EUROPE - Jewish Leaders Not Worried About Emigrating to Israel

Arno Froese

Despite increasing concern about rising antisemitism, the large majority of Jewish leaders and decision makers in Europe are not considering emigrating from the continent, a new poll has shown.

This is the fourth such poll conducted by the JDC-ICCD and was conducted in April and May of this year, with the others done in 2008, 2011 and 2015.

The JDC-ICCD poll was taken on 893 respondents from 29 countries in 10 languages with a margin of error of under 5%.

The study was conducted on Jewish leaders from across Europe, including heads of Jewish organizations, rabbis, principals of Jewish schools, Jewish education professionals, young activists, community media, intellectuals, academics and significant donors to these communities.

Of those polled, 83% said they felt safe or rather safe and 17% said somewhat or not at all safe. Although still high, these figures represent a decline from the first poll in 2008 when 92% of those polled said they felt safe.

There was, however, a significant regional split in the perception of security and safety concerns between Jewish leaders in Western and Eastern Europe, with 63% of those in the West ranking antisemitism as a serious threat compared to 38% in the East, and 47% of Westerners ranking terrorism and violence against Jews as a serious threat compared to just 22% of Easterners.

Of those considering emigration, two thirds (67%) said they would move to Israel, 15% to another European country and 15% said they would move to North America.

Project director Marcelo Dimenstein said that despite the rising concern with antisemitism in Europe, especially Western Europe, it is not state-sponsored and governments have publicly committed to fighting the phenomenon.

“People believe they can live a full Jewish life in Europe, so they see no reason to emigrate,” he said., 20 November 2018

Arno's commentary

This latest poll shows somewhat of a brake on European Jews leaving Europe for Israel. This, of course, had occurred repeatedly during the last seven decades; it usually happens when there is some crime or atrocity committed due to outright antisemitism.

What does the Bible say? Here the words of Ezekiel 39:27-29 are noteworthy: “When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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