2005 August 19 Friday
Israelis Target Arab Consanguineous Marriages To Lower Infant Mortality

A reduction in rates of infection and selective abortion has greatly reduced infant mortality amont Arabs living in Israel. But Arab marriage practices keep the rate of defective babies and infant mortality higher than among Israeli Jews.>The Israelis now want to convince the Israeli Arabs to not marry their cousins and other close relatives as a way to further reduce Arab Israeli infant mortality.

The district health office has initiated a project in areas with large Arab populations that includes study days for health personnel, initiation of reports against inbreeding in the Arabic-language mass media, and encouragement of Muslim religious leaders to declare in mosques that this practice is likely to produce defective children.

Most of the activity, however, recruits elementary and high-school teachers in the Arab sector who speak to pupils about the dangers of marrying close relatives. "The effect on the reduction of the rates of consanguineous marriages should be observable within years, and the effect on infant mortality within generations," Strulov predicts.

The three-pronged effort would further reduce the gap in infant mortality rates between the Jewish and Arab populations in Israel, he said. In 2002, the annual infant mortality rate was 4.0 per 1,000 live births among Jews and 9.0 among Arabs; in the Northern District, it was 5.4 among Jews and 7.8 among Arabs.

The Arab Israeli infant mortality rate has already fallen by about two thirds since the early 80s.

In the early Eighties, the rate among Arabs was 22.6 per 1,000 live births and half that among Jews.

Aside: Note that the Israelis have been accused of genocide against Palestinians. But they have been trying (and succeeding) in lowering Arab (mostly Muslim) Israeli infant mortality rates. Of course they can not expect gratitude or even recognition for this. Life isn't fair.

The Israeli attempt to lower the rate of cousin marriage in their Arab populations has larger implications beyond effects on infant mortality or rates of congenital defects. First off, intelligence among the Israeli Arabs might be boosted. The Arabs are not exactly top of the pops in the IQ league tables. Higher IQs might reduce religiosity. Also, higher IQs will lead to more education and probably lower birth rates in future generations as smarter people spend more time in school and have fewer children.

If the Israelis are successful in changing Israeli Arab mating customs then that suggests Arab governments could carry out similar programs to change the mating practices of their Arab populations. Such a change in the Arab countries would have a huge political and economic impact. The bigger effect would show up in the form of reduced loyalty toward family and therefore increased loyalty toward larger scale polities, notably in the form of increased national loyalty. This would reduce nepotism and corruption and would therefore make Arab economies more efficient. Though the impact would take decades to reach full effect. Still, the attempt by the Israelis to lower rates of marriage to close relatives among Israeli Arabs bears close watching.

If you want to develop an understanding of how consanguineous marriage affects the politics of the Middle East a good place to start is my post "John Tierney On Cousin Marriage As Reform Obstacle In Iraq". From that post you'll find links back to previous posts and writings by others on this topic.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 August 19 03:44 PM  MidEast Arabs Versus Israelis


Comments
Brent said at August 21, 2005 4:57 AM:

Actually, one could start with Steve Sailer: http://www.isteve.com/cousin_marriage_conundrum.htm

I know Steven Pinker did.

BTW, I've linked to this. Great job, you awesome maverick.

Rick Darby said at August 21, 2005 5:52 AM:

Well, you've described the possible upside of this development. But -- heartless as it might sound to some -- should Israel, at this point in history, be trying to reduce the mortality rate of domestic Muslim births, thereby almost certainly increasing the percentage of Muslims in the population? Maybe most Arab Muslims in Israel are loyal to the country; but it is hard to doubt that some among them will be a "fifth column" during the next invasion.

The Sharon-led policy of pulling out of Gaza is one move in preparing Israel for Armageddon. He believes that it is only a matter of time until missiles will blacken the cities and the armies of the Arab world will surge across the border in an attempt to bring about the final final solution. The benefits you talk about are generations away. The struggle for Israel's survival is today and every day.

Randall Parker said at August 21, 2005 10:52 AM:

Brent,

If you click on my post about Tierney on cousin marriage you'll find I link to Steve's piece along with previous pieces of mine that link to more on this topic from Stanley Kurtz and others. If you haven't read all my posts on this topic then I urge you to do so.

Also, Steve quotes me in his Cousin Marriage Conundrum. That quote comes from my post "Mark Bowden: Baathism Not The Ruling Ideology Of Iraq".

Brent said at August 21, 2005 11:11 AM:

Gotcha me.

Valkyrie said at August 21, 2005 6:53 PM:

>>>>>Aside: Note that the Israelis have been accused of genocide against Palestinians. But they have been trying (and succeeding) in lowering Arab (mostly Muslim) Israeli infant mortality rates. Of course they can not expect gratitude or even recognition for this. Life isn't fair.

LOL! I'm sure the Arabs might appreciate Israelís kindness once they pull out of their lands and stop tearing down their homes.

