Israelis by thousands seek EU passports and dual citizenship

‘Escape path’ eyed amid existential fear

If there is a trend toward seeking a safe haven, there would be several possible explanations.

Israel considers Iran to be an existential threat, charging that its nuclear program threatens Israel as its leaders talk about destruction of the Jewish state. Israel dismisses Iran’s denials.

Domestically, many Israelis are concerned about the growing influence of ultra-Orthodox Jews, especially since many of the men in that rapidly expanding community spend their lives studying scripture and surviving through government handouts. They fear the dampening affect they could have on the liberal aspects of Israeli society, such as nightlife, army service for women and low-key acceptance of gays.

Others are worried about unrest sweeping the Arab world and its potential to threaten Israel, and closer to home, many despair of ever making peace with the Palestinians, facing a long-term existence of attacks, disputes over settlements and international condemnation.

There is internal unrest as well. Tent cities have sprung up all over the country, and hundreds of thousands have demonstrated to protest housing shortages, high prices and poor government services.

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