Institute of Public Opinion Research of Israel (PORI) at the request of the editorial NEWSru.co.il conducted a new large-scale scientific study on the theme «Identity, culture and political preferences of Russian-speaking Israelis».
In total, in the survey, which was conducted by classroom interviews in February and March of 2017, participated 1.090 Russian-speaking respondents who arrived in Israel in 1988-2017.
We published four material results of these studies. The first publication was devoted to the political preferences of Russian-speaking Israelis in General. The second publication described how Russian-speaking Israelis appreciate the activity of the Cabinet of Ministers and Knesset members. The third publication was devoted to a special category of new immigrants in recent years (the years of repatriation from 2013 to 2017). The fourth publication was highlighted in the results of the so-called «half-generation».
We are completing a publication on this topic by comments by two scientists who observed the study, representatives of the «big aliyah» and «new wave» of immigrants – Professor Zeev Khanin and Professor Nikolai Golubev. For the preparation of the review we will provide specialists with not only our publications, but the basic materials research. Both were invited as observers at the focus group with representatives of the new wave of aliyah.
Review of ze’ev Khanin – Ariel University and Bar-Ilan University, chief scientist of the Ministry of aliyah and integration
The study was designed to evaluate the identity, socio-cultural orientation and political preferences of Russian-speaking Israelis, after two years after the elections to the Knesset, 20th convocation. Sociological analysis of the results of the survey allows to come to several important conclusions regarding this group – especially in comparison with similar surveys conducted one year and two years ago. And for the first time, as far as I can tell, to define methods of quantitative analysis, socio-cultural portrait of the last wave of aliyah from the former Soviet Union 2014-2017, which has brought to Israel more than 43 thousand new citizens.
Based on the data of the CSB of Israel and Ministry of aliyah and integration (absorption), as of March 1, 2017, and the overall electoral potential of the natives of the former USSR who arrived in Israel from 1989 to the end of February 2017, is now about 18 seats (out of 120). In past years, the standard for Russian-speaking Israelis with the level of voting was about, or slightly over 70% (roughly 15-18%, as a rule, do not vote, and just over 10% live permanently abroad), which is slightly higher than the national average (62-65%). In this case, the community has additionally won an average of one mandate. However, in the elections of 2003, 2013 and 2015 were lowered, in comparison with other groups of voters, the level of political activity that resulted in the loss of about two-three mandates from the base of the electoral potential of the community.
Judging by the obtained in the course of this study data, the main favorites of the «Russian street» today there are two center-right parties of the coalition – Yisrael Beiteinu and Likud, which, had the election today, would have supported respectively about one third and a quarter of potential voters in this category. In terms of mandates, gives the corresponding 6 seats in the Knesset Yisrael Beiteinu and 4-4,5 seats the Likud. In the end, the current status of these parties is roughly equivalent to the support that Russian-speaking Israelis gave them in the last election in March 2015.
«Russian» potential centrist party «Yesh Atid», judging by the percentage of respondents who are willing to support it, had the election today, compared to the previous elections has almost doubled (12%, or slightly more than 2 seats). Moreover, the previous poll jump of popularity of this party in the Russian street is not recorded.
About a single «Russian» mandate (4,5%), might today – just as it happened two years ago to block the «Bayt Yehudi», which means some positive correction of the potential of this list on the «Russian street» compared to a survey conducted by the same method in the fall of 2015.
The other two visible on the «Russian street» parties – the opposition center-left bloc «Zionist camp» coalition and the «Kulanu», which plays in this cadence the role of another «party center», on the contrary, dipped in half compared to the previous survey and nearly double in comparison with the results of previous elections. (The same trend, judging by the polls, specific to those parties and in Israeli scale). And so today, in the community scenario, both parties can expect little more than a half of one «Russian» mandate each.
Finally, the protest potential of the «Russian street» today as two years ago, represented a modest 2% of potential voters of the party of the fighters for the legalization of soft drugs «Ale Yarok». Because these moods exposed most often young people, should not be surprising that among respondents 18-24 years of this party is shared with the Yisrael Beiteinu is the third most popular place. However, the chances that these sentiments transformirovalsya on the ballot papers too much, because in practice the potential for protest of a significant part of this group is that its representatives on election day do not reach the polling stations.
