Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Ben-Gurion International Airport. Photo by Dan Keinan
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Only two out of 100 Jewish Israelis consider emigrating "a reasonable option," according to a new survey published on Monday. About 20 percent said they see leaving Israel as an option, while nearly 80 percent said they do not intent to move.

According to the survey, conducted by the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, 44 percent of Jewish Israelis have never considered emigrating and 35 percent have thought about it "but would never do it." Intentions to leave the country are higher among younger Israelis and decrease with age, the survey found. Only 4 percent of citizens older than 60 are considering emigration as a viable option, compared with 31 percent in the 18 to 29 age group.

The survey, which the ministry conducted over the Sukkot holiday to examine public attitudes to life in Israel, assimilation and Israel-Diaspora relations, found that 45 percent of Jewish Israelis would marry a non-Jew if they had fallen in love. Nearly 60 percent of female respondents said they wouldn't enter into a relationship with a gentile, while only 52 percent of the men said so. About 70 percent said "assimilation is a danger for the Jewish people's survival."

"The phenomenon of assimilation is a worrying trend," Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein said. "In my opinion the statistics are even higher in reality than what is represented in the survey. Only strengthening ties with Israel, visits to Israel and Jewish education of communities abroad will help to maintain the people of Israel for generations to come."

The survey, conducted through an online sample of 501 respondents aged 18 to 65, also showed that 68 percent of Israeli Jews believe that the "Jews in the Diaspora do not have a right to criticize Israel." More than three quarters of respondents said Jews outside Israel should not have the right to vote here. Over 80 percent said it was the Israeli government's "duty" to protect them from anti-Semitism.