The latest existential threat to Israel? Those Russians the world was implored to free

Two nights back, Charlie Rose had on former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy to talk about the Israeli elections, and at 12:30 he brings up what he calls a fundamental issue, one I’d never focused on, involving the citizenship of hundreds of thousands of Israelis. I thought he meant Palestinian Israelis. No:

We have today a situation in Israel in which 100s of 1000s of Israelis do not have a personal status in the country. They are not recognized technically as Jews. They come from the Soviet Union or have been born to Soviet…

When they want to marry, they have no way to marry and they have to go outside the country in order to marry. Their Jewish identity [is] not recognized by the state. These are very serious problems, because in the end this could be a major split inside Israeli society. Which I have said in the past… I think this is a greater threat to Israel than the Iranian nuclear threat.

I see that Philip Reeves of NPR reported on this earlier this month:

REEVES: The new arrivals qualified for citizenships under Israel’s Law of Return if they had or were married to someone with one Jewish grandparent. Rabbinical law, though, says that Jewishness passes through the maternal line. This defined more than 300,000 of the Russian-speaking immigrants as non-Jews. Galili says that was very tough for the new arrivals to accept.

GALILI: And they come here and they have the non-Jewish mother and the Jewish father. And suddenly, this motherland who’s expecting them to come says, oh, I forgot to tell you, you are not Jewish here.

REEVES: There are no civil marriages in Israel. If Russian Israelis defined as non-Jews wish to marry, they must go abroad or convert. Galili says conversion is not a popular option.

So this is an existential threat? It wasn’t two decades ago that Americans were being implored to set Russian Jews free. Now what is this Israel to which they were liberated? And what about the 100s of 1000s of Palestinians whose lack of status mean nothing at all to that former Mossad chief? Call me confused, but what an absurd community Israel is. Built in large part on the wreckage of an Arab and Muslim society, this society’s identity is always up for grabs, because it is based in large measure on international Jewish citizenship– and Zionists from the U.S., Europe and Israel all have different ideas about what that Jewishness means. And of course Palestinians don’t qualify any more than Christian Russians; but god knows that they were born there… My head is spinning 

  1. Let us give credit to the American spy, Jonathan Pollard, who gave Israel the information it gave to the Soviet Union for agreeing to let these Russians emmigrate to Israel.

  2. It is often remarked, and it has more than a grain of truth to it, that there are so many ethnic and racial divisions within Israeli Jewry that if there wasn’t the ‘Arab’(or nowadays Iranian) threat to focus on, the society would fall apart in ethnic struggle.

    This was very much the focus during the early 20 years as the Ashkenazi elite privately worried if they made a mistake by bringing in the ‘barbarious’ Arab Jews.

    Noam Sheizaf has a pretty decent piece up at 972 mag about the increased racialization of Israeli politics.

    ‘The ethnic vote and the white coalition’:
    link to 972mag.com

    If you constantly talk about ‘demographic time-bombs’ and ‘Arab fifth columns’ what happens is that you legitimize racism in the mainstream political discourse and this in turn means that at some point, and Israel is there already, it becomes very hard to maintain the us vs them in times of (relative) peace and suddenly the in-group racism starts to grow.

    Last year one of the top Labor MKs called Amir Peretz, who was almost PM at one point(and who’s an Arab Jew) a ‘moroccan’ in an offhand racist comment when talking about his ‘temper’ – he did so when talking to the U.S. ambassador(via Wikileaks).

    Netanyahu’s desperate push for Moshe Kahlon is similarly an understanding of this. Shas’ outburst against the ‘Ashkenazi elite’ this election season confirms this, as well as their racist ad about the Russian arch-shiksa ‘stealing’ Jewish men(a known racist meme, favoured even in the supposedly more liberal diaspora).

    Netanyahu probably fears these developments, which might be one of the reasons why he lets the crazies keep burning their anti-Arab racism lest the Jewish population in Israel fall apart in racist internecine fighting.

    • “as well as their racist ad about the Russian arch-shiksa
      Can you please point me to it. It sounds hot! ;p

      Also, is there a similar term for a child of a mixed marriage?

    • @Krauss –

      I had the exact opposite opinion. Likud is clearly a cross ethnic party. Shas is losing support among Mizrahi Jews. You saw how everyone reacted negatively when Shas played the race card in their anti-Russian commercial regarding conversion. I think Israel has a racial problem (internal) but they are doing far better than they were a generation ago.

