Thursday, February 07, 2008
Now, I don't look for these things but learning about the plight of Palestinians has sensitized me to lies and distortions about Jews and Judaism. And, thus, the bullshit alarm went off when I saw the segment with the Jew in the village. So, I wondered where did this misinformation come from? I checked out the book and found that it was not an invention of the film makers--it came from the 2002 book by Smith.
In the book Smith claims (p. 12) that "Whenever possible, the most current statistics have been used." One of Smith's sources was the CIA World Factbook. The problem is that source estimates that only 0.23% of the world's population is Jewish. This is consistent with the Jewish and world population estimates by the quasi-governmental (Israeli government, that is) Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (2006) and the UN (2005), respectively. Their estimates are 13,085,000 Jews and 6,514,751,000 people, which works out to 0.20%. From another of Smith's sources, infoplease.com, we can calculate a 1990 estimate of 0.34%.
All of which means that the Jew in Smith's village is a magic Jew--the real number being multiplied by three to five to make sure we have at least one Jew in the village. Why is that?
Update: Left out of the village are, among others, practitioners of Chinese traditional religion (394 million) and Sikhs (23 million).
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