The other parties in the Russian community of Israel, as usual, have virtually no chance. (We note parenthetically that we should consider the phenomenon of SHAS, as a rule, without admitting his sympathy for of which in surveys, immigrants from the former Soviet Union in the first place, its Central Asian and Caucasian republics, still give this social-populist Sephardi party in the elections of one-third to almost a mandate.)
In this survey of noteworthy and also well-known to sociologists, the phenomenon of «correction» by the respondents of their past choices when answering questions about voting patterns in accordance with their current attitude to their chosen parties. (Which should rather be interpreted as a Declaration of current than of past sentiment.) Thus, the proportion of respondents who said that they in the last election voted for the Likud party, was equal, «Yesh Atid» – more, and for the rest of the party is less than the actual share of votes received by these parties on the day of elections to the Knesset of the 20th convocation. That means: most presented at the «Russian street» parties still in control — of their constituents, but they are «attracted» the electorate is moved, as happens in electoral off-season, in the «standby» – for the most part, apparently, are among the approximately a fifth of respondents who are not undecided or believe that today would not go to the polls.
And the last important fact. The opportunity to vote for a new «Russian», a purely sectoral party, if available, will appear before the election, despite the fact that abstract the popularity of this idea compared with a survey conducted three years ago, almost doubled, in practice declares less than 1% of respondents Russian-speaking respondents. Which of course, makes this project promising from the point of view of passing the electoral barrier. But, however, does not preclude the emergence of those who attempt such a project to start – if not just to walk in the Knesset, at least, to «drown» a number of «Russian vote», not allowing them to master competitors.
What concerns the «Russian Israelis»?
Judging by the results of this survey, the election, if held today, would pass on the «Russian street» under the auspices of two issues – the economy and security. Of all the issues on the agenda of the government of Israel, among Russian-speaking Israelis by far the leading issues of the economy and well-being (quality of life, employment stability, availability of services, pension issues, etc.) – this item was chosen almost two-thirds of respondents. Moreover, young people 25-34 years old (age at marriage and the first children in the family) gave this subject much more attention than the average for the sample. They, together with young people aged 18-24 years also more often stated the need to solve the housing problem in the community rating firmly holds the second place.
However, about the same percentage of those (40%) who insisted on the immediate destruction of Hamas and the Palestinian Arab terror as a whole – almost four times the proportion of those who believed that the government should first make efforts to reach agreement with Palestinian leaders. Moreover, among the supporters for the speedy elimination of the threat of Palestinian terror were leading representatives of the «early» and «intermediate» middle-aged 35-54 years, probably largely decided their basic socio-economic problems, but has not yet entered into the stage of pre-retirement and retirement worries. And fourth place in the ranking – albeit with a large margin from the previous one – took the theme of suppression of the Iranian threat.
Civil Affairs, which, according to established journalistic stereotype, mainly concerned about the «Russian street» is expected to seriously lag behind the economy and security. Although in the overall «package of issues» and came in third place: such topics as «the struggle against religious domination», promotion of civil marriages, the fight against crime and corruption, «the call to the IDF of all citizens,» education reform and «suppression of disloyalty of Israeli Arabs», attracted a high priority of 10-15%. Age differences here were minor – except that respondents «intermediate» middle-aged (45-54 years) whose youngest children are graduating from school, and the older – served, receive or have received postsecondary education and are preparing or have already started their families, and a half-two times more often than the average for the sample believed that the government should give priority to the issues of the relationship of state and religion and the reform of school education.
Problems of international relations of Israel – the restoration of trust with the United States, the establishment of diplomatic relations with the moderate Arab countries and development of partnership with Russia and other former Soviet countries – gathered immediate support from 3 to 10% of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Which in this sense do not differ much from Israeli society in General. It proves once again has repeatedly voiced the thesis that political culture and identity of the «Russian Israeli» to a much greater extent is the product of a local experience than «Soviet» and «post-Soviet heritage.»
A comparable balance of interests was observed among the most recent wave of aliyah from the former Soviet Union, where economic issues clear and understandable, concern even more than the rest of the group of Russian-speaking Israelis. The beginning of this new wave of aliyah at the turn of 2013 and 2014, which as of the end of March 2017 brought to Israel tens of thousands of new citizens (more than 45% from Ukraine and more than 40% from Russia) was accompanied by a lively discussion in the information space about the structure and nature of this group, its ability to influence local society – if not demographically (which, given that it is not more than 5% of the «Russian Israeli» and less than 1% of the Jewish community of the country as a whole, it is hardly possible), ideologically and culturally. In any case, the established media stereotype almost formed a relationship to the wave as a welcome to the new creative generation of Russian-speaking immigrants. Which, compared with the previous wave of aliyah «zero» and the beginning of the decade, differs substantially higher proportion of people from big cities.