      That and even the hard right ran on a very inclusive slogan: “No matter where you live or how you dress this is your home”, which appealed to younger people across the ethnic divides.

    • Krauss – would you provide references for your assertions. The Sheizaf article in 972 article does not support your two opening statements.
      I also think you are way off the mark with your final claim:
      Netanyahu…lets the crazies keep burning their anti-Arab racism lest the Jewish population in Israel fall apart in racist internecine fighting.
      Netanyahu doesn’t need Arabs in order to pull Jews together. He believes in a Jewish people and their need and right to The Land. Just like like Yair Lapid and Ehud Barak, he’d love nothing more than to have the Palestinians disappear in a puff of smoke.

        • Wjones, here’s the shas video that was banned from the election advertising by the state:

          link to youtube.com

          link to haaretz.com

          In the ad, a Russian bride and her groom find themselves under a chuppah with a fax machine. When the groom inquires as to the purpose of the fax, the bride responds that she is waiting for her conversion certification, which can be obtained simply by dialing “*conversion.” As the ad fades, the bride receives her certificate, but the groom is repulsed. It then cuts to a slogan that says Shas will protect Jewish tradition.

          The ad has two backgrounds: the demographic challenge to Israel’s Jewish character on the one hand, and the upcoming elections on the other. Over the past 25 years, more than a million immigrants from the Soviet Union have made aliya under the Law of Return and at least 327,000 of them are not Jewish in the eyes of the Orthodox halakha. Because of this, they are for the most part, denied the right to be married in Israel. Since 2004, the Prime Minister’s Office has overseen a conversion program for those seeking an Orthodox conversion. In 2010, ITIM sued the Chief Rabbinate in Israel’s Supreme Court, to insure that those who finalized the conversion process would be certified to be married.

        • Why is she so much taller than the groom anyway?
          And since half of Israelis are nonreligious, wouldn’t alot of them feel bad their spouse had to go through all that?

          I guess the reaction is partly understandable if the husband is religious- he would feel their spouse was insincere or dishonest about religion. But wait a minute- how does the husband know that the spouse’s conversion was not sincere? Maybe she was sincere and it was so important to her she wanted it part of her wedding?

  3. Isn’t that just beautiful?
    Illegal settlers disqualified by the official theocracy and the official racism of the earlier illegal settlers, who imported them!
    That often strikes me as something to be used relentlessly against the Zionists all across civilized countries (and the US, too, if anyone here gave a damn about racism and theocracy, and Russia, too.)

    • Illegal settlers disqualified by the official theocracy and the official racism of the earlier illegal settlers, who imported them!

      Nope, I’ve commented many times in the past that even the “Johnny-come-lately” illegal Soviet settlers, like Avigdor Lieberman, don’t want to spoil their pristine neighborhoods by permitting the shifty (so-called) “Russian gentiles” to move-in: See Lieberman’s settlement bars Russian-Israeli families from buying homes: Settlers in Nokdim, home to Russian-born FM, fear new residents not classified as Jewish by halakhic law could corrupt local morals. link to haaretz.com

      • ultimately, the majority decided they were opposed to such a high number of these families coming in and changing the community’s demographics.

        “The biggest problem is that if you accept 10 families in which the mother isn’t Jewish, then soon there will be 30 children, and tomorrow your son could fall in love with the good-looking girl next door. It’s a real problem,” Heiman said

        you can’t raise little racists around other kinds of people. they will begin to except them as normal.

      • Hostage: How so, “nope”? The later illegal immigration is rejected by the earlier, who by the way imported the first, on theocratic and racial grounds. As you described.

        • Hostage: How so, “nope”? The later illegal immigration is rejected by the earlier,

          Because even the Russian Jews who came to Israel at the same time as these others non-halakhic Jews are rejecting them.

        • sard, i think he means they were not [edit: exclusively] “disqualified by the official theocracy and the official racism of the earlier illegal settlers.”

          his example, and link, show how they are rejected by unofficial people too.

        • his example, and link, show how they are rejected by unofficial people too.

          That’s right. This isn’t just the official racism of the earlier illegal settlers, who imported them. This is the racism of run of the mill people too -and that includes halakhically Jewish Russian immigrants who came to Israel at the very same time. There’s a video here of famed Refusnik Natan Sharansky nodding in agreement to a Eli Yishai speech about the supposed existence of a Jewish gene: link to mondoweiss.net

        • Robbins:
          That’s exactly what was said: earlier illegal settlers are, obviously, all the “Jewish” citizens of the Zionist entity, who set up the White Racial Supremacist state. As for the “official”characterization, see above.

