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Уезжая, Оставаться Собой: Русскоязычные Постизраильские Диаспоры

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Post-Zionist Transnationalism: Towards a Russian-speaking Post-Israeli Diaspora


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Israelis form a unique case in the field of diaspora studies. When the State of Israel was founded in 1948 it was seen as the longed-for end to the wandering and oppression which had characterized the Jewish diaspora over the centuries. For various reasons, however, about ten percent of the Israeli population chooses to live abroad despite the condemnation of those who see emigration as a threat to the ideological, demographic, and moral viability of Israel itself. The rejection of emigration from Israel is a central assumption in all forms of Zionism as a corollary of the «negotiation of diaspora» which was a central tenet of Israeli Zionist education. During the recent years many educated young people, relatively recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union, have emigrated to the West, and also emigration (which could not be described as returning migration) to Russia is now fairly widespread. The employment market in Russia is flexible, and free market policies lead to competition for talented young graduates who enjoy breathtaking opportunities and high salaries, in comparison to Israel. These migration waves create a new phenomenon - the Russian-speaking transnational post-Israeli diaspora. These people feel free to choose, on purely instrumental grounds, their target society - Israel, when conditions seem favorable, Russia, if it seems to offer more, and for the same reasons, the United States or other Western countries. The Russian-speaking post-Israeli immigrants do not aspire to «get home», but rather to reach a place where they can «build a home». The problem of emigration from Israel is far more serious than suggested by previously published data, which concentrated on the extent of emigration, the countries chosen, and the motivation for leaving. Emigrants are not a representative sample of the population. The proportion of well educated individuals among emigrants is significantly greater than this proportion in the overall population. The emigration of the most talented citizens and the slump in immigration is a problem in itself, but it must also be understood as a symptom of a general failure by the State of Israel to create a society capable of attracting and keeping the best and brightest of the Jewish people.



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Bibliographic Information

Эпштейн, Алек Д Уезжая, Оставаться Собой: Русскоязычные Постизраильские Диаспоры. Диаспоры. 2011: 153-167.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-1847