The study largely and to answer the many intriguing question to what extent these stereotypes, expectations and hopes correspond to the real picture. The obtained data allow to dissipate first stereotype is that «new post-Soviet aliyah», in virtue of their «westernunionnet» and orientation to left-liberal European standards directly from the plane falls into the arms of the Israeli left camp or demonstrates fashionable among the intelligentsia of Moscow and St. Petersburg «escapist» trend. Their interest in Israeli politics as a whole corresponds to average values for the community of immigrants from the former USSR (note that the level of knowledge and understanding of it among members of aliyah is higher than would be expected from the newcomers – affects the high level of interaction between the Jews of the former USSR and the «Russian» Israel of the past two decades).
Plots which in theory should attract attention of the civil liberals – the fight against «religious domination», promotion of civil marriages, civil equality, the call «haredim» and of all citizens in the IDF, and other subjects such priority interest of the representatives of the «new aliyah» in half to two times less, and the solution of the housing problem and improving the welfare of the population – new reprints, expected a few more than the community as a whole. The majority of this group is concentrated in the center-right of the political spectrum – which is typical for «Russian Israel as a whole.» Favorites of this new group was Yisrael Beiteinu and Likud. Although and are struggling with the choice, for obvious reasons, there was three times more than in General, among all survey participants.
A critical question is to what extent the «new Aliya» has a community and group identity? The answer is: those who believe the statement that the result of the «great aliyah» in the country there is «Russian» or «Russian Jewish community» an invention of journalists and politicians, interested parties, respondents subsequent wave was twice as less, and those who believe that «such a community is, and it will not disappear in the near future» – a half times more than the average for the sample. Almost 80% of this category of respondents feel their personal membership in such a community, in addition to more than 90% was important to their children and grandchildren speak the Russian language and were familiar with the culture of the countries of origin, however, little differing in this sense from «Russian Israel» in General. Twice the representatives of the «new wave» than the average for the sample, reported that all or almost all of their friends and acquaintances – immigrants themselves from countries b.The USSR or who grew up in Russian speaking families. And finally, many in this category feel the need for the community of its political lobby that, however, does not necessarily mean a willingness to vote for a purely sectoral list.
So, it came to completion for the «Russian ghetto»? Not a fact. 80% of the «new wave» in some extent already feel the Israelis. Compared to previous waves of aliyah, this group differs substantially higher proportion of people from big cities of Russia and Ukraine. But in General, Aliya last 3-4 years is representative of the socio-demographic base of the Jewish population of the former USSR, which was reflected in the study sample. And impact on the outcome.
Review Of Nikolay Golubev – St. Petersburg, Kiryat Yam
I arrived in Israel a little over two years ago, it was very interesting to observe a focus group of new immigrants that was conducted by the PORI Institute. Analyzing the data of sociological survey and discussion, I compared the judgments of the respondents on the judgment quite «young Olimov» from the ulpan where I studied Hebrew. The answers and opinions of my «classmates» are very similar to the opinions and responses of respondents from a survey of PORI.
All the questions and answers I have divided into two groups – social adaptation of new immigrants and the political choice. Other results of the survey have been published in the Israeli press, so to repeat them here. I’ll try to highlight the most painful, in my opinion, point to new citizens of Israel.
The first thing that catches the eye – the new immigrants are mainly from big cities of Ukraine and Russia, a lot of young people from Kiev, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Most of them is well-educated, creative intellectuals, young, enslaved, with a pronounced «European thinking», not once visited other countries.
These people hope to realize in a new country. The judgments of participants in the focus groups, most of the already had experience in various business and intends to use his experience in Israel. Evident that he was confident enough in myself, something they have already obtained in Israel, and they are clearly focused on achieving success.
The main thing for a new immigrant is the motivation for repatriation. For many of the immigrants who arrived in recent years, especially after 2013, the choice of repatriation is determined primarily by economic factors: high standard of living, the opportunity for transparent business, a desire to live in a safe country is to ensure prosperity and a decent life for my family and mostly for young immigrants, to realize themselves. Is that they are unable to and didn’t see it in the future in the country of origin.
