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Israeli fears fuel demand for foreign passports

Worried over the state's future, Israelis are keener than ever to obtain dual-citizenship, says a university study

Saleh Naami , Saturday 4 Jun 2011
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A recent Israeli study has shown citizens keener than ever to obtain foreign passports, in an apparent sign of doubts as to the ability of the state to survive given current circumstances. 

 
The study, undertaken by Bar Illan university and published by NGO Eretz Ahiret ('A Different Place'), says that 7,000 Israelis succeed in getting a second, foreign passport each year. The number of citizens who apply for passports but are declined is several times higher, it adds.
 
The figures show Israeli demand for second passports is now at an all-time high.
 
An estimated 70 per cent of Israelis are thought to have a second passport, with Germany the most favoured place for alternative citizenship -- a surprising sign, seemingly at odds with Zionist and Israeli history. German officials say that more than 70,000 such passports have been granted since 2000.
 
Many Israelis have openly stated they are seeking second citizenship to buttress fears of a total collapse of the state. Dual-citizenship could be a vital tool in time of need, acting as a kind of insurance policy.
 
Abraham Borg, former head of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, was recently seen showing off his German passport to colleagues. This was condemned by the current head of the Knesset who issued a verbal warning against such behaviour.
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