250 per cent increase in Israeli applications for Polish citizenship
There has been a significant increase in the number of Israelis seeking Polish citizenship in recent years. According to data published by the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv, a 250 per cent increase in Israeli requests for Polish citizenship and passports was recorded between 2015-2017.
The data was published following a query by Marek Jakubiak, a member of the Kukiz15 party.
The figures released by the Polish embassy in Israel indicates that 10,820 Israelis received Polish citizenship between 2015-2017, more than over the entire 15 year period preceding.
The highest number of Polish citizenship granted to Israelis was recorded in 2015, with the number crossing the 3,000th threshold for the first time.
In recent years, long queues of Israelis enquiring about Polish citizenship have been registered at the Polish embassy in Tel Aviv. Many of them have had to wait months before being allowed to file a request.
Until the outbreak of World War II, Poland was home to, 3.4 million Jews, the largest Jewish community in Europe.
Most of the Jewish community was exterminated during the Holocaust, with the number of Jews who survived estimated at 50,000-120,000.
After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and the rise of anti-semitism under the communist regime in Poland, more than 200,000 Jews emigrated to Israel.
In recent years, many of their descendants have started seeking Polish citizenship, which would allow Israelis free movement between EU countries and work opportunities in the European Union. The number of Israeli tourists visiting Poland has also seen a significant increase in recent years, with over 200,000 visiting Poland in 2017 alone.