  4. on a side note

    President Barack Obama announced Friday that his new chief of staff is longtime trusted aide Denis McDonough, whom the president described as a close friend unafraid to deliver straight talk.

    a guy from Stillwater MN…geez I might know him..

  5. an interesting side note here…is

    McDonough is catholic so is kerry…and Hagel went to to catholic school

    what is Obama trying to tell us

  6. Good lord. If a country has so many “existential threats” (real or imagined) you have to wonder at some point if it’s really a viable entity. The only other place with such a
    “threat” that I can think of is Taiwan, but you don’t hear them carrying on about it incessantly.

  7. Two questions:

    1. My understanding is that there was a quota of exit visas that the Soviet Union had to extend to its Jews, a quota that was negotiated by Israel and the Jewish/Zionist organizations, is this correct?

    2. Has that idiot Sharansky weighed in on this?

  8. Dear Phil,

    Thanks for this intriguing article!

    I agree with your surprise that the Mossad chief considers several 100,000 Russian immigrants with Jewish genealogy to be an existential threat: they are a drop in the bucket compared to about 7 million Palestinians who lack citizenship.

    I agree with the chief that it is a potential problem, because the immigrants’ right to religious freedom and national identity is damaged. But the State has for a long time recognized only marriages performed by official “Orthodox Judaism”, forcing many liberal and reform Judaists to seek marriage abroad. Yet this has not seriously stopped the intense support by adherents of those denominations, despite a big percent of Israelis being non-religious and its supporters in America belonging to other denominations than the official one.

    Finally, you brought up a vital point when you said: “And of course Palestinians don’t qualify any more than Christian Russians.” In fact, wouldn’t you agree that that the same foundational factor exists in both of these “problem” categories?

    Early Zionist leaders, like former president Ben Zvi knew that Palestinians were descended from Jews, and this has been confirmed by research at Hebrew University. Why then hasn’t their policy improved towards Palestinians if they in fact share Jewish ethnicity? Likewise, the Russian immigrants also share Jewish ethnicity, yet that isn’t recognized either. If the State is in reality dedicated to the Jewish people, why hasn’t it adjusted its policies accordingly? And if not, what is the State dedicated to?

    • @WJones

      But the State has for a long time recognized only marriages performed by official “Orthodox Judaism”, forcing many liberal and reform Judaists to seek marriage abroad. Yet this has not seriously stopped the intense support by adherents of those denominations, despite a big percent of Israelis being non-religious and its supporters in America belonging to other denominations than the official one.

      Americans do object to this and when Israel is at relative peace this issues come up. Like it did in the most recent elections. This is a point of tension between American and Israeli Jews, Israelis are aware of it and Israelis don’t like that it is a point of tension. At the same time Israelis secularists think of American denominations the way lapsed Catholics think of Protestantism. The expression for Israelis “the synagogue they don’t go to is Orthodox” is true.

      These sorts of issues have come up, and most Israelis know there is going to need to be a revision downward of conversion standards. At the same time ultimately the right is going to present a barrier.

      But in terms of support. Most everyone in Alabama has different views that the people who died in the World Trade Center. That doesn’t stop them for volunteering for the army to fight the people who blew it up. Al-Qaeda was targeting Americans not New Yorkers. In the same way that when Hamas blows up an Israeli bus they are targeting all Israelis.

      I may disagree with Haredi on conversion standards, that doesn’t mean I want to see their flesh ripped off their bones using shrapnel laced with anticoagulants to help them bleed to death if the original would doesn’t kill them. And the Haredi feel the same way about secularists.

      Early Zionist leaders, like former president Ben Zvi knew that Palestinians were descended from Jews, and this has been confirmed by research at Hebrew University.

      I don’t buy that I think they mainly descended from later immigrants. But even if one did believe that, how does that help the situation? Given your theory the Palestinians aren’t gentiles they are actually full bore apostates who converted out. Now even knowing that they should be children of the commandments, even given huge material advantages if they return to their rightful faith, they prefer to worship foreign gods. How exactly would that be an argument in their favor? No religion likes apostasy.

      • I may disagree with Haredi on conversion standards, that doesn’t mean I want to see their flesh ripped off their bones using shrapnel laced with anticoagulants to help them bleed to death if the original would doesn’t kill them. And the Haredi feel the same way about secularists.

        You just scraped a hole through the bottom of the hasbara barrel.

        But even if one did believe that, how does that help the situation? Given your theory the Palestinians aren’t gentiles they are actually full bore apostates who converted out.

