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Israel eroding from within

Last updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:22 AM
Israel eroding from within


Hassan Tahsin

March 19 marked the first anniversary of the attack on the Jewish school Ozar Hatorah in Toulouse, France. The then French President Nicolas Sarkozy described the incident as a “national tragedy”. Four people were killed in the attack including two children. Israeli officials attributed the attack to growing anti-Semitism in Europe. 

This anniversary has drawn attention to the issue of Israel’s very existence and to the fact that the country has started to erode from within. This is a clear indication of the imminent eclipse of the Jewish state as a result of reverse migration.

According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of French Jews in the US especially Manhattan. The newspaper said it looked as if there has been a collective migration of Jews from France to the United States.

The newspaper quoted an informed source in Strasbourg as saying that New York has been bustling with French Jews since 2002, the year of the first Palestinian Intifada (uprising) which took the Middle East conflict into the streets of Israel.

The number of Jews leaving Israel is increasing while the number of those coming to the country is decreasing. In 2012 the number of Jews migrating to Israel dropped by 2.5 percent compared to 2011, according to figures released by the Agence France Presse (AFP) quoting Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

According to Israel’s statistical centers, the reverse migration from the Land of Promise (Israel) to other countries began in 2004. In that year, more than 16,500 scientists, medical doctors, engineers and highly qualified Jews left Israel for the US and other countries in Europe.

The year 2007 witnessed the most serious reverse migration. Jews from Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics left Israel in large numbers. According to Israel’s Interior Ministry, 775,000 Israelis applied to abandon their Israeli nationality in preparation for leaving the country.

About 950,000 Russian and former Soviet Jews out of 1.25 million left Israel accompanied by a number of Christians. They lived in Israel for a decade from 1989 to 1999.

Quoting the results of a survey conducted in 1987, Israeli newspaper Maariv said about 26.14 percent of the surveyed people expressed their desire to leave Israel for the US or any other rich European country after losing faith in the country’s political leaders and their obscure and dangerous promises. 

The Israeli institute which conducted the survey said it was mostly young men and women who were worried and wanted to leave the country. The reverse migration from Israel peaked in 2010 and 2011 reaching an unprecedented number especially after the tumultuous changes in Tunisia and Egypt.

The results of the latest public opinion survey conducted by a group calling itself Herzl Youth showed that fear for Israel’s future increased by 71 percent among the youth after the toppling of the regime of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. David Shahak, a 23-year-old Israeli said: “How can Israel live safely in the region after this popular tsunami in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. The Arabs do not want to see us in the region. Our stupid leaders have squandered all the serious peace opportunities with the Arab people. A permanent peace can only be brokered between people not governments. For these reasons I have decided to migrate to the US. I will never come back to this inferno again.” The Herzl Youth survey which covered about 3,000 young men and women in and outside Israel said about 58 percent of the younger Israeli generation wanted to migrate from Israel.

The living and economic conditions in Israel have become critical and almost chaotic. The economic confusion is the worst in the history of the country since its establishment in 1948. Ethiopian Jews returned home from Israel in large numbers after the economic, social and cultural marginalization they experienced there. According to official figures, about 52 percent of the Falasha (Ethiopian Jews) have migrated from Israel back to Ethiopia. There are also some Jews who came to Israel from India. They are known as “Mizo Jews” who came from Aizawl the capital of the Indian state of Mizoram. They came to the Land of Promise or the Promised Paradise more than 10 years ago. They were disappointed in the paradise so they decided to go back home. About 900 of their total number of 1,200 have left Israel for India. They suffered segregation and racial persecution in Israel. Their Judaism was considered incomplete so they were not allowed to get jobs and earn a decent living. Some other minorities in Israel consisting of Druze, Arab Christians and others have also suffered religious persecution. Some Zionists expect that by 2048 (the centennial anniversary) Israel will either be a country with a Jewish minority or will vanish altogether.

The great diversity in the social fabric of the Jews and their natural seclusion from the society in which they live has made them a heterogeneous community in the land of Palestine to which they have no historic or religious right.                                    


Hassan Tahsin is an Egyptian writer and political analyst. He can be reached at

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