Jewish population in J'lem slips to 66% [pg. 3]

With Palestinian violence on the decline, the number of visitors staying in Jerusalem hotels last year shot up nearly 50 percent compared to the year before, statistics released Tuesday showed. A total of 2,930,100 tourists, including both foreign and local visitors, were recorded as guests at city hotels in 2005 compared to 1,981,200 the year before, according to statistics put out by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies ahead of Jerusalem Day. The number of Israeli tourists who stayed in city hotels last year rose by 27 percent compared to the year before, the study found. At the same time, the statistics showed that the number of Jewish residents living in the city as a percentage of the total population continued to decline as Israelis flock to the city's suburbs for better quality of life. A total of 718,900 people live in Jerusalem, 66% of whom are Jewish and 34% of whom are Arab. The city's population, which constitutes 10% of Israel's total population, has grown by 170% since the reunification of the city in the Six Day War. At the end of 2004, nearly 60% of Jerusalem's residents - some 414,300 people - lived in neighborhoods incorporated into the state after 1967. Of the residents of post-Six Day War neighborhoods, 44% are Jewish, while 56% are Arab. Meanwhile, six decades after the Holocaust, Yad Vashem remains the most prominent symbol of modern-day Jerusalem for Israeli Jews, according to a Gesher poll released by Yad Vashem Monday. 37% of those polled selected the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority as the site that symbolized today's Jerusalem, compared to 20% who said it was the city's outdoor Mahaneh Yehuda market, 12% who cited the Israel Museum and 9% who said it was Mount Herzl and the gravesite of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The other 22% of respondents picked other sites in the city. The poll also found that 54% of Israelis would go for a stroll in the Old City if they had only three hours to spend in Jerusalem, 22% would visit one of the city's museums, 13% would tour the Knesset and the Supreme Court and 3% would attend a Beitar soccer game at the city's Teddy Stadium. 8% of respondents would do other, unspecified things, the poll found. The survey, which was carried out last week among 504 Jewish respondents, did not list a margin of error.