        Apparently you aren’t much better at theology than you are at hasbara. Many Israelis are apostates (people who don’t believe in the God of the scriptures or observe the commandments). Muslims do believe in the God of the scriptures and observe many of the commandments. Rabbinical Judaism, as it is practiced today, is just another derivative religion, like Islam. Neither religion has retained all of the ancient cult practices or commandments, e.g. See Elimelech Westreich , “LEVIRATE MARRIAGE IN THE STATE OF ISRAEL” (February 2008). Tel Aviv University Law Faculty Papers. Working Paper 65.
        link to law.bepress.com

        • @Hostage

          An apostate is not someone who doesn’t obey religious dictates. It is a person who converts out or formally disaffiliates. So no Israelis that identify as Jewish but don’t, “believe in the God of the scriptures or observe the commandments” are not Apostates. As for the derivation of Islam, it isn’t relevant. Judaism has been unequivocal for 1300 years that converting to Islam constitutes apostasy. And the Jewish religion is whatever the Jews say the Jewish religion is.

          In terms of the actual history, I agree with most Muslim scholars, that Islam originated from Collyridian Christianity. Collyridianism never had any ties to Judaism and whatever ties it may have ever had hadn’t existed for centuries by the time Islam was founded.

        • An apostate is not someone who doesn’t obey religious dictates.

          Correction: The Torah itself contains mitzvahs which mandate that the non-observant be “cut-off from the people of Israel”, e.g. See Vayikra/Leviticus 23:24-29 regarding observance of the Day of Atonement. That means, if you’re non-observant, you have opted-out in many such instances on the basis of the commandments themselves.

          As for the derivation of Islam, it isn’t relevant . . . Judaism has been unequivocal for 1300 years

          Rabbinical Judaism was just another competing religious cult that was largely invented and codified in the current era through the Mishnah and Talmud. Its exclusive claims to be the successor in interest to the ancient covenants are no more persuasive than those advanced by Jews who became Muslims or Christians instead.

          And the Jewish religion is whatever the Jews say the Jewish religion is.

          Fine, but that still is just a modern cult derived from the original religion of ancient Israel as codified in the Torah. The two systems are no longer identical or close approximations of one another.

      • @JeffB:

        I may disagree with Haredi on conversion standards, that doesn’t mean I want to see their flesh ripped off their bones using shrapnel laced with anticoagulants to help them bleed to death if the original would doesn’t kill them. And the Haredi feel the same way about secularists.

        You need to update a bit your Hasbara. You see, since the Jews also blew up people in markets when they didn’t have a state (and even named a moshav, Ramat Raziel, after their most notorious mass murderer), they had to make up this story about the anticoagulants to prove that the Palestinians are more demonic. But it’s a lie. Bad news for Hasbarists: the Internet now exists, and canards and fabrications are not easy to peddle anymore.

        If you’ve been duped on this, on how many other things may you have been brainwashed? Think about it.

        Oh, and as for the Haredim and secularists, the Rabin murder exempts me from any further comment.

        • For instance, that bombing site that tested positive for rat poison? It had sprayed by the exterminator just a few days before the bombing. There have been no police, military, law enforcement, or government reports documenting this type of bomb. There is at least one hospital that claims to have some rat-poison tainted shrapnel, but the sample has never been independently verified. The doctor’s report about profusely bleeding patients is not consistent with medical facts of anticoagulant poisoning.

          bwwwwahahhhhhahah

        • @The Hasbara Buster –

          You got me on that one! I found another link which argues that at the doses likely to be delivered via. shrapnel Hadassah Hospital trauma surgeon Dr. Avi Rivkind actually said it would be a therapeutic dose.

          OK 2 points for you.

          If you’ve been duped on this, on how many other things may you have been brainwashed? Think about it.

          I do think about it. I’m not thrilled that the Israelis lie so much either. And I do my best to wade through the BS. And sometimes as this example shows I get it wrong.

      • JeffB,

        I thought it was helpful that you used American analogies. It sounds like alot of Israelis disagree with the strict religious rules, but don’t care enough to change it over the more religious groups’ objections. It isn’t a major issue of contention, as you point out, because of the siege mentality. The liberal group Jstreet might normally find this an important campaign issue, but instead it devotes its attention to the IP conflict. It makes sense, after all, that the IP conflict is so much more important than “soft” religious restrictions on liberals.

