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Israelis Rush for Second Passports

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opednews.com Headlined to None 6/7/11

Fear that religious fanatics from among the more than 600,000 settlers in the West Bank will create civil war and essentially annex pre-1967 Israel and turn Israel more toward an ultra-fascist state.

Centripetal pressures within Israeli society, especially among Russian immigrants who overwhelmingly reject Zionism. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, some one million Jews have come to Israel from the former Soviet Union, enlarging the country's population by 25 percent and forming the largest concentration in the world of Russian Jews. But today, Russian Jews comprise the largest group emigrating from Israel and they have been returning in droves for reasons ranging from opposition to Zionism, discrimination, and broken promises regarding employment and "the good life" in Israel.

Approximately 200,000 or 22% of Russians coming to Israel since 1990 have so far returned to their country.  According to Rabbi Berel Larzar, who has been Russia's chief Rabbi since 2000, "It's absolutely extraordinary how many people are returning. When Jews left, there was no community, no Jewish life. People felt that being Jewish was an historical mistake that happened to their family. Now, they know they can live in Russia as part of a community and they don't need Israel."

No faith in or respect for Israeli leaders, most of whom are considered corrupt.

Feelings of anxiety and guilt that Zionism has hijacked Judaism and that traditional Jewish values are being corrupted.

The increasing difficulty of providing coherent answers to one's children, as they become more educated and aware of their family history, and indeed honesty to oneself, on the question of why families from Europe and elsewhere are living on land and in homes stolen from others who obviously are local and did not come from some other place around the World.

The recent growing appreciation, for many Israelis, significantly abetted by the Internet and the continuing Palestinian resistance, of the compelling and challenging Palestinians' narrative that totally undermines the Zionist clarion of the last century of " A Land without a People for a People without a Land.'

Fear mongering of the political leaders designed to keep citizens supporting the government's policies ranging from the Iranian bomb, the countless "Terrorists" seemingly everywhere and planning another Holocaust, or various existential threats that keep families on edge and concluding that they don't want to raise their children under such conditions.

Explaining that he was speaking as a private citizen and not as a member of Democrats Abroad Israel, New York native Hillel Schenker suggested that Jews who come to Israel "want to make sure that they have the possibility of an alternative to return whence they came."  He added that the "insecurities involved in modern life, and an Israel not yet living at peace with any of its neighbors, have also produced a phenomenon of many Israelis seeking a European passport, based on their family roots, just in case."

Gene Schulman, a Senior American-Jewish fellow at the Switzerland-based Overseas American Academy, put it even more drastically, emphasizing that all Jews are "scared to death of what is probably going to become of Israel even if the U.S. continues its support for it."

Many observers of Israeli society agree that a major, if unexpected recent impetus for Jews to leave Palestine has been the past three months of the Arab Awakening that overturned Israel's key pillars of regional support.

According to Layal,  a Palestinian student from Shatila Camp, who is preparing for the June 5th "Naksa" march to the Blueline in South Lebanon: "What the Zionist occupiers of Palestine saw from Tahir Square in Cairo to Maroun al Ras in South Lebanon has convinced many Israelis that the Arab and Palestinian resistance, while still in its nascence, will develop into a massive and largely peaceful ground swell, such that no amount of weapons or apartheid administration can insure a Zionist future in Palestine. They are right to seek alternative places to raise their families."

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I have always been astonished by the way that Isra... by Colin Smith on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 at 11:27:29 AM