constituted the third and final prong of Israeli pronatalist policy: by limiting or refusing coverage of procedures and medications that discouraged childbirth, the government influenced Israeli families to bear more children. As mentioned above, the 1962 Bachi Committee noted a concerning gap in birthrates between Ashkenazi and Mizrachi Jews, partially due to the former’s higher usage of contraception and abortion as methods of birth control.[38] In response to this finding, Israel imposed significant restrictions and bureaucratic barriers to abortion access: women were required to submit a written request to a committee, appear before a hospital panel to argue their case, and pay a fee of 400 NIS not covered by insurance simply to apply for an abortion.[39] Permission for the procedure was only granted if the woman was below 18 or above 40, if the pregnancy occurred out of wedlock or resulted from adultery, or if a dangerous complication for the fetus or the mother had arisen.[40] Furthermore, Israeli national health insurance only covered abortion expenses for girls under 18, medical emergencies of the mother or her fetus, or in cases of rape or incest.[41] Thus abortion was either illegal or costly (or both) for the vast majority of Israeli women seeking to undergo the procedure, fueling an unregulated underground abortion network that has been estimated to provide at least half of the nation’s abortions each year.[42] Social stigmas and pressures have also contributed to lower incidences of Jewish abortion in Israel. For example, in the 1980s, Minister of Health Haim Sadan proposed that “all Jewish women considering abortion be forced to watch images of mangled and dead fetuses in addition to pictures of Jewish children murdered in the Holocaust.”[43] Recently, a strong pro-life movement has coalesced in Israel, and Jewish women seeking abortions have reported intimidation and physical assault by members of groups such as Efrat, who use both religious reasoning and ad hominem attacks to harass women in abortion clinics.[44] Thus Israeli leaders and social organizations have attempted to impose social costs in addition to the economic burden of abortion upon Jewish (and particularly Ashkenazi) women by likening the procedure to murder during the Holocaust or by claiming that abortion is a sin in Judaism.[45] These two widely advertised arguments conveniently have not typically dissuaded Arab Muslim women from obtaining the procedure.

Just as Israel enacted abortion restrictions to boost the relative Ashkenazi population, it also introduced contraceptive devices and medications (albeit slowly, and with a price) to achieve this same goal by curbing the much-higher birthrates of Mizrachi and Arab Israelis. Contraception, oral or otherwise, was not covered under the Israeli national health insurance program in the early years of the state, when Ashkenazim comprised the vast majority of the population, and several physicians refused to prescribe it even for a fee due to their personal pronatalist beliefs.[46] In the early 1970s, for example, a survey of government-employed medical professionals revealed that up to 27% believed the government (and by extension, they themselves) “should act to encourage a higher Jewish birthrate.”[47] However, by the 1980s, Israeli women enjoyed almost “universal access” to birth control,[48] though contraception still was not free, unlike most other services and medications offered under the Israeli socialized medical system. Canadian scholar Jacqueline Portugese has argued that 1980s-era Israeli leaders’ newfound leniency in contraceptive provision and accessibility was in fact a targeted effort to reduce the high birthrate among poorer immigrant Jews who had recently arrived from the Middle East and North Africa, limiting their growth relative to Israelis of European origin and assimilating them into mainstream Western Israeli culture.[49] Today, both IUDs and oral contraceptive pills are subsidized under the national healthcare system’s “basket of medicines,” but with restrictions; for example, only girls under 21 are eligible for the oral contraceptive subsidy.[50] Contraception is still expensive: it has been estimated that an Israeli woman spends between 7200 and 12000 NIS on contraception throughout her life.[51] In sum, Israeli healthcare policy selectively discouraged abortion and contraception among Ashkenazim via economic incentives such as insurance coverage as well as social pressures from physicians and other figures of authority. Meanwhile, family planning techniques, including contraception, were readily introduced into majority-Arab and -Mizrachi communities in order to mitigate what Israeli leaders deemed to be negative demographic developments.