        However, your examples actually show that even if they had no conflict with Palestinians, the State’s supporters would still support the state: You are right that Alabamans take issue with New Yorkers as “Yankees” and carpetbaggers yet fight in US wars overseas. However, even if there were no overseas intervention, the Alabamans would still accept union with the Yankees- resentment over the Civil War notwithstanding. Southerners have not launched a strong campaign against union with the North (and Godwilling they won’t).

        Likewise, despite differences about what appears to be the State’s system implicitly rejecting their identity due to religious rules, the State’s American supporters would still support the State nonetheless, because the basic nationalistic claims used would remain (Biblical ancestral homeland, etc.). That is, even without the IP conflict, its supporters would still support having a state dedicated only to their own culture.

      • JeffB,
        Eliezar Yehuda, the developer of modern Hebrew, believed Palestinian Arabic had a Hebrew substratum. We have DNA, linguistic, historical, and archeological evidence from the Zionist leaders and universities confirming this. It is a good question why, if the State is dedicated to the Jewish people, is this fact being discounted?

        Your explanation sounds like the real one, but as Yonah Freedman mentioned, it is not rational. A people is a nationality, and one does not lose his or her race or ethnicity by conversion. In fact, the Talmud considers apostates to remain Jewish. And as you know, people become Jewish by birth through their mother, so this cannot disappear even by generations of supposed apostacy.

        The State’s rejection of so many Palestinians and Jewish Christian immigrants as non-Jews is not rational from a scientific or Judaic religious point of view.

        Regards.

  9. Dear Phil,

    You mentioned:“It wasn’t two decades ago that Americans were being implored to set Russian Jews free.”

    What was the persecution that Jews were facing in modern Russia?

    The chief said in his interview: “When they want to marry, they have no way to marry and they have to go outside the country in order to marry.”

    Why hasn’t this issue been a serious problem before now? After all, most Israelis are not religious, the Zionist movement wasn’t, and it would seem that a significant number in previous generations wouldn’t have belonged to the official “Orthodox Judaism.” After all, if they were immigrating to Israel to avoid nationalistic persecution, then wouldn’t previous generations of immigrations have included a significant number who did not meet the full religious requirements?

    • When they want to marry, they have no way to marry and they have to go outside the country in order to marry.” Why hasn’t this issue been a serious problem before now? After all, most Israelis are not religious

      It always has been a serious issue if you read the Israeli or Jewish media. It’s been impossible or impractical to form a governing coalition in the Knesset without including the Orthodox parties – and they insist on keeping things that way. Many of the atheists are ardent racists too. Hannah Arendt discussed the situation during the Eichmann trial in the 60s:

      Like almost everybody else in Israel, he believed that only a Jewish court could render justice to Jews, and that it was the business of Jews to sit in judgment on their enemies. Hence the almost universal hostility in Israel to the mere mention of an international court which would have indicted Eichmann, not for crimes “against the Jewish people,” but for crimes against mankind committed on the body of the Jewish people. Hence the strange boast: “We make no ethnic distinctions,” which sounded less strange in Israel, where rab­binical law rules the personal status of Jewish citizens, with the result that no Jew can marry a non-Jew; marriages concluded abroad are recognized, but children of mixed marriages are legally bastards (children of Jewish parentage born out of wed­lock are legitimate), and if one happens to have a non-Jewish mother he can neither be married nor buried. The outrage in this state of affairs has become more acute since 1953, when a sizable portion of jurisdiction in matters of family law was handed over to the secular courts. Women can now inherit property and in general enjoy equal status with men. Hence it is hardly respect for the faith or the power of the fanatically religious minority that prevents the government of Israel from substituting secular jurisdiction for rabbinical law in matters of marriage and divorce. Israeli citizens, religious and nonreligious, seem agreed upon the desirability of having a law which pro­hibits intermarriage, and it is chiefly for this reason—as Israeli officials outside the courtroom were willing to admit—that they are also agreed upon the undesirability of a written constitution in which such a law would embarrassingly have to be spelled out. (‘The argument against civil marriage is that it would split the House of Israel, and would also separate Jews of this country from Jews of the Diaspora,” as Philip Gillon recently put it in Jewish Frontier.) Whatever the reasons, there certainly was something breathtaking in the naivete with which the prosecution denounced the infamous Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which had prohibited intermarriage and sexual intercourse between Jews and Germans. The better informed among the correspondents were well aware of the irony, but they did not mention it in their reports. — Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil, Google ebook, page 7

      • “Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which had prohibited intermarriage and sexual intercourse between Jews and Germans … the irony …”
        ——————————————————————–
        That’s a good quote by Hannah Arendt.

