Wednesday, October 25

Half of Palestinians under 30 would leave Israel if Given a Chance

According to the Christian Science Monitor, "a growing number of Palestinians are openly saying they'd like to leave the West Bank and Gaza if given the chance, raising concern about the possibility of a Palestinian brain drain. The sentiment, which flouts the long-held Palestinian belief that Israeli occupation can only be resisted by staying put, is yet another indication of the deepening despair since Hamas was elected to run the government.

Birzeit University pollster Nader Said, who has monitored emigration attitudes for 12 years, says the percentage of Palestinians willing to relocate once hovered just below 20 percent. When that figure jumped to 32 percent in a September survey, Mr. Said says he was shocked.

Even more telling, adds Said, is that the percentage surges to 44 percent among Palestinians in their 20s and 30s. Among young men, it surges beyond 50 percent.

Malik Shawwa, a consultant specializing in obtaining Canadian visas, says his workload has jumped by two-thirds over the past seven months as more Palestinians ask about leaving. "This is the most important subject in the Palestinian territories," he says. "It's not just a matter of a lack of jobs. It's the situation. They're not secure. They don't trust the government."

It seems to me encouraging Arab emigration from Israel is a better approach than trying to retreat from every area with a large Arab population and forcibly deporting Jews tearing Israel apart. Arabs when given a chance would choose the good life in Europe and Europe seems to want them anyway. It's a match made in heaven or hell.

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