In contrast to its restrictions on abortion and contraception, the Israeli government has provided generous coverage of costly assisted reproductive technologies (ART) under its national health insurance program in order to ensure that all families desiring children could in fact bear them. In 1998, Israel boasted 23 in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics, the highest per capita in the world.[52] However, the clinics were less accessible for Arab women, who often lived in more remote areas of the country.[53] The 1995 National Health Insurance Law fully covered the price of an Israeli woman’s first two children born via IVF; each birth cost taxpayers on average between $10,000 and $15,000 USD.[54] Even though IVF in Israel yields only a 12-14% success rate per treatment cycle,[55] and despite the fact that the government’s lax protocols for treatment permit overly intensive hormone therapies that can endanger women’s health,[56] IVF remains a popular component of Israeli reproductive healthcare. Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli, a health specialist at Haifa University, credited this phenomenon both to citizens’ pride in “the steady stream of [IVF] innovations developed [by] Israeli doctors” and to social norms dating back to Biblical times that painted infertile Jewish women as “suffering… tragic figures” in need of compassion and care.[57] Health Minister and former general Motta Gur took a more pragmatic approach to ART costs: although he acknowledged the expense of IVF, “it was a whole lot cheaper than bringing in new immigrants.”[58] The overt pronatalist bias of the Israeli healthcare system has manifested itself in the Israeli government’s willingness to spare no expense to boost native Israeli fertility rates while at the same time imposing financial, social, and legal barriers to women (and particularly Jewish women of European descent) desiring smaller families.

Israeli Pronatalism Today: Charedim and the Changing Face of Israel

In a twist of fate, today’s Ashkenazi Israeli leaders, heirs to the original Jewish pronatalists, face a new demographic threat from within the Israeli Jewish population: ultra-Orthodox Israeli Charedim have bucked natural demographic trends in recent years, growing at the rapid rate of 6% per annum[59] and causing significant economic and social turmoil. On average, Charedi women bear six children, twice the national average, but many have families of 10 or more.[60] Furthermore, the Charedim abide by strict social conventions, which they believe to be the proper interpretation of Jewish law. Men typically do not work and instead study Torah; more than half are unemployed.[61] In addition to running the household and raising several children, women often earn the family’s only meager income besides government welfare such as child allowances.[62] Division of labor practices as well as cultural norms within the Charedi community explain why 52% of all ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews and 67% of Charedi children live below the poverty line.[63] Therefore, maintaining and ideally increasing pronatalist economic incentives constitutes a top policy issue for Charedi political parties, and indeed, Aryeh Deri, the current Israeli economics minister and the leader of Shas, a Mizrachi-Charedi political party, insists that he “will block any attempt to cut benefits,” such as the yeshiva student stipend and child allowances.[64] As the impoverished Charedim grow to a predicted 27% of the total Israeli population by 2059,[65] public debt is expected to increase from 67% to 170% of Israeli GDP.[66] These trends threaten the robust high-tech and industry-based Israeli economy built primarily by Ashkenazi elites.

In response to this perceived Charedi threat to the Israeli way of life, secular and predominately Ashkenazi opposition parties such as Yesh Atid (“there is a future”) campaign on the reduction of child allowances, ultra-Orthodox stipends, and other policies that permit Charedim to insulate themselves from mainstream Israeli society while still collecting benefits from the state.[67] Should left-wing parties defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative coalition in the next Israeli parliamentary election, child allowances will likely be reduced significantly, with certain benefits tied to desired social outcomes such as participation in the military or workforce. Eurocentric Israeli governmental elites have proven in the past that they are willing to limit even other non-European Jewish birthrates in order to a maintain what they believe to be an ideal ethnic equilibrium: for instance, many Ethiopian Jewish women, most of whom were airlifted to Israel in a 1991 covert rescue mission, received state-sponsored vaccinations of the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera, ostensibly without their knowledge or consent, over a period of many years.[68] Thus it is conceivable that, faced with a growing Charedi population, secular Ashkenazi parties like Yesh Atid will not hesitate to reverse seven decades of Israeli pronatalist policy. Since no future waves of European immigrants are expected to arrive in Israel, Western Jewish leaders may see no choice but to enact anti-natalist policies targeting the Charedim, lest they lose control of Israel’s historically secular, cosmopolitan society to a conservative and economically unsustainable ultra-Orthodox majority.


