REPORTING. ‘It’s an emergency exit’: in Israel, almost a third of the inhabitants say they are ready to leave the country because of the government

Israeli flag in hand, tireless, Inbal joins his friends in yet another rally against the government and its justice reform. They were still thousands to parade Thursday, July 27 in Tel Aviv, despite the vote on Monday of a flagship measure of judicial reform, very controversial, carried by the Israeli Prime Minister. According to a poll, the day after this vote, 28% of Israelis plan to leave their country, worried about current politics.

>> TESTIMONIALS. Israel: protesters fear a “dark future” after the vote of part of the judicial reform of Binyamin Netanyahu

For Inbal and his family, the decision was made even earlier. “On election night, November 1, we saw the results, and that same day my family made the decision to apply for a foreign passport.” This departure is “an emergency exit” for her, who fears an authoritarian drift and an Israel that is becoming less and less secular, while the current government is the most religious in the country’s history.

One million foreign passports

To prepare for these departures, those who do not have one must obtain a foreign passport. Yoshua Pex, a lawyer specializing in naturalization applications, confirms the increase in these applications in recent months,

“Since the last election, it’s very clear. We’ve seen an increase in searches for foreign passports and an increase in applications. Israel is a country of immigrants. A lot of Jews have come from Europe, so there are a lot of interested. Some don’t even qualify but they try anyway.”

While it is estimated that around one million Israelis hold foreign passports, the population and immigration authority says it does not know the departure figures. But on social networks, the trend is clear: more and more groups of Israelis are helping each other prepare for their move. Ophir, who works in high-tech, sees no possible future in Israel.

“My partner and I got married not long ago and we decided that we were definitely not going to continue our life here.”


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“We did everything by the rules, we went to school, we served in the army, we studied, we got jobs, we feed the economy and we end up with a government that puts us spokes in the wheels and we can see that it’s not going to go well. All our plans are falling apart”, deplores the young Israeli. She and her husband managed to obtain a European passport and, like many Israelis, chose Portugal.

Authorities worried

But some departures cause more concern than others. Since the passage of the first law of judicial reform, 3,000 doctors have joined a WhatsApp group to discuss professional opportunities abroad. The Director General of the Ministry of Health held an emergency meeting hoping to convince them to stay.

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