As Israeli government seeks judicial overhaul, citizens look for ways to relocate
As tens of thousands of Israelis continue to join weekly demonstrations over the government’s controversial plans to limit the power of the Supreme Court, as many as one in three citizens is thinking of moving to another country, a poll suggests.
A leading Israeli radiologist, Professor Chen Hofmann, is one of them. Together with his wife and their children, he is now in the process of moving to a hospital in the UK. The doctor is also trying to pursuade other members of his family to consider leaving the country.
Protesters believe the government’s plans to change the justice system endanger democracy. But the country’s hard-line governing coalition argues its actions enhance democracy, by fixing a system in which elected politicians are too easily overruled.
Although trends Suggest People Wishing To Relocate Usually Abandon Their Plans …
Israeli relocation experts say they have lately been witnessing a major spike in business. “We want to move to another country, how do we start the process?” says Shay Obazanek from Ocean Relocation, highlighting a dramatic increase in the demand for information.
Additionally, rising living costs and the possible negative economic fallout of the judicial overhaul are also encouraging scores of Israelis to leave. But international trends suggest most people who wish to emigrate for political reasons end up abandoning their plans.
In Israel, however, the recent political crisis has opened up deep social divisions and raised alarm about shifting demographics. An increasing number of Israelis fear a weakened judicial system will not be able to protect their civil rights.
An Exodus Could Wreck Havoc In Israel
Professor Alon Tal from Tel Aviv University warns an exodus, if it happens, could bring in devastation to Israel, with a disproportionate impact on vital sectors like medicine and academia. It could lead to “a collapse, an economic collapse,” he says.
A new survey shows over a third of young Israeli doctors and medical students are planning to leave the country soon. Amid the already existing shortage of doctors, “so, if you know, even 5% will not come back, it will be a disaster,” Professor Hoffman noted.