Pronatalism, Demography, and the Palestinian Question

While the rise of the Charedim threatens to alter domestic life in Israel, Palestinian Arab demographics challenge the Jewish State’s sovereignty and ambition in the international arena. Israeli Jews can no longer rely on pro-Jewish population policies to maintain demographic superiority within their UN-defined borders; most of the laws codifying some form of reproductive discrimination against Israeli Arab families have been eliminated or modified so that all citizens enjoy equal access to the benefits of child allowances, ART, and other reproductive healthcare services.[69] Accessibility remains the main barrier to entry for Israeli Arabs, as government offices and more advanced health centers tend not to be located in predominately Arab regions, and cultural norms frequently limit Arab women’s activities without the permission of their male relatives.[70] However, non-Israeli Arabs living in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza do not possess rights to any pronatalist financial benefits or healthcare coverage,[71] and hawkish Jewish leaders have no desire to expand these programs to the Territories and potentially increase Arab birthrates. For many years, Palestinians’ high population growth constituted a form of resistance against the Israeli occupation; Yasser Arafat was once quoted as saying, “[The Israelis] are concerned about our children and the Palestinian woman, who bears yet another Palestinian every ten months… [she] is a biological bomb threatening to blow up Israel from within.”[72] Moreover, women living in the occupied territories often had difficulty accessing contraception and abortion, since many medical relief organizations and charities that provided care in the region did not offer these options to their patients, and Israeli-funded contraception or family planning clinics were met with suspicion and frequently went unused.[73] However, in spite of these factors, population growth rates in the Palestinian Territories have in fact trended downwards in the past several decades. The total fertility per woman in the West Bank in 2014 was 2.83,[74] while in the Gaza Strip this number was 4.24.[75] In comparison, Jewish fertility per woman in Israel was 3.13 in 2015.[76] Israeli demographer Dov Friedlander and his colleagues noted parallel downward fertility trends between Israeli Arabs and their brethren in the Territories and postulated that the non-Israeli Arab birthrate decline was similarly due to postponed marriages, higher educational attainment, and integration of Arabs into the Israeli economy and society as discussed above.[77] Thus it appears that, on the whole, Israel’s demographic goals in the Palestinian Territories have been achieved even without direct anti-natalist policy intervention in the region.

However, even given the declines in Palestinian Arab birthrates, the current Israeli administration still views Palestinian population dynamics as a threat: sustained Arab population growth thwarts right-wing politicians’ plans to secure demographic (and thus political) hegemony in all of “Eretz Israel,” including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In 2000, Israeli scholar Sergio DellaPergola estimated that in Israel plus the Palestinian Territories combined, Jews comprised 55.1% of the population and Arabs 44.9%.[78] There is a high likelihood of demographic parity within a few generations due to the Palestinians’ “population momentum”;[79] the relatively large proportion of young people in the Arab population, who will soon bear their own children, indicates upward-trending future growth. Yet in order for Israel to maintain its dual Jewish and democratic nature with any credibility, its population must be majority-Jewish. In fact, demography has often been cited as the main reason for Israel to support a two-state solution:[80] in order to retain its legitimacy as arguably the sole democracy in the Middle East in the face of a growing Palestinian population, the nation must cede away territory primarily populated by Palestinian non-Jews. In 2005, when former general Ariel Sharon narrowly retained control of the Likud Party and thus the Office of Prime Minister, he warned his party against the threat of Netanyahu’s far right-wing faction that was seeking to forge a “Greater Israel” through occupation and settlement of the West Bank and Gaza: “It is impossible to have a Jewish, democratic state and at the same time to control all of Eretz Israel. If we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we are liable to lose it all. Everything. That is where the extremist path takes us.”[81] U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry echoed these words following the failed Obama-era peace negotiations, saying that if Israel rejected a two-state solution, “[it] can either be Jewish or democratic—it cannot be both—and it won’t ever really be at peace.”[82] The demographic problem that troubled early Israeli leaders has returned once more, but its implications today are even more dire. The decision to retain the territories or to relinquish them—which must be made soon, before population parity—will define Israel either as a principled democratic nation or as an oppressive occupying force.



