The Central Bureau of Statistics’ annual release of census data prior to the Jewish New Year reported that over eight million Israelis now live in the Holy Land.
At 1.8 percent, the population growth rate is similar to previous years.
About three-fourths (6,066,000) of the country’s population is Jewish, over a fifth (1,670,000) is Arab (including Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouins), and the remaining 345,000 are listed as other (which includes Christian who are not Arabs and those with no specific religious identity).
Not included in the report are some 202,000 non-citizens who are registered as residents of Israel.
These population figures reflect a nation in which both Arabs and Jews live and work together, even though Arab and Jewish neighborhoods tend to be somewhat separated.
Following the 1948 War of Independence, those Arabs who remained in the new Jewish homeland were given the full rights of citizens while those who left became mostly refugees forming what has come to be called the Palestinian people.
Although many Israel Arabs claim to support and even identify with their Palestinian “brothers,” most appreciate that the life they live as Israeli citizens is far better than any that would be offered to them in an Arab state.