Majority of Israelis Prefer EU to Home

Three-quarters of Israelis want to be in the EU and more than a tenth would like to relocate to Europe if they were granted EU citizenship, according to an opinion poll cited by The Independent.

Majority of Israelis Prefer EU to Home

The poll, commissioned by the German political foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, said that most Israelis have a startlingly positive view of the EU.

It said Israelis over the age of 51 are especially positive about the European countries.

Britain and Germany ranked as the most favorable European states for the Israelis. France was the least popular with 61 percent of those polled saying they disliked France.

The poll said that 76% of Israelis also cited foreign policy as among the prime reasons for their preference of the EU.

It said that high approvals of Britain among the Israelis may be attributed to the widespread perception of British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a friend of Israel.

The survey found that most older Israelis no longer associated Germany with "the dark chapter" of its past, in reference to the Nazi era.

Of the world's estimated 13 million Jews, nearly 5.2 million live in Israel.

According to the figures of Israelis Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, there are currently 700,000 people with Israeli citizenship living outside Israel, mostly in North America.

Relocate

The poll showed that 11% of Israelis want to relocate to Europe.

The survey said that most Israelis cited EU's belief in the rule of law, human rights and protection of minorities as good reasons for preferring Europe.

The poll showed that half of the Israelis said they visited Europe in the past three years.

The survey, however, showed that Israeli Arabs were less inclined to leave for Europe than Jews.

Germany's Deutsche Welle had reported that the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv was striving to cope with a sweeping number of Israelis, young and old, applying for a Polish passport, opting for a better life back in their native country.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported on Tuesday, February 20, that only 19,264 people immigrated to Israel in 2006, down nine percent from 2005.

It is the lowest number of immigrants recorded since 1988.

Nearly three million people have immigrated to Israel since the country's founding in 1948, roughly one third of which immigrated during the 1990s.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, since 2002 — the year in which the major wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union came to an end — there has been a consistent downward trend in immigration.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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