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Protracted National Conflict and Fertility Change: Palestinians and Israelis in the Twentieth Century

Philippe Fargues
Population and Development Review
Vol. 26, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 441-482
Published by: Population Council
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/172315
Page Count: 42
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Protracted National Conflict and Fertility Change: Palestinians and Israelis in the Twentieth Century
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Abstract

This article examines atypical trends of birth rates and fertility--their irregular time trends and relatively high levels--among Palestinians and Israelis in light of the protracted conflict between them and related political developments. Migration, in itself a major dimension of the conflict, has been formative in contrasting evolutions of fertility: convergence among the Jews, originating from various countries but gradually coalescing in Jewish Israeli society, as opposed to divergence for the Palestinians, members of the same initial society but dispersed by the conflict and subjected to political and socioeconomic conditions varying with their place of residence. Demography is at stake in the conflict, and pronatalism becomes a dimension of nationalism, for Palestinians as well as for Israelis. Political and civil institutions influence fertility through redistribution of resources that subsidize procreation. For both sides, it seems that belligerence has produced excess fertility.

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