I'm not on the 'Palestinian side' (nor the Israeli one) but that comment sounds too stupid for even my 2 year old niece. No offense.

>>>>>>>
If the Israelis are successful in changing Israeli Arab mating customs then that suggests Arab governments could carry out similar programs to change the mating practices of their Arab populations. Such a change in the Arab countries would have a huge political and economic impact. The bigger effect would show up in the form of reduced loyalty toward family and therefore increased loyalty toward larger scale polities, notably in the form of increased national loyalty. This would reduce nepotism and corruption and would therefore make Arab economies more efficient.


uh-huh. What you're implying here is that arabs not born of a cousin-cousin marriage have an IQ so high that it will dramatically change the culture landscape for that region. It doesn't work that way. Maybe in 5 thousand years but now in the next 500.

I'm guessing you'd consider the nazi-era germans 'smart' as they build a war machine that went up against the world. Now those smart and intelligent people were EASY pray for nazi propaganda and brain washing. Not just them, all people no matter how 'smart' will do whatever their culture brain washes them into. Arabs born from a marriage between two cousins will go through the same life and experience current day arabs go through. The CULTURE that teaches them family loyalty and whatnot is still there and it is much much much more powerful than having an extra 2 points on your IQ. That same arab born of a cousin-cousin marriage could end up a philosopher with the right education.

Randall Parker said at August 21, 2005 8:27 PM:

Valkyrie,

I don't defend what the Israelis have done to the Palestinians. However, the Israelis really are judged by a double standard because they are not Arabs. Arabs can do things to each other that cause far less Western condemnation than would fall on the Israelis for doing the same things. The Israelis are judged differently because they are not Muslims and not Arabs. They are genetic and cultural outsiders relatively speaking.

No, I do not expect an end to cousin marriage to cause a 10 or 15 IQ point increase in Arab IQs. Maybe they'd gain a couple of IQ points and, yes, that would cause a change in levels of religiosity and in economic performance.

End cousin marriage and Arab attitudes really would change. Family loyalty would encompass much smaller groups of people. This is easy to see with simple genetic analysis. A person whose son marries one's brother's daughter has grandchildren who are a lot closer to them genetically than a person whose son marries a stranger. Two brothers who marry two sisters who are daughter of their uncles have more genetically in common with each other's kids than two brothers who marry two different women who are not related to them or to each other.

Dov Greenberg said at September 26, 2005 1:33 AM:

You talk of diminishing religiousity to increase the IQ and in the same breath you support the "Jewish state" of Israel. Perhaps your ignorance blinds you to the fact that the "Jewish state" (illegaly built on Occupied Palestinian land), is a colonial state with two Chief Rabbis on its payroll and with Jewish Religious Courts. Most of the people who adhere to Judaism have voted with their feet and do not wish to live as Occupiers on the Palestinian land. As for your racist remarks towards Arabs and their IQ, they only highlight your own IQ or should I say lack thereof. Your racial geralizations about Arabs mirrors Nazi logic, so your IQ cannot be higher than a Nazi.

Randall Parker said at September 26, 2005 9:19 AM:

Dov Greenberg,

Most Ashkenazi Jews are not particularly religious. The higher IQ ones are less religious on average than the lower IQ ones. This pattern is found among people currently and formerly in other religions as well.

Racial generalizations: There are average differences in IQ and other cognitive characteristics between racial and ethnic groups. That is not "Nazi logic". It is the evidence from twins studies, transracial adoption studies, and tons of other psychometric research. While the mainstream media can censor the evidence and censor the people who state the obvious this is not the mainstream media. Your slurs can't shut up people who are more interested in the truth than in the politically correct faith of the liberals.

vince said at November 2, 2005 2:37 PM:

It is not the racial or ethnic group of any given people that determines iq, but the amount of cultural value placed on learning and education in any given country. You also left out the studies done based on culture and iq. Besides, you mean to tell me that the same people that invented algebra and not to mention, the metric system, are intellectually inferior?

Gunnar said at November 12, 2005 8:36 PM:

High IQ gives the ability to adopt.

The Arab world is incapable of development because it prefers envy, resentment, hatred, vendetta, gender apartheid, conspiracy theories and religious superstition (check UNDP:s reports 2002/2003/2004).

Why?

This is not a smart strategy. It's plain stupidity - and has little or nothing to do with the miniature nation of Israel.

Give the Arabs the land of Palestine and they will transform the area to a social and cultural slum (like the one in Gaza, Cairo, Clichy-sous-Bois or Malmoe).

Sorry, but the events in the early 21st century - from 9/11 to the French intifada - will utterly kill every western illusion since 1968.

