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Many Israelis are looking to relocate abroad, alarmed by the political direction of their nation

By 03/21/2023 11:26 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Next month, Daniel Schleider and his wife, Lior, will say goodbye to Israel forever with broken hearts.

Schleider, born in Mexico and spent some time living in Israel as a child before returning to Mexico on his own at 18, said, “I have no doubt I will have tears in my eyes the whole flight.” He served in an Israeli army combat unit, married an Israeli, and established a job in an Israeli business while describing himself as “very Zionist.”

Schleider found himself making travel plans and finding housing in Barcelona as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retook office, assembled a coalition that included far-right parties, and began promoting policies that would undermine the pillars of Israeli democracy.

“The economy we established by selling our minds,” Schleider remarked of Israel’s 75-year history, “and yet, in less than half a year, we’ve managed to ruin all that.”

In opposition to the new right-wing administration’s attempts to curtail the Israeli judiciary’s authority and independence, Schleider has been participating in the widespread demonstrations nationwide.

He thought about returning to his homeland and standing up to the changes rather than running away from them, but he also concedes the government’s claim that the majority of Israelis supported a position he didn’t help.

When asked about the protests, he remarked, “I have a lot of internal strife.” Who am I to challenge what the majority believes?

Schleider is far from the only one who wants to leave Israel this year. Israelis have traditionally left the country for various reasons, such as commercial opportunities or to obtain experience in specific professions, but the number of planned departures now seems to be increasing.

Emigration, or yerida, which means descent in Hebrew, is no longer viewed as a sort of social treachery for a large portion of Israelis.

According to testimonials from dozens of people in various stages of emigrating and from organizations that work to assist them, many people considering emigration were already considering leaving but were motivated by the new government.

“But with all the madness and everything in the last year, I saw where the country was going. And following the most recent elections, my wife—who had been resistant—took the initiative and declared that she now knew where the public was going and what life would be like in the nation.

He responded, “You could say the straw broke the camel’s back.

When the [judicial] revolution problem first arose, we just acted right away rather than waiting.

Since Justice Minister Yariv Levin initially unveiled his proposal for judicial reform in January, Ocean Relocation, which helps persons with immigration to and emigration from Israel, has received more than 100 requests each day from people wishing to leave.

According to senior manager Shay Obazanek, there is a fourfold increase in queries from the previous year.

Obazanek asserted that the demand was unprecedented in history and used the company’s 80 years of experience as a “barometer” of international travel.

Those seeking to relocate come from all facets of society, according to Shlomit Drenger, who oversees business development for Ocean Relocation.

These include those investing in foreign real estate as a potential future shelter, families being forced to leave because of the political climate, and Israelis who can work remotely and are concerned about the instability in their nation.

Economic issues are also a concern: With corporations reluctant to invest in Israel, foreign investors expressing grave warnings about the economy if the judicial reforms pass, and the shekel already weakening, it could become more expensive to leave.

According to Drenger, Europe is now the most popular destination for new arrivals, accounting for 70% of transfers, up from 40% in recent years.

The benefits of living in Europe include its practical time zones, high quality-of-life ratings, and, most importantly, the relative simplicity with which foreign passports may now be obtained in recent years in nations like Portugal, Poland, and even Morocco.

Because their ancestors were forced to flee under pressure during the Holocaust or the Spanish Inquisition, many Israelis with roots in those nations currently have or once held citizenship.

However, Drenger noted that immigration to the United States, where the vast bulk of Israel’s 1 million overseas citizens resides, has drastically decreased.

Even those without the right to a foreign passport find it simpler to get residency rights in Europe than in the United States, notorious for its strict immigration regulations and high cost of living in regions with sizable Israeli and Jewish communities.

Some Israelis don’t choose a particular destination before departing. Ofer Stern, 40, left Israel, gave up his work as a tech developer, and is currently traveling before deciding where to stay.


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bobby bracros

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