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Jun-25-2011 19:18printcommentsVideo

Instability in Israel sparks growing exodus from Promised Land

Every year more Jews leave Israel for Europe and the United States than the other way around. One in five Soviet Jews has already returned home.

Jews leaving Israel
Photo courtesy: intifada-palestine.com

(MOSCOW RT) - Israel was a state created for Jewish people from all over the world to call their home. But due to security fears, growing numbers of Israelis want to leave, opting for EU or American citizenship to meet their expectations of a promised land.

Rachel Shitz has no reason to like Germany. She was born there before World War II and within six years had been expelled and most of her family killed. But the irony is – she now wants a German passport.

“I want German citizenship to help my children and grandchildren,” she explains, which might be shocking if it was not so common in Israel today.

In the last decade, some 50,000 Israelis have applied for EU citizenship.  A quarter of a million already have a second passport. It is unlikely that any other country in the world has such a large percentage of new immigrants preparing to leave.

“It’s really an irony of history, because Israel was established to become a shelter to the Jewish people,” says Gideon Levy, a columnist at Ha’aretz newspaper. “Now Europe becomes a shelter for the Jews living in Israel.”

A cozy little bar, Mike’s Place, is the American heart of Tel Aviv. Inside you will hear more English than Hebrew and you will be forgiven for thinking you are in the US and not the Promised Land.

Most Israelis in the capital have a second passport.  Many of them grew up abroad or have a parent who came from another country.

“I have Canadian and Israeli, and I would never give up my Canadian and I would probably give up my Israeli,” says one resident of Tel Aviv.

“The American I wouldn’t give up because I have family there and I want to be able to go there any time,” says another.

“A British passport, a European passport is a doorway to opportunities,” believes a third.

Eight years ago the bar was blown up by a suicide bomber. Three people were killed and 50 injured. The bar did not close but some say the rush for new passports heated up.

“In the peak of the suicide bombings, when there was a feeling of insecurity, yes, there was an increase both in immigration and in a demand for passports,” says Dr Yossi Harpaz, a writer on Israeli immigration.

And that demand has only grown. In the last five years Israel has been in two wars and many fear another is not far off.  Also, the government’s policy of settlement expansion has only isolated the country internationally.

So it is no surprise, says leading Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, that people are tired of living in a warzone.

“The Israeli leadership is basing its leadership not on creating some hope for the people but by creating, all the time, fear, frightening campaigns against anything,” Levy told RT.

And the payoff is a population that feels unsafe, with one eye on Europe.

Lawyer Dan Assan has processed nearly 5,000 applications for a second passport in the last ten years. That works out at about 40 passports a month, and he is only one lawyer working in the field.

“The fate of the Jews in World War II: the ones who were saved are the ones who got the right paper,” says Dan Assan. “The lesson is if you can get a paper that can help you to move out of danger zones then you do it.”

Every year more Jews leave Israel for Europe and the United States than the other way around.

One in five Soviet Jews has already returned home.

And with no Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on the horizon and growing Israeli insecurity about the Arab demonstrations on their doorstep, this so-called “insurance passport” is unlikely to lose popularity any time soon.

Originally published by Russia TV English


Americans for a Stronger Israel




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John September 22, 2012 5:02 pm (Pacific time)

Re: "My answer would be because it is RTV, the chances that the information is passing censors before going out is far lower than in US newsrooms."

I'm sorry, but as someone who has both worked in a number of US newsrooms, and who follows international news and politics with an academic's eye, I've failed to identify any so-called "censors" controlling US news organizations and what they publish - AND, as a matter of fact, it is the Russian news media that is censored, and RTV is notoriously corrupt in this regard. Ask Anna Politkovskya (you can't - she's dead, for critical reporting), or any number of Russian journalists who have been harrassed, victimized, or silenced. Visit the homepage for CPJ to correct your misinformation.

Not only do your assertions insult the work of US journalists - with NO evidence, unless you've provided some that I've missed - but they devalue the hard work and blood spilled by Russian journalists putting their lives on the line to report without gov't intervention. In short, pull your head out of your ass.

As an aside - I couldn't care less about Israel/Palestine, except for the part where we'd be drawn into a war with Iran. My beef is with ignorant propagandists devaluing hard work. People like, say, the editor, for instance.

DJ: In the Western news media (and as a journalist I've seen it and experienced it myself) it's called self-censorship. John Kenneth Galbraith described it:

“In any large organization there are only differing degrees of restraint. And the fact that it is often self-restraint or self-censorship does not make it any less confining. Self-censorship at Fortune, I learned, involved a constant calculation as to whether a particular statement—sometimes a sentence or a paragraph—was worth the predictable argument, perhaps with [Henry] Luce [Time/Life founder], possibly with some frightened or zealous surrogate. Often one decided that it was not the day for a fight. Or if your conscience was compelling, you couched the favorable reference to Roosevelt or the CIO in such careful language that it would slip by, overlooking the near-certainty that it would slip by all your readers as well.”  


June 27, 2011 1:23 am (Pacific time)

Most Israelis in the capital have a second passport.  Many of them grew up abroad or have a parent who came from another country.

“I have Canadian and Israeli, and I would never give up my Canadian and I would probably give up my Israeli,” says one resident of Tel Aviv.

“The American I wouldn’t give up because I have family there and I want to be able to go there any time,” says another.

“A British passport, a European passport is a doorway to opportunities,” believes a third."

And just bellow those statements we see:
[img]http://www.salem-news.com/gphotos/1307854005.jpg[/img]
:):):)
Well..In this case stick to your "Israel' passport:)
What would you do without America?Starve!!!
Jerzy Ulicki-Rek


COLLI June 27, 2011 6:04 am (Pacific time)

Here is the deal: Every religion was created by man. Every church, mosque, synagogue, or temple was built by the hand of man. The major religions of the world are some of the richest entities ever known to man. The land and buildings owned by these religions dwarf the holdings of the largest corporations. They have the $$$, now they want the power and control. Killing in the name of God should be telling us something about the twisted minds behind these religions and countries. Promoting crimes against humanity in the name of God will ultimately bring intelligent people to the point where they will abandon God entirely or choose to worship a stump, rock, or pile of dung. Religions will be viewed as harbingers of evil and death. Religious insanity is still insanity folks! Let us use the brains we were born with and stop rationalizing. Stop saying I’m Catholic, I’m Muslim, I’m Jewish, or I’m protestant and start saying I’m human. Worship a supreme being in whatever way you choose but never lose sight of the fact that we are human and we are ALL brothers and sisters and belong to humanity. The Great Spirit (Whomever or whatever it is) created ALL of us . . . man created religions. If you want to honor that Great Spirit, love that which He or She or It created and hold that which man created at arm’s length for proper inspection and analysis.


June 26, 2011 4:35 am (Pacific time)

Artur, what does that have to do with the story?

Editor: Good question.  My answer would be because it is RTV, the chances that the information is passing censors before going out is far lower than in US newsrooms.  RTV doesn't mind telling the dark truth about American politics because they don't have the vested financial interest involved.  RTV even reports openly and honestly about Israel and Palestine.  Nobody's perfect, but these guys at RTV are often a breath of fresh air.


northwoods June 26, 2011 5:22 am (Pacific time)

Israel has been taken over by religious that more than match the ayatollahs. They control the government and demo graphically are increasing are increasing at an incredible rate with their birthrate.Many secular Israelis are deserting Israel because the hand-writing is on the wall.


Artur June 25, 2011 11:22 pm (Pacific time)

Russia Today is totally funded by the Russian Government

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