---

> Vince, for many years the Arab invaders exploited the knowledge of both aboriginal Christians (Greeks, Armenians, Syrians etc.), Jews, Zoroastrians and Hindus. So it's more adequate to call those inventions true "multicultural" phenomena due to a rather brief era of free trade, relative tolerance and meritocracy. Even their now famous grammar and Alphabet were created by non-Arabs. And you have to remember that several of these alleged "Arab" brains were of Persian / Central Asian stock. Not from Hijaz or Najd.

m said at March 19, 2006 10:26 AM:

Arabs and Jews are closely related, so close in fact that there is such a thing as an Arab Jew (there was quite a lot of them before the creation of Israel!)

Many Israelis are of Arab and Kurdish origin. Arabs and Jews are both known as Semites(where the word semitic or anti-semitic comes from). A simple comparison between a Jews face and an Arabs shows how similar they are, eg. David Baddiel(British Jewish comedian) and Yasser Arafat(Mr Palestine himself.)

Therefore saying that Arabs (genetically) have low iq's is the same as saying that Jews too.

Famous Arab Jews: Omar Sharif,Paul, Georges, Maurice & Armand Marciano, Charles Saatchi, plus many many more.

Ps i'm Arab, and i have and an official iq 147 (mensa tested)-thats top 3rd percentile of UK, a mainly white country.

M said at March 19, 2006 10:36 AM:

Gunnar,
all countries learn off each other since the beginning of civilisation. The only country that could have truly taught itself everything it knew is the world's first civilisation, Sumeria in Mesopotamia ie. Iraq!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/iraq/iraq_lost_cities_02.shtml

m again said at March 20, 2006 6:11 PM:

from the iq 'league' table it is evident that nutrtion is the main factor, and not race (if thats what you suggest) Richard Lynn himself suggests it at one point.

Gaza is a slum due to the restrictions forced upon by Israel. Baghdad in the late fifties and sixties was not a slum, quite the opposite, until the US backed Sadam came to power.

Syrians are Arabs.

Exploited knowledge?? The Christian west detrmination to avoid 'exploitation' of knowledge is what led to the dark ages, while the Islamic nations flourished, reviving (and no not exploiting) works of the ancient Greek philosophers.(The Islamic Golden age would later lead on to the European Enlightenment itself).

If 9/11 makes all Arabs stupid, what does Hiroshima or the Mai Lai make Americans? Or the Holocaust make the Germans?

Arabs don't choose envy, they do however choose resentment. Wouldn't you when you've been exiled from you home because someone has a bigger gun than you and a copy of the Bible saying that your land is theirs 'historically'.

Not all Arabs are of Hijaz or Najid stock, in fact hardly any. Only SAUDI Arabians are of that stock.

There were Christian and Jewish ARABS in Hijaz and Najid.

Arab language grammar evolved, like every other language that ever existed, so the creation of a certain language can not be attributed to one race, but if it would be then it would be attributed to the main users of that language. In this case the Arabs.

It still doesn't take away from the fact that it is stupid to say that the people who invented algebra, Camera Obscura(who's inventor is credited with being the first man to shift physics from a philosophical activity to an experimental one and discovered than light enters the eyes unlike the Europeans who thought it was the other way round), modern soap, first glide, distillation, the crank-shaft, pointed arch, ribbed vaulting, rose windows, dome-building techniques,(Henry V's castle architect was Muslim) anaesthetics, over 200 surgical devices(many of wich are still sed in modern surgery), catgut for stitching and for capsules, hollow needles for cataracts, windmills(500 years before they were seen in Europe), innoculation before Jenner and Pasteur, description of blood circulation(300 years before William Harvey), the fountain pen, the calculations of Muslim astronomers were so accurate that in the 9th century they reckoned the Earth's circumference to be 40,253.4km - less than 200km out!(note they knew the Earth was round 500 years before Galileo, hospitals and (horse-driven)ambulance, pigeon mail, astrolobe, sundial, sugar extraction, parabolic mirror, mechanical calendar, seven colour printing, artificial insemination(for animals),
... plus much MUCH more, go here for SOME of them:
http://onearabworld.blog.com/613625/

http://www.1001inventions.com

Randall Parker said at March 23, 2006 1:30 PM:

M,

Middle Eastern Jews are not the smart Jews. The Ashkenazi European Jews have a much higher average IQ than the Jews who have been living in the Middle East for centuries. So some of the Israeli Jews are very smart and others not too sharp.

Vince said at March 25, 2006 8:12 PM:

Randall Parker,
If your facts are correct, then your statements suggest that iq is more closely derived from cultural emphasis placed on academics than race.

m,
ah! thats right, the camera obscura by al-hazen of Bazra(currently iraq) Arab astronomers not only translated the work of ptolemy, but also refined it. m is also correct that Syrians are arabs (i mean come on) The discovery of the andromeda galaxy was credited to al-sulfi many years before charles messier documented it in the 18th century. There is also a crater on the moon named in honor of this astronomer. And they speak of exploitation of knowledge, ha!


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