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Israel: 80% of citizens living abroad do not intend to return

March 20, 2024 at 12:30 pm

Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, 30 March 2017 [lleewu/Flickr]

A recent survey among Israelis living abroad conducted by the Hebrew University on the initiative of the World Zionist Organisation revealed that 80 per cent of respondents said that they do not intend to return to Israel, despite feeling unsafe in their current countries of residence.

According to the Knesset (parliament) website, the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs convened on Tuesday to discuss the issue of Israelis in the diaspora since the events on 7 October.

“Seventy per cent of those polled reported that they have significantly changed their behaviour in public since 7 October,” said the survey report. “They are more reluctant to display Jewish symbols or speak in Hebrew, they remove the mezuzahs from their doorposts, they tend to go out less and meet less frequently in city centres.”

It added that 44 per cent of respondents considered enhancing their self-defence capabilities. “They cited the purchase of a firearm, carrying pepper spray or tear gas, installing security cameras in their homes or taking Krav Maga [martial art] lessons as the preferred means for achieving this goal.”

Committee Chairman Oded Forer MK said that, “The State of Israel has to take the appropriate measures to eradicate the anti-Semitism phenomenon around the world. Unfortunately, currently there is no government plan that deals with the communities of Israelis abroad.”

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