Why Is Leaving Israel Not Patriotic but Obtaining a Foreign Passport Is?
(Wikimedia Commons)

Why Is Leaving Israel Not Patriotic but Obtaining a Foreign Passport Is?

Ma’ariv, Israel, November 18

Want to escape and don’t know where to? Stressed out? Did the election results make you uncomfortable and give you the feeling that there’s no future here? The data tells us that one thing is likely to help you: getting on a flight and going abroad. It seems as if Israelis are the most traveled people in existence. It is therefore not surprising that we encounter the Hebrew language in every corner of the globe. Call it escapism, call it denial, Israelis love to fly – and that’s a fact. Since the results of the last election became known, there has been a lot of chitchat about those Israelis who want to leave the country for a better and less corrupt future elsewhere. And even though these individuals received a barrage of criticism regarding such a non-patriotic and non-Zionist act, no one thought to mention the Portuguese passport industry that makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from Israelis who seek to obtain a coveted passport. The Portuguese Ministry of Justice revealed that tens of thousands of descendants of Spanish deportees in Israel have already received citizenship. In the last seven years alone, Spain has granted citizenship to 56,685 descendants of Spaniards. The Spanish government still has more than 80,000 applications waiting in line so, in total, more than 137,000 applications for Portuguese passports have been received since 2015. Based on this data, it can be concluded that preparing to leave is allowed – but leaving isn’t. For God’s sake, people hire special companies to find their great-great-grandfather’s birth certificates in a remote village in Romania. I can’t think of any other country where ordinary citizens “arm” themselves with foreign passports in preparation for doomsday. Here in Israel, it is considered common sense. And despite all of this, not everyone is in a hurry to leave. Leaving requires a lot of resources and energy. Therefore, the best compromise is a short trip abroad, frequently. Israelis really do travel a lot. Almost a million Israelis flew abroad in September – more than before the outbreak of COVID-19. In May 2022, there were roughly 700,000 departures of Israelis abroad compared to 656,000 in May 2019. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, of the 700,000 Israelis who went abroad, roughly 610,000 did so by air, 70,000 by land, and the remaining passengers left the country on cruises. Yes, the Israelis have already forgotten about the coronavirus and are making up for the time they lost while being locked up at home. In a reality where a vacation in Prague is cheaper than a bed and breakfast in the Galilee, a grocery haul in Berlin costs half as much as it does in Tel Aviv, and there are dozens of options for trips in nature, who can blame them? So, fly. Fly like there’s no tomorrow. Just don’t forget to ultimately come back home, because otherwise, we’ll get really angry. – Sharon Luxenburg (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
The Media Line
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.