Good news out of Israel

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Nov 20 12:08:38 MST 2003

Israelis leave their land, forced out by a battered economy and years of
By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem
20 November 2003

Jean Max emigrated from Britain to Israel in 1970 as a committed
Zionist. Her three children were born and grew up in Israel. But since
they reached adulthood, all three have left for new lives in the United

And Ms Max, now divorced, is planning to follow them. Her American visa
has arrived, she is going to Boston, where her daughter lives, to look
for work. If she finds it, she is leaving Israel after 33 years.

Ms Max and her family are part of a growing phenomenon that has the
Israeli political establishment worried. New figures from the
Immigration and Absorption Ministry stunned the establishment. Those
figures show 760,000 Israeli citizens now live abroad. The ministry says
its figures are an informal estimate, based on research by Israeli
embassies around the world.

Even so, for a country of just 6,600,000, it is a large number. But the
big surprise was the growth in the number of Israelis living abroad: in
2000, it was 550,000. That increase has undoubtedly been fuelled by the
suicide bombings and other attacks by Palestinian militants over the
past three years, and by the severe recession into which the Israeli
economy has been plunged.



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