To confirm here is the results of the survey: nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) left due to «adverse political situation in the country of origin», one fifth (21%) – due to the lack of personal security, as many (21%) indicated a desire to provide a decent future for their children or grandchildren. It is more than two thirds of the immigrants that were actually pushed out of their country. Participants in the focus groups the same major topic of discussion – the problem of national security, standard of living, including employment, housing issues.
When answering the question «do You intend to leave Israel to another country?» revealed two opposing trends. On the one hand, almost two thirds of respondents (62%) clearly stated they were not going to leave Israel. On the other hand, concern that Israel intends to leave almost 15% of immigrants aged 18 to 34 years. Undecided with the departure of more than 26% of young people aged 18 to 24 years and 15% aged 25 to 34 years. Note that these survey results are similar to data of the CSB of Israel, recently published by the newspaper «gaarets».
There are links between the economic situation and emigration from Israel. The higher the level of employment, and consequently, social well-being of immigrants and more stable economy of Israel and not stable economic situation in the countries of origin, the greater the fall, the level of emigration.
To understand the causes of emigration it is necessary to compare several indicators. The first is the income level of immigrants. Income 33% of respondents from the «new aliyah» incomparably below average (5 thousand NIS.). And among all respondents with the income of 17.5%. Almost as many (30%) have an income slightly below average (5 to 8 thousand NIS.) and below average at 27 %. If these numbers are to summed, we get that 90% of the new immigrants «the last wave» have an income below the average income of Israelis. This is one of the major reasons, which forms the motivation of young immigrants on departure from Israel. Not accidentally, almost two-thirds of Russian-speaking Israelis allocate income as an important problem.
Immigrants of the «new wave» I know about the problems of aliyah of the 90-ies. But they are ready to defend their rights and do not wish to accept any job, do not believe in the containment of the «glass ceiling». It can be assumed that the elimination of this «ceiling» is the major factor for changes in social well-being of returnees.
If the sum of the problems concerning the social sphere, and the «new wave», and my «classmates» most concerned about is also the differences in mentality between the new immigrants and the native-born population, lower income levels and problems with social housing.
I also think it’s important the ratio of returnees to education. Despite the fact that in the survey there are no direct questions relating to satisfaction with the education system in Israel, for immigrants, this topic is relevant and there is interest in receiving worthy education. In the survey there are some questions, answers to which can be clearly seen the value and importance of education: «the Desire to provide a better future for their children/grandchildren» – the average value of 16% , paying immigrants, the average of about 30%. When answering the question, «to mention three major problems you had to face in Israel,» education allocate 32% of the paid part of the «new aliyah», who lived more than 5 years – 35%. The answers to the question «What are the three main problems the representatives of the returnees should promote in the government and the Knesset in the first place?» improving the quality of schooling is among the significant, second only to issues of national security and the housing problem, and can be compared in importance with such matters as employment, relationships with government and religion.
The participants in the focus groups said they would vote for a party which, primarily, will focus on issues such as housing prices, the standard of living, education, children’s issues, corruption, bureaucracy, modernization of the country as a whole. At the same time, the safety and necessity of the fight against terror was called among the priority tasks facing the government.
I don’t think that new immigrants so important to the political position of the party – right, left or centrist. For them, the important two characteristics. First – the identity of the leader of the party, second, that the leader can do for immigrants.
Netanyahu, according to many respondents, is quite a reasonable policy. You can trace the link between welfare and support for Netanyahu. The more affluent are more willing to support the Prime Minister (40%), the Prime Minister is more interesting to returnees with a master’s degree and doctoral degree, such in the survey more than 30%. Respondents with an average or below average earnings more likely to put their vote for Lieberman. Very typical responses to the question «Who are the politicians you would prefer to see as Prime Minister?» Lieberman is ready to support about 50% of respondents aged more than 55 years of age and older. And Netanyahu and Lieberman received the support of more than a quarter of respondents each (27% and 28%, respectively). The participants of the focus groups talked about the sympathy for the party Lapid and Razvozov («Yesh Atid»).
Immigrants of the «new wave» in something different from people of the «great aliyah». They lack the «Soviet mentality» more informed about life in other countries thanks to the Internet and my own trips around the world participated in the turbulent political life of countries and no longer believe in empty promises of party leaders, who want to be elected to the leadership of the country. But the similarities between the representatives of the two «waves» of repatriation more than the differences. Demonstrated by the study of PORI.
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