David Ben Gurion must be turning in his grave. Israel’s first prime minister’s vision of settling the Negev never seemed further away, as new poll shows 50 percent of Israelis are unwilling to relocate to it, under any circumstances.
Twenty-seven percent of poll’s participants are willing to relocate only for an attractive employment opportunity.
Ben Gurion University of the Negev commissioned the poll, spanning 500 participants, from the Mutagim institute, for the upcoming board of trustees meeting of the university, scheduled for early next week.
Some of the participants, 12.8 percent, said relocating was an option only if they were given attractive real-estate deals, in high scale communities. The university played a part as well, as 6.5 percent said studying at Ben Gurion University would be a valid reason for them to relocate.
President of the Ben Gurion University Prof. Rivka Carmi, said the Israeli’s misconception of the Negev in un called for.
“I believe that if we put national resources to good use on the one hand, and apply our unique contribution on the other, we can dramatically change the state of mind evident from the poll,” she said.
Real-estate markets in communities surrounding Be'er Sheva have picked up recently, but as the poll shows, that is nothing but a drop of water in the very sandy sea.