Israel’s historically pronatalist agenda has manifested itself in a variety of incentives—economic, political, and social—that boosted Ashkenazi Jewish birthrates while simultaneously limiting population growth among Arab Palestinians and even occasionally among non-European Jews. These policies, coupled with intensive immigration campaigns, maintained Ashkenazi supremacy in Israeli political and cultural life for nearly seven decades. However, current population trends foreshadow a new Israeli political and social reality in which highly religious Charedi officials, who seek to fundamentally alter Israel’s Ashkenazi-dominated Western economy and way of life, gain greater political power and popular support, and in which the choice between a two-state solution and the violation of Israel’s dual Jewish and democratic nature becomes increasingly urgent.


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[1] Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State, ed. Jacob De Haas, trans. Sylvia D’Avigdor (Federation of American Zionists, 1917), books.google.com/books?id=eXkLAAAAIAAJ&hl=en, passim.

[2] Paul P. Bernard, “Theodor Herzl: From Assimilation to Zionism,” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 13, no. 2 (1995): 115.

[3] Jacqueline Portugese, Fertility Policy in Israel: The Politics of Religion, Gender, and Nation (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998), 186.

[4] Alon Tal, The Land is Full: Addressing Overpopulation in Israel (Yale University Press, 2016), 215.


[5] Dov Friedlander et al., Population Policy in Israel (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974), 47.

[6] David Ben Gurion, Israel, a Personal History (Herzl Press, 1972), 838.

[7] Tal, The Land is Full, 81.

[8] Leslie King, “From Pronatalism to Social Welfare? Extending Family Allowances to Minority Populations in France and Israel,” European Journal of Population/Revue européenne de Démographie 17, no. 4 (2001): 314.

[9] Tal, The Land is Full, 61.

[10] Ibid., 61.

[11] Ibid., 63-69.

[12] Tom Segev, The Seventh Million: the Israelis and the Holocaust (Henry Holt and Company, 2005), 97.

[13] Tal, The Land is Full, 48.

[14] Ibid., 85.

[15] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 76.

[16] Ibid., 76, emphasis added.

[17] R. Ben-Shem, Demographic Problems of the Jewish People in Israel and the Diaspora, ed. Ephrat (Tel Aviv, 1964), 6.

[18] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 82.

[19] Tal, The Land is Full, 92.

[20] Ibid., 92.

[21] Michal Ofir and Tami Eliav, Child Allowances in Israel: A Historical View and International Perspective (National Insurance Institute of Israel, 2005), 5.

[22] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 97.

[23] Tal, The Land is Full, 92.

[24] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 105.

[25] Tal, The Land is Full, 95.

[26] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 108.

[27] Sammy Smooha, Arabs and Jews in Israel (Westview Press, 1992), passim.

[28] Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Fertility Rates by Age and Religion, 2016, www.cbs.gov.il/shnaton68/st03_13.pdf, 1.

[29] Ibid., n.p.

[30] Tal, The Land is Full, 168.

[31] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 172.

[32] Ibid., 176.

[33] Tal, The Land is Full, 191.

[34] Ibid., 191.

[35] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 172.

[36] Barbara Swirski, Hatim Kanaaneh, and Amy Avgar, “Health Care in Israel,” Israel Equality Monitor 9 (1998): 21.

[37] Rhoda Ann Kanaaneh, Birthing the Nation: Strategies of Palestinian Women in Israel (Univ. of California Press, 2010), 37.

[38] Tal, The Land is Full, 86.

[39] Israel Ministry of Health, Procedures or Health Funds in Cases of Pregnancy and Abortion, 2012, www.health.gov.il/hozer/mk23_1993.pdf, 1.1-1.4.

[40] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 137.

[41] Tal, The Land is Full, 121.

[42] Knesset Committee to Promote the Status of Women, Testimony of Dr. Amy Avger, Israeli Knesset, 2003, www.knesset.gov.il/protocols/data/rtf/maamad/2003-05-19.rtf, n.p.

