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New study: Exodus of educated Israelis is accelerating

Ben Gurion Airport in Israel [file photo]
Ben Gurion Airport in Israel [file photo]

A new report has claimed that an exodus of educated Israelis is accelerating, reported Ynet.

According to the Tel Aviv University-affiliated Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research, Israel “has seen an increase in the emigration of many of its most educated citizens to the United States”.

In the two decades prior to 2016, the number of Israelis acquiring US citizenship or permanent residency rights “rose by a little over 30 per cent”.

Report author Professor Dan Ben-David “says the population leaving came from the segment most crucial to Israel’s success”.

Israeli academics are one example of a sector of those leaving to live abroad. “A whole bunch of Israelis are now (working) at the top American universities, and so much so that you could actually populate completely new departments in Israel with the Israelis who are there,” said Ben-David.

READ: Israel to sell confiscated Palestinian classrooms donated by EU 

One unnamed Israeli researcher based in Texas, claimed that “in the last decade, Israeli governments have bluntly and carelessly prioritized two sectors in society, the settlers and the ultra-religious, over secular working and educated families and individuals”.

“According to the Shoresh Institution’s report, in 2017, 4.5 Israelis that hold academic degrees left for every returning graduate. This was up from a ratio of 2.6 to one in 2014,” Ynet reported.

Bemoaning problems in Israel’s education system, Ben-David said: “Who is going to defend Israel? Who is going to develop the technology to shoot down missiles or (to do) whatever we will need when that comes around, and who is going to pay for all it?”

“It’s not a sustainable situation, and countries (can) fail…We get this opportunity (to live in an independent Jewish state) once every 2,000 years; we need to get it right,” he added.

“We need to worry about where this Titanic is headed,” Ben-David said. “Right now, it’s toward a big iceberg…We can change direction, but we need to get our act together.”

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