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Emigration of settlers from Palestine increases year after year

Israeli statistics indicate that during the past year, there has been a rising number of Jews emigrating from the Palestinian territories occupied since 1948, while the process of bringing in Jews from various areas of the world into the Zionist state is very slow, which demonstrates that the living conditions experienced by Israeli settlers on Palestinian lands are difficult.

Various reasons, including economic, social and other concerns related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the growing security risks of living in a Zionist state, have made life in historic Palestine intolerable for many Jews, who subsequently search for homes in other countries around the world.

The Hebrew newspaper Maariv reported that the Israeli Government now "intends to implement a scheme that involves the transfer of tens of thousands of French Jews to live in Israel".

The newspaper reported last Friday that the implementation of the planned transfer of Jews from France to Israel will occur during the first four months of 2014, according to data compiled by the ministry of diaspora.

The ministry said that this past year has seen the emigration of tens of thousands of Jews to the United States, Britain and Canada, while only three thousand Jews immigrated to Israel.

The newspaper also indicated that a few months ago, the Israeli authorities formed a team concerned with studying the affairs of the Jews in the "diaspora" to understand the reasons behind why Jews immigrate to countries other than the Israel. After completing this study, they came out with the understanding that in order to divert immigration to Israel, they must provide places of work, housing and organise the acceptance of immigrants into Israeli educational institutions.

In order to implement these three tasks, the government plans to take concrete decisions to facilitate the immigration process to Israel, such as the recognition of licenses issued by the French authorities in the areas of health and accounting, and to make it easier for entrepreneurs to further their economic interests in Israel.

According to Maariv, the plan that has been adopted to increase the number of Jewish immigrants annually for the next three years would increase as follows: from 6,000 in 2014, to 12,000 in 2015, to 24,000 in the year 2016.

Political analysts Ibrahim Jaber and Eyad Atallah both note that there are many reasons behind the reluctance of Jews to immigrate to Israel, as well as the rising numbers of emigrants from Israel to countries like America, Europe and Canada.

They explain that the reasons include the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the security risks that beset the Zionist state, social and economic problems, increases in the tax rates, increases in the living costs and a lack of housing for the settlers. All of these pressures come at a time when the occupation authorities are creating a confrontation between the settlers and the Palestinian people by pushing more Israelis into living in the settlements.

Jaber told Al-Istiklal that most immigrants "usually look for money and profit, luxury and a lavish lifestyle, but this has failed in the Israel as a result of it being under fire from the Palestinian resistance and other fronts, such as Iran and Hezbollah."

The flight of Israelis from the Palestinian territories occupied since 1948 started after the establishment of Israel, and continues to escalate, which indicates that the higher the frequency of resistance and armed conflict with Israel the higher the numbers of Jewish emigration.

On the other hand, Jaber talked about economic and social reasons that make Jews flee historic Palestine. Among these are taxes that burden the settlers and the slow annual growth rate, as well as the policy of the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to raise the tax rates in order to end the budget deficit.

He added: "All these policies disturb the Israelis who live in Palestine, and thus they have begun to think of going to other countries that hold stability and chances of a greater future for themselves and their families, leading to a reverse migration."

Jaber also pointed out that the regional situation around Israel is unstable both politically and in regards to security, forcing Israel to adopt a state of high readiness to face any risks which undermine the stability inside the country.

Political analyst Eyad Atallah noted that Israel has reached a critical stage due to the slowing of Jewish immigration to Israel at a time when emigration has increased enormously. He remarked that, "it is clear that there is no preference for Jews to live in the land of Palestine."

Atallah explained to Al-Istiklal that large groups of Jews no longer believe the lies about Jews having an historic right to live in the land of Palestine, so they prefer to stay in the countries that they were born and brought up in, especially since following this venture and moving to Israel may result in one of them losing their life because of the conflict.

The political analyst explained that: "The nature of the Palestinian Israeli conflict and the adherence of Palestinians to their rights and the right of return to the Palestinian territories occupied since 1948, and taking resistance as a strategic choice to liberate Palestine, all form a clear vision for the settlers that they will be living in a state of constant struggle, so they prefer to leave rather than to remain in the defence of something that is not theirs."

Atallah confirmed that as each day passes, the end of Israel draws nearer, and that it will completely end the day when the truth will unfold to all the Israeli settlers in Palestine, who will no longer believe the lie of their entitlement to the land of Palestine. He added that Muslims believe that God has promised them justice, which means that Palestine will return to them.

The author is a Palestinian writer. This is a translation of the Arabic text published by Elestqlal newspaper on 2 January, 2014.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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