[43] Tal, The Land is Full, 115.

[44] Tal, The Land is Full, 123-124.

[45] Ibid., 123-124.

[46] Ibid., 108.

[47] Tziyona Peled, Family Planning in Israel: Behavior and Attitudes of Professionals, Part I (The Institute of Social Policy, 1973), 78.

[48] Barbara S. Okun, “Innovation and Adaptation in Fertility Transition: Jewish Immigrants to Israel from Muslim North Africa and the Middle East,” Population Studies 51, no. 3 (1997): 317.

[49] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 125.

[50] Tal, The Land is Full, 110-111.

[51] Orshlimi, Sharon, “Numbers Behind the Abortion Industry,” Onlife: A Website of Substance and Current Events for Women, August 6, 2013, www.onlife.co.il.

[52] Alison Solomon, “Anything for a Baby: Reproductive Technology in Israel,” in Calling the Equality Bluff: Women in Israel, ed. Barbara Swirski and Marilyn Safir (Pergamon Press, 1991), 102.

[53] Tal, The Land is Full, 126.

[54] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 154.

[55] Sarit Rosenbloom, “A Multitude of Fertility Treatments—Few Pregnancies,” Yedioth Ahronot, November 25, 2014, 9.

[56] Hedva Eyal, interview by Alon Tal, July 2, 2013.

[57] Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli and Yoram S. Carmeli, Kin, Gene, Community: Reproductive Technologies among Jewish Israelis (Berghahn Books, 2010), 51-61.

[58] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 153.

[59] Tal, The Land is Full, 131.

[60] Ibid., 131.

[61] “Eat, Pray, Don’t Work,” The Economist Online, June 25, 2015, www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21656207-israel-cannot-afford-keep-paying-ultra-orthodox-men-shun-employment-eat.

[62] Tal, The Land is Full, 132.

[63] Israel Democracy Institute, Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel (Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 2016), 16.

[64] “Eat, Pray, Don’t Work,” June 25, 2015.

[65] Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Fertility Rates, 1.

[66] “Eat, Pray, Don’t Work,” June 25, 2015.

[67] Lior Dattel and Tali Heruti-Sover, “Israel’s Welfare Ministry Vows to Prevent Haredim from Living off Child Benefits,” Haaretz, March 3, 2014, www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.538280.

[68] Phoebe Greenwood, “Ethiopian Women in Israel ‘given Contraceptive without Consent,’” The Guardian, February 28, 2013, www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/28/ethiopian-women-given-contraceptives-israel.

[69] Tal, The Land is Full, passim.

[70] Ibid., 203.

[71] Friedlander, Population Policy, 247.

[72] Gad Gilbar, “The Palestinians: Demographic and Economic Developments 1986-1990,” in Middle East Contemporary Survey 15, ed. Ami Ayalon (Westview Press, 1991): 315.

[73] Portugese, Fertility Policy, 165-166.

[74] U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook: West Bank, November 14, 2017, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html.

[75] U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook: Gaza Strip, November 14, 2017, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gz.html.

[76] Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Fertility Rates, 1.

[77] Friedlander, Population Policy, 252-253.

[78] Sergio DellaPergola, “Demographic Trends in Israel and Palestine: Prospects and Policy Implications,” in The American Jewish Year Book 103, ed. David Singer and Lawrence Grossman (American Jewish Committee, 2003), 18.

[79] Tal, The Land is Full, 215.

[80] Ehud Barak, “We Must Save Israel From Its Government,” The New York Times, December 1, 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/opinion/ehud-barak-israel-netanyahu.html.

[81] Chris McGreal, “Sharon Narrowly Survives Attempt to Oust Him as Likud Leader,” The Guardian, September 26, 2005, www.theguardian.com/world/2005/sep/27/israel.

[82] Ian Schwartz, “Kerry: Israel Can Either Be Jewish Or Democratic, It Cannot Be Both,”RealClearPolitics, December 28, 2016, www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/12/28/kerry_israel_can_either_be_jewish_or_democratic_it_cannot_be_both.html.


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