Only those able and willing to pay to fly back to Israel are permitted to participate in the elections...
Likud MK Reuven Rivlin said the only reason that the law remained on the books was due to political considerations on the part of parties who believe that they have something to lose by enfranchising the overseas residents.
In 1996, Rivlin proposed a law to extend voting rights to Israelis living overseas. Although it passed its preliminary reading, a change in what Rivlin described as "demographic pressure" removed some of the urgency in passing the legislation.
Rivlin said that at the time, "it was clear to everybody that allowing votes overseas would benefit Likud. Its no secret that the majority of Israelis in Los Angeles would vote for Likud."
As a result, he said, left-wing parties refused to support the legislation.
Presumably the original reason that "yordim", those Israelis who have left Israel, were denied the vote was related to the collective disdain Israelis had/have for their brethren who "abandoned the cause" and left.
Instead of seeing these people as nothing more than potential votes, Israel should be doing what it can to get as many of these Israelis back to Israel. With Israel's economy in significantly better shape than that of many of the countries where the yordim have settled, now is the perfect time to encourage them to come back home.