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In 2021, American immigrants again moved to settlements far more than other arrivals

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American immigrants moved to West Bank settlements at a rate three times higher than the average for all new arrivals in 2021, according to new figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics this week.

Roughly one in ten people who moved to Israel from the United States — 333 out of 3,480 — made their first home in the West Bank. This compared to the 2.6 percent who did the same from France, 1.7% from Russia and 1.6% from Ukraine.

On average, 3.2% of all new immigrants, including Americans, move to settlements upon arriving in the country.

The 333 American immigrants who moved to settlements represent a major increase in real numbers over previous years; in 2020, fewer than 200 American immigrants moved to settlements. But that is due to an overall rise in immigration to Israel from the US in 2021, not a change in the overall trend.

Last year was a banner year for immigration to Israel from the US, with some 4,000 people making the move, the highest number since 1973, according to the Immigration and Absorption Ministry. This was, in part, due to a backlog created the year before because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry counted more arrivals as immigrants than the CBS because it uses slightly different criteria to determine who qualifies as a new immigrant.

Yet the share of new American immigrants moving to settlements has remained relatively consistent over the past decade or so, with roughly 10-15% ultimately opting to move to the West Bank, according to Sarah Hirschorn, associate professor of Israel studies at Northwestern University, who has extensively researched the role of American Jews in the settlement enterprise.

“The percentage moving to........

© The Times of Israel

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