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Israel’s Jewish Exodus


If the historical goal of the state of Israel is to provide the world’s Jews a secure national home, a place of refuge in a world of real or potential anti-Semitism, it seems to have failed.

It has failed not because this writer says so, but because an increasing number of its own Jewish citizens say so.

There have been studies originating both in Israel and abroad that show “as many as half of the Jews living in Israel will consider leaving … if in the next few years the current political and social trends continue.” This finding is in addition to the fact that yerida, or emigration out of Israel, has long been running at higher numbers than aliyah, or immigration into the country.

The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics states that as of 2005, 650,000 Israelis have left the country for over one year and not returned. The great majority of these were Jews. In addition, polls show that at least 60 percent and as high as 80 percent of remaining Israeli Jews “sympathize with those who leave the country.”

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