        ————-
        Around 1930 Hitler told his friend Otto Wagener:
        “We have to undoubtedly admire the enormous Jewish strength to sustain their racial purity.” – He was referring to the Jewish law of endogamy. He turned this Jewish law into a German endogamy law. Something that hadn’t existed in Germany since the introduction of civil marriage in 1871.

      • Thanks for posting the interesting quote, showing that this has been a longstanding criticism from internationalists.

        And what was the persecution that Jews were facing in modern Russia?

    • What was the persecution that Jews were facing in modern Russia?

      * Social discrimination which was oppressive and sometimes violent
      * Often diminished grades in school
      * Education quotas
      * Job quotas once they completed education
      * Discrimination in employment over and above the quotas
      * Housing discrimination
      * Heavier travel restrictions

      • Jeff B,

        Thanks for giving an answer. Are you talking about the Soviet Union, which had alot of bureaucracy and regulations, or about modern Russia in the last 22 years?

        The US aid program for resettlement, as I understand it, continued even after the Soviet Union ended in 1991.

  10. Zionism has solved what used to be called Jewish Problem, by inventing a world in which only Jews exist. Non-Jews are ghosts.
    The Israeli elections’ big winner, Yair Lapid (parroting Ehud Barak), wants Palestinians to live their lives on the other side of the wall. Out of sight, out of mind.
    The Israelis are out of their minds. Jews/Hebrews/Israelites have always lived among other peoples.
    The myth that to be a Jew you only have to care about Jews is pure Zionist invention.
    In the Bible, Abraham, the original Hebrew, is anointed by god as the father of “many nations” (Genesis 17). Abraham and then Moses are commanded repeatedly to treat the non-Israelite as the Israelite’s equal under law. Any deviation from this reality-based accommodation fails. E.g. Joshua’s genocidal mission to ethnically cleanse Canaan.
    Jews have always had to figure out how to live with non-Jews.
    And so Zionism has had to re-invent Jewish history in order to justify its mission. It goes something like this: once upon a time, back in the good old days, oh, about 2,000 years ago, goyim didn’t exist or, if they did, were of no consequence.

    Israelis obsess about how Jewish the Russian-Israelis are. As if that matters.

    • Elliot-

      Zionism has solved what used to be called Jewish Problem, by inventing a world in which only Jews exist. Non-Jews are ghosts.

      This is poetry. Meaning untrue but metaphorical. Certainly nonJews are not ghosts if they are a threat. And the use of this term is “interesting” because Pinsker called the Jews the walking dead and so the term has been used regarding Jews, so to flip it, is interesting and would require further discussion before I would agree with you. It is not a world where only Jews exist. It may be a society where only Jews count and it is a circling of the wagons against outsiders, but it is certainly not a world where only Jews exist, nor is that the essence of Zionism.

      Jews/hebrews/israelites have always lived among other peoples. This is very true. Ancient facts are elusive, but more recent facts are not and the Jews from Europe lived among other peoples, and with great difficulty for the longest while, and America 2013 would be a real exception to the Warsaw Jew of 1939. Zionism is not irrational. Zionism is based upon the condition of the Jew in Europe (eastern and central Europe primarily) in 1881 through 1939 viewed through the “wisdom” of what is about to come next. It is possibly an anachronism. It is not the irrationality that you are posing.

      • Yonah,

        The main idea coming from Phil’s article is that Zionism was a non-religious, ethnic movement to give the ethnicity a State, but then its State denies that those of this ethnicity who belong to other religions do not belong to the ethnicity.

        Is this not irrational?

        • W jones- it is not rational. but Judaism and Jewishness do not have scientific principles at their basis of self definition, so irrationality is bound to enter into it. you are proposing or implying that ethnicity and religion are not intermingled in the minds of any Jewish person and thus there will be absolute scientific clarity on the issue. Nope.

      • And the use of this term is “interesting” because Pinsker called the Jews the walking dead and so the term has been used regarding Jews,
        Further proof that the Palestinians are the new Jews. Dispossessed, no hope in sight but further death and persecution, ignored by the world.

    • “Jews have always had to figure out how to live with non-Jews.”
      ——————————
      Elliot –
      If they had figured that out, there would have been no major animosity toward them. – Let’s see what a Greco-Egyptian priest said in the third century B.C.E.:
      —————–
      The Jews do not eat or drink with us; they do not participate in our civic life; they marry only other Jews; and they believe their god is superior to ours. They will not display our gods in their Temple, even as we accept their god in our pantheon as a sign of peace between our communities.
      —————–
      [Quoted from Arthur Hertzberg and Aron Hirt-Manheimer, 'Jews', 1998, page 61]
      - This complaint was long before any Christian theological anti-Judaism.

