Property investment and the making of the ambivalent elective Polish diaspora in Israel

Irit Shmuel, Nir Cohen, Agnieszka Bielewska, Hila Zaban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article explores investment decisions made by Israelis who purchased or intended to purchase a residential property in Poland. Specifically, it focuses on their set of motivations to invest there and the extent to which their ethno-national or other types of affinity with the country played a role in their decision. Drawing on interviews with (Jewish) Israeli citizens, we argue that their Choice to invest in Poland was not only financial but influenced also by strong emotional connections to the country, a combination we term ‘sentrumental’ (instrumental and sentimental). We contend that the decision of Israeli Jews to buy property in Poland, against the historical backdrop of the traumatic experience of Jews there, is highly contentious. Analyzing the discursive strategies they use to explain, indeed justify, their unorthodox decision, we show how their emotional ties to Poland often conflict with its controversial history and their own personal identities. It is this conflict, we conclude, that makes Israeli Jews with various biographical ties to Poland an inherently ambivalent elective diaspora.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Networks
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Israelis
  • Poland
  • elective diaspora
  • international property investment
  • investment motivations


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