Should Russian be the second official language in Israel ?
Majority of Israelis are of Russian decent
- TNOLv 72 months agoFavorite Answer
If anything, it'll be Arabic. That language used to have official status, but it still maintains semi-official weight. While it's no longer considered "official", practically speaking this has not changed a thing as Arabic is still used by the Arab sector and official governmental documents can be obtained in Arabic. A lot of people still believe it's officially a language of Israel, especially since street signs still are labelled in Arabic and schools still expect students to take some level of it.
But after that, ENGLISH would be the next up to be official. Far more Israelis know that language than Russian, and it often acts like an official language of Israel as well. Many documents have English versions as well, and street signs still bear English names. It's something nearly all Israeli kids study, at least to some level, and many more Israelis than you may realize are fluent or at least competent in the language. Furthermore, any Israeli with family living outside of Israeli is more likely to see them living in an Anglophone land. After all, factoring out Israel you'll see most of the Jews living in places that speak English (e.g. USA, Canada, the UK).
With Russian, while there is a significant minority who does speak it, it's not as widespread throughout the land and remains rather isolated to specific communities. Furthermore, there are many cities/towns were no one speaks it, whereas you can find English, Hebrew or Arabic teachers no matter where you go (even in more homogeneous places where nearly everyone is Jewish or Arab). While English is the de facto lingua franca, it also has a far more recent history with the land given that the Holy Land once was under British rule.
And none of this accounts for the background of the Jewish people there... which is not defined by an overwhelmingly Russian history. Actually, about 50% of Israeli Jewry is said to be Mizrahi, or from families that never left the Middle East. In other words, Jews of this origin are better described as Moroccan or Iraqi, not Russian. And of the remaining half, you can't call them all "Russian": There are significant populations whose families resided elsewhere, and perhaps not in Europe (for example the Jews of Ethiopia). Basically, making Russian a second language based on history would fail since most Israeli Jews don't have the relationship with it that you believe they have.
Furthermore.... Jews in Russia were mostly not ethnic Russians. They were their own separate group. Jewish communities landed in Russia because of the diaspora and limited ability to settle down anywhere else. And, if you know history, you can see a lot of tragedies and violence in Russia that still forced many out. So, for a lot of Jews, Russian is really a language of oppression and subjugation, and those Jews who did leave Russia didn't teach it to their children because of a lost connection with it anyway.
- 7moodLv 51 month ago
It's maybe your own experience but statistics beg to differ. Yes there are alot of Russian israelis but there are also alot of polish, morrocan and yeminite jews.
- american noodleLv 42 months ago
the first ..... since jesus was a russian immigrant too with blond hair and blue eyes
- 3 months ago
“Majority of Israelis are of Russian decent ”....
That explains why Vodka is the most popular liquor in Israel ......... LOL
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- Stainless SteelLv 43 months ago
The official jew language is called "subterfuge".
- BMCRLv 73 months ago
No, they are not a majority.
The link says there are around 900,000 of Russian descent (that includes many who do not speak Russian).
There are around 7 million Jews in Israel.
Thus, those of Russian descent are around 8%.