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Third of Russian immigrants prefer not to serve in IDF
30 January 2007
Survey reveals sense of alienation among young Israeli adults from former Soviet Union. Many do not want to serve in the army and would prefer to live elsewhere
44 percent of immigrants from the former Soviet Union in high schools would prefer living somewhere else, especially in the United States or Europe.
A survey conducted among immigrants in Israeli schools revealed that 33 percent of immigrants from the former Soviet Union in junior high schools, and 44 percent of those in high schools would prefer living somewhere else, especially in the United States or Europe.
Most youth suffer from depression, low self esteem and other problems typical of young adults; however these problems are worsened for the immigrants from the former Soviet Union as they also suffer from feelings of loneliness and alienation.
The survey, conducted by the Gartner Group in cooperation with "Health Plus for Immigrant Youth," an NGO that deals with the health of immigrant youth, reveals that these feelings also thwart the young immigrants' motivation to enlist in the army: 39 percent of immigrants in junior high schools and 30 percent of immigrants in high schools prefer not to serve in the army.
39 percent of immigrants in junior high schools and 30 percent of immigrants in high schools prefer not to serve in the army.
No Israeli friends
Over half the girls and one fifth of the boys said that they had no Israeli friends. Seventy-five percent said they only go out to Russian hangouts and 43 percent think that Israelis probably prefer them not to be here at all.
The difficulties in their absorption in Israel push many of the young adults to smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. According to the survey, 30 percent of the female students and 16 percent of the male students reported that they smoke cigarettes.
Twenty to 57 percent (depending on the location in Israel) reported drinking alcohol once to several times a week. Over half the respondents know one person who uses drugs and nine percent have been summoned to the police.
"We define approximately half of the normative youth in the school system as a borderline group that , under certain circumstances, could easily cross over to the high risk group, says Dr. Margarita Primowitz, manager of "Health Plus for Immigrant Youth."
They live in their own little world in Israel. They even have their own TV channel - and sub-titles are in Russian. It's like they are taking over. I read somewhere that 65% of Russians in Israel are not Jewish, that's why they do not want to serve in the army. They have no love or deep roots for this Jewish State. I remember them flocking here in the mid- ninties, collecting thousands of shekels at the airport and going off to buy a car, without having the money for gas. They didn't have to come, but they did. OK, even if the reason was that they got 35,000 shekels at the airport, they still came. You took the money, do your friggin army service, give something back.
Comment left by an Israeli zionist on the newspapers website
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