  11. Ah yes…the Russian Jews.
    In 1992 the US congress by demand of the Lobby and Israel gave Israel a 10 billion $ loan guarentee to resettle the Russian Jews.
    Unfortunately not all of them went to Israel, some came to the US……so for our 10 billion we got the Russian Mafia in the US and the Palestines got more Jewish settlers in Palestine.

    Poor Bush Sr. tried to forestall this but our zio masters had his own congress attack him for it.

    link to nytimes.com

    World

    COLLECTIONS>LOAN GUARANTEES
    BUSH URGES DELAY ON AID FOR ISRAEL; THREATENS A VETO
    By R. W. APPLE Jr
    Published: September 13, 1991
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    Speaking in unusually vehement terms, President Bush demanded again today that Congress delay debate on Israel’s request for $10 billion in loan guarantees and threatened to use his veto to block any early Congressional action on the matter.

    At a hurriedly scheduled news conference, the President clearly raised the likelihood of a bitter dispute with Israel and its supporters in this country. He asserted that the request for loan guarantees to help build housing for Soviet immigrants should not be considered now because the world stood “on the brink of a historic breakthrough” that could lead to direct negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

    A “contentious debate” on Capitol Hill, he said, “would raise a host of controversial issues” that “could well destroy our ability to bring one or more of the parties to the peace table.” Israeli Pledge Sought

    The President was upset that despite his previous request for a 120-day delay, most Congressional leaders, urged on by Israel’s experienced lobby, planned to proceed with the legislation on the loan guarantees. In return for the loan guarantees, the Administration wants to obtain a pledge from Israel to bar further settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip, something Israel refuses to do.

    Mr. Bush spoke in unusually forceful terms in taking on the formidable Israel lobby. He complained that he was battling “powerful political forces” as he tried to hold off the Israelis’ request.

    “Something like a thousand lobbyists” were working against him, he said.

    “I’ve worn out the telephone,” Mr. Bush said, describing himself as “one lonely little guy down here” facing a hostile horde. [ Excerpts from news conference, page A10. ] A Priority for Israel

    The loan guarantees have become a priority issue for Israel because it faces dire problems in finding housing for the 350,000 Soviet Jews who have arrived in the last few years and the one million more who may emigrate to Israel in the future. Israel intended to ask for the American help in March, but because the Persian Gulf war had just ended it agreed to put off the request until September.

    The Administration, involved in trying to get a peace conference started in October, has asked that Congress not debate the issue until next January to limit arguments about Jewish settlements in Israeli-occupied territories from which Palestinians hope to create a homeland.

    No precise time or place for the peace conference has been set, but Secretary of State James A. Baker 3d is in Moscow this week to discuss that, among other issues. The Soviets are expected to co-sponsor the Arab-Israeli meeting. Mr. Baker will then go to the Middle East next week to try to make further progress on a conference.

    A major unresolved issue is that of Palestinian representation. The Israelis have said they will not attend unless the proposed joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation contains no members of the Palestine Liberation Organization or East Jerusalem residents, but the P.L.O. has not yet decided whether to waive representation.

    Israel, arguing that the United States has a moral obligation to help with the resettlement of Soviet Jews, has asked for $10 billion in loan guarantees, spread out over five years.

    With United States guarantees that the loans would be repaid, a form of insurance against default, Israel could borrow money from banks at advantageous rates. Funds Would Be Raised Privately

    Because of the political instability, banks have been hesitant to lend in the Middle East beyond seven years and have demanded higher interest rates. If guaranteed, the $10 billion would be raised privately in the United States in the form of Israeli notes held by banks and other financial institutions.

    Without the guarantee, Israel would find it significantly more expensive to raise the money and this could force it to scale back its building plans.

    The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, an American Jewish group, complained that “the President’s reference to ‘powerful political forces’ supporting the loan guarantees was an unfortunate portrayal of the American political process at work.”

    In a statement, the leadership of the Task Force on Loan Guarantees, an ad hoc group of American Jewish organizations now lobbying on Capitol Hill, said they were “exercising their right as citizens to meet with their Congressmen and discuss with them Israel’s request for loan guarantees to help the new immigrants become productive, self-supporting citizens of their new homeland.”

