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Israelis Ditch Country In Record Numbers — Outnumbering Immigrants

Israelis are exiting the country in record numbers as tensions heat up, with double the number of citizens leaving the country as returning from long-term spells abroad.

According to Israel’s Bureau of Statistics, 16,700 Israelis left the country for periods of a year or more, while 8,500 people returned from a long-term stay in another nation.

That net record of people exiting sets a six-year record – for the first time since 2009, more Israelis ditched the country than returned.

This seems correlated to political instability, with the so-called “knife intifada” in 2015 and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza happening during the spikes in leave-taking.

Israelis leaving their country permanently are said to be making yerida, or “descent,” the opposite of immigration to Israel, known as aliyah or “ascent.”

According to Haaretz, more than 700,000 Israelis have emigrated from their homeland since the War of Independence in 1948.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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