Jewish exodus threatens Israel

Alarm over emigration levels is growing among Israel’s political leadership as the country’s Jews seek to escape the violence in the country and the deepening recession.

“Israel is falling apart and enough is enough” said Ms. Shalev, who works for a delivery service in Tel Aviv.

“I feel betrayed,” said Hila, 37, whose husband, Dror, is also 37. “I don’t want to raise my children in such a brutal society. … My grandparents had such high ideals. What has become of Israel makes me so sad and bitter.”

“There is big concern about what is happening,” says Michael Jankelowitz, a spokesman for the Jewish Agency, a government body responsible for bringing Jews to Israel. “This is why finding a peaceful resolution is so important. At the moment people do not see a solution and this is the tragedy. The insecurity drives them crazy. It’s like Russian roulette ? you don’t know when it is going to hit you.”

The government wants to bring another million Jews to Israel by 2010. Yet figures released by the ministry responsible for helping new immigrants show that an estimated 760,000 Israelis are living abroad, up from 550,000 in 2000.
Just 23,000 people are expected to move to Israel this year, the lowest figure since 1989.
A quarter of the Americans who have come to Israel since 1989 have left.
Many families are heading for Canada. So far 6,000 Israelis have moved there this year, double last year’s total.

Demographers have warned that at the present rate, Jews will become a minority in Israel and the occupied territories within 20 years.

Read the full article: Jewish exodus threatens state’s composition.

Another interesting link: Ta’ayush (Arab Jewish Partnership).

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