OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The rates of Jewish immigration to occupied Palestine witnessed an unprecedented decline in the first half of 2023, in light of security tensions, the escalation of Palestinian resistance operations in the West Bank, and the internal crises plaguing Israel.
According to data from the Israeli Ministry of Immigration and Absorption and the Jewish Agency, immigration to Palestine fell sharply in the first half of this year, with Jews recruiting about 20% from America and Europe.
According to analysts' estimates, this is due to the escalation of security tension and Palestinian resistance in the occupied West Bank, which caused the death of 29 Israelis, most of them settlers and occupation soldiers, in addition to the plan of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu towards amendments in the judiciary, which made Israel an undesirable destination for immigration.
The figures showed a sharp decline in the number of migrants from countries from which a large number of migrants usually come, especially Ukraine, the United States and France, as well as declines among migrants from Britain, Italy and South Africa, as well as Latin American countries.
According to analysts, the decline in Jewish immigration is due to the escalation of Palestinian resistance and changes in the judicial system (Al Jazeera).
Immigration rates in 2023
According to official data from the Jewish Agency, 29,293 immigrants arrived in Israel in the first half of this year, a decrease of 20% compared to the same period last year.
According to the agency, 78 percent of the new immigrants were brought in from Russia, where the change in the number of immigrants over the years was related to Israel's economic situation, compared to the country of origin of Jewish immigrants.
Immigration from Russia to Israel has risen by almost a third, with 22,851 migrants from Russia arriving in Israel, and immigration from Russia has increased since the war in Ukraine.
In contrast, 1463,88 Ukrainians immigrated to Israel in the same period, a decrease of <>% compared to the same period last year.
The Jewish Agency estimates that the possibility of emigrating from Ukraine may have been exhausted, and that the Jewish population in Ukraine may be lower than previously thought in Israel.
Immigration and Jewish recruitment from the United States has fallen by about a third, with 785 American Jews arriving in Palestine since the beginning of the year, while immigration from France has fallen by 59 percent, with fewer than 400 French people brought into the country in the past six months.
According to official reports, 78% of new immigrants in the first half of 2023 were brought from Russia (Al Jazeera)
Series of failures
Political analyst Bilal Daher attributed the decline in the rate of Jewish immigration to several factors, most notably security tension and the escalation of resistance, as well as internal crises in Israel, especially the crisis of the judiciary law.
Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Daher pointed out that experiences showed that during the second intifada in Palestine and the second war on Lebanon, the immigration of Jews declined significantly, and reached its suspension in some periods, indicating that in 2022 there was a series of failures to absorb immigrants from Ukraine, where some of them were settled in settlements in the West Bank, and "trafficking in some women and employing them in prostitution," as he described.
As for the reasons for the high rates of immigration from Russia, Daher suggested that immigrants from Russia are escaping conscription into the Russian army, or because of what the Jewish Agency described as "the violation of human rights in the country under the regime of Vladimir Putin," and that the deteriorating Russian economy also encourages emigration.
The Israeli government is trying to fill the severe deficit in the labor force through the strategy of bringing Jews from Eastern Europe (Al Jazeera)
Lack of readiness
Uri Carmel, head of the Eretz Ir association, which oversees the project to provide jobs for migrants and employment in the Negev, believes that Israel is not prepared to absorb large numbers of migrants, pointing out that it is not ready to do so, in addition to the escalation of security tension and the exacerbation of internal crises in Israel against the backdrop of changes in the judicial system.
Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Carmel said that despite this, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office recently predicted the arrival of a large wave of immigration of at least 40,<> people from Russia, following the destabilization in Moscow.
He stressed that these estimates are tragic for Israel as it is not prepared and unwilling to bring in and absorb this huge number of migrants, as there are no guarantees to secure their future in the country.
He pointed out that immigration from Russia and Eastern European countries is an important strategy to provide solutions to the Israeli labor market, and to ensure the future of Israel, which suffers from an acute shortage of workers in various fields, especially in basic industries and technology, which indicates the existence of reverse migration among young people and specialists.
He pointed to signs of reverse migration that will expand in the future if the amendments are finally approved in the judiciary, adding that "the successful absorption and recruitment of immigration from Russia in the Negev is more important than ever due to the shortage of technological and engineering professions."
He attributed this to the acute shortage in the Israeli labor market in the Negev and the Galilee, where Israeli industries lack about 15,5 engineers in all disciplines and fields, and the conclusions of the Human Capital in Technology Committee showed that within 100 years there will be a shortage of about <>,<> workers in this field.
The year 2022 recorded record rates of Jewish immigration to Palestine, as about 70,95 immigrants were brought in from <> countries (Al-Jazeera)
Immigration rates in 2022
Last year, there were record rates of Jewish recruitment to Palestine, with some 70,95 immigrants from <> countries recruited.
This represents a record increase in the recruitment of Jewish immigrants for the first time in 23 years, and a sharp jump compared to 2021, during which approximately 28,600 new immigrants arrived in Palestine, with the help of the Jewish Agency and in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Immigration and Absorption.
According to Jewish Agency data, in 2022, 37,364 Jews were brought from Russia, 14,680 from Ukraine, 3500,2049 from America and Canada, 1993,1498 from France, 985 from Belarus, 526,426 from Ethiopia, 356 from Argentina, <> from Britain, <> from South Africa, and <> from Brazil.