MKs split over poll showing FSU immigrants moving right

Solodkin describes Russian-speaking immigrants as pragmatic; denounces "demagoguery with opinions of immigrants."

FSU olim 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
FSU olim 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
MK immigrants from the former Soviet Union disagreed Wednesday on the significance of a Haifa University study that indicated that Russian-speaking Israelis have shifted to the Right.
The poll was conducted by Dean of Research Majid Haj in honor of the 20th anniversary of the opening of the floodgates of emigration from the FSU.
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The survey had a statistical sample of over 600 immigrant adults and had a four percent margin of error.
Only 13% said they were willing to concede any territory at all for full peace with the Palestinians, compared to 37% a decade ago.
Some 55% favored “decreasing the Arab population of Israel.” When asked whether a leader must be “strong and charismatic,” 86% said yes.
Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said the results were not surprising. He said immigrants have been solidly on the Right in every election since 2001.
“You don’t need a poll to know that Russian immigrants are on the Right, Elkin said.
MK Faina Kirschenbaum (Israel Beiteinu) expressed doubt over the poll from a decade ago that found that immigrants were not as rightwing back then.
“I have trouble believing it was ever that high,” Kirschenbaum said. “The immigrants didn’t go Right. They were always there.”
But MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima) said the poll was not proof that immigrants from the former Soviet Union were right-wing.
“People don’t see peace on the horizon, but that doesn’t make them right-wing,” she said. “It makes them skeptical and realistic. They see no partner, and that’s the situation.
They see the Palestinians wanting to declare a state unilaterally instead of negotiating.”
Solodkin described Russian-speaking immigrants as pragmatic.
She said their views are those of Likud, Israel Beiteinu and Kadima. “You don’t see them in the National Union,” she said.
Solodkin criticized the premise of the study, saying, “I don’t like it when they engage in demagoguery with the opinions of immigrants.
“The immigrants came here when they could have gone to America because they wanted to live in a Jewish state for ideological reasons. The fact that they don’t believe in all the bull---- [peace process] after 20 years doesn’t make them rightwing.”