John Mearsheimer likes to point out that the reports that Palestinians will soon outnumber Jews in the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean do not take into account the huge number of Israelis who have already left town-- they may outnumber them already. Well, this is a cable from an unnamed State Department aide in Moscow in 2008.
[Name removed] xxxxx said that the immigration of Russian Jews to Israel created a bond between the two countries that had a profound impact on Russia-Israel relations. This did not mean that those who fled Soviet anti-Semitism had pressured their new homeland for closer ties with the country that had repressed them. Instead they created in Israel a center of Russian culture and formed a "bridge" between the countries. xxxxx said that many Russian-speakers in Israel maintained strong ties to their homeland and some had even returned. The Israeli Embassy estimated that "tens of thousands" of Israel's Russian-speakers currently live and work in Moscow. xxxxx said that he personally knew many Russian-speaking Israelis who came to participate in Russia's economic boom. With their knowledge of Russian language and culture, plus university degrees and business experience gained in Israel, Europe or the U.S., they could easily find opportunities here.
When you read this, remember that 100s of thousands of Palestinians who were born in what is now Israel can't move back to their homes. Some of them are a few miles away. Many of these people are angry. And you can understand why.
Then there's this, no more emigration from Russia to Israel, and booming economic relations between the two:
Israeli investment might also come to Moscow 00001991 003 of 003 Russia, as it did in the case of Lev Levayev [he of settlement construction and Leviev diamonds], whose development company is reportedly undertaking large-scale projects in Moscow and will expand its existing jewelry factory in Perm. xxxxx thought Russia-Israel trade, which is estimated at $2.3 billion in 2006, could be several times higher.
Immigration to Israel is "Dead"
¶11. (C) While Russia continues to benefit from the presence of its existing emigres in Israel, Russian immigration to Israel is "all but dead" according to Leonard Terlitskiy, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society's representative in the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States]. Terlitskiy, who was among the first Jews to leave the USSR during the Brezhnev era, told us that "anyone who wanted to leave has already left." The Russian economy offered enough opportunities and anti-Semitism is not the problem it once was, allowing Jews to remain where they face less chance of becoming a victim of terrorism than they would in Israel. Russian daily Vremya Novestey reported that in 2007, only 6,700 people immigrated from the CIS to Israel, compared to 34,000 in 2001. Meanwhile, 38,000 Israeli nationals were known to have returned recently to live in Russia and the CIS.
One of the fascinations of reading Herzl's diaries and the wonderful recent book Capitalism and the Jews by Jerry Muller is an understanding of some of the economic factors of antisemitism in Europe. Muller says that in the1900s, Jewish population in eastern Europe soared because the Jewish mortality rate began crashing (he says for cultural/hygiene reasons, and because of Jewish adoption of modern medicine) with the result that Jews proletarianized. People who had traditionally been in trade and commerce were being forced into manual labor because the opportunities weren't there. And this led to Jewish involvement in socialist movements.... And Jewish involvement in socialism was a major cause of antagonism from governments. Meanwhile, Herzl observed the large "intellectual proletariat" of the large cities of central Europe: highly-educated Jews who didn't have opportunities, because of anti-Semitism, and were regarded by the governments as a bad element. Because they were drawn to revolutionary thinking, and to the stock markets... Herzl proposed to the authorities to transfer this "bad" element and leave the "good" Jews, the assimilating ones.
I offer these snippets to flesh out Zionism's economic context. And this State Department cable underlines that. I don't know why anti-Semitism isn't the problem it once was in Russia. I do wonder how much of it had a component of class resentment.