    “We do not seek a confrontation,” they added. But the issue appears to be shaping up as the sharpest debate between the United States and Israel since the 1981 fight over President Reagan’s successful effort to sell Awacs radar planes to Saudi Arabia.

    “A 120-day delay is not too much for a President to ask for with so much in the balance,” Mr. Bush declared. “We must give peace a chance. We must give peace every chance.”

    Israel and its supporters in the United States say the issues are not related. The money, they say, is simply humanitarian aid to resettle Soviet Jews, and therefore the request for American loan guarantees should have no influence on the peace process. The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, has said that delaying approval of the guarantees might actually play into the hands of the Arabs and prompt them to ask the Bush Administration to take other steps counter to Israel’s interests.

    Shoshana Cardin, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, an American group, said Soviet Jews should not be held hostage to political questions.

    “We’re talking about men, women and children who have already suffered trauma,” she said. “We must respond to their needs now, not in 120 days from now, not six months from now. We are already 18 months late.”

    Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who heads the Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee on foreign operations, and Representative David R. Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who is his counterpart in the House, have both backed Mr. Bush. So has Senator Bob Dole, the Republican leader.

    But other key figures, including Senators Daniel K. Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, and Bob Kasten, Republican of Wisconsin, are calling for quicker action.

    Offering a two-week rather than a four-month delay, Mr. Kasten said on Tuesday that “compromise on this situation is possible.”

    But Mr. Bush yielded no ground today. Indeed, he said that he had “absolutely not” made any commitment to support the loan guarantee request, even at the end of 120 days. He noted his support in general for helping Israel absorb the flood of Soviet Jewish immigrants, but he has also repeatedly called for an end to Israel’s construction of housing for Jewish settlers in the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories seized in the 1967 Middle East war.

    Israeli officials say new housing already begun in those areas will make it possible to more than double the current population of 110,000 Jews there. New construction, including housing for at least 15,000 families, is planned.

    Although Mr. Shamir has repeated his commitment to attend a United States-arranged peace conference, other influential Israelis have been sharply critical of Mr. Bush’s attitude. Housing Minister Ariel Sharon, who also dominates immigration policy, said the President had fallen into “an Arab trap,” and Justice Minister Dan Meridor, a close ally of Mr. Shamir, said of the President’s request for a delay in the guarantees, “Friends don’t act that way.” Missile Defense Recalled

    Mr. Inouye and Mr. Kasten, both staunch supporters of Israel, are ready to introduce a bill, aides said, that would provide $2 billion in loan guarantees annually for five years. But Congress is not expected to begin work on it for two weeks. If it is passed, Mr. Bush could veto it, as he threatened today, but by then the debate, which he said would so seriously damage peace prospects, would have already taken place. He has no constitutional power to halt a debate.

    Describing “a rancorous debate” on the loan debates as “minuscule” in importance compared with world peace, Mr. Bush emphasized his commitment to Israel and pointedly mentioned existing American aid grants of some $4 billion yearly as amounting to about $1,000 a year for every Israeli man, woman and child. He also recalled that American troops had stood up against Iraq, Israel’s most powerful foe, and had helped to defend Israel against Scud missile attacks in the Persian Gulf war.”

    Friedman, Robert I. Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America. Warner Books, 2000

    ”During the 1970s and 1980s, America expanded its immigration policies, allowing Soviet Jews and criminals to enter the country, with most settling in a southern Brooklyn area known as Brighton Beach (sometimes nicknamed as “Little Odessa”). Here is where Russian organized crime began in America.[3][7

    In the early 1970s the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev opened the gates to limited emigration of Soviet Jews. Among them were hard-core criminals who had served prison sentences in the Gulag. In the two-year period 1972-73, more than 66,000 Russian Jews left their homeland, most of them going initially to Israel. The Israeli "law of return" made it easy for the Jews of the Diaspora to receive Israeli citizenship. Also non-Jews have purchased forged documents that declared them Jews to gain entrance to the country.
    The criminals among them quickly entered the Israeli underworld and made their presence known by investing their laundered wealth in Israeli real estate, businesses and banks. By all accounts, Israel has become a haven for the Mafiya and a base for their international operations. Mob moguls are in residence as respected businessmen. Jonathan Winer, a former State Department expert, states categorically that, "There is not a major Russian organized crime figure whom we are tracking who does not carry an Israeli passport."

    The Brighton Beach Boys. In the 1970s more than 40,000 Russian Jews settled in Brighton Beach, a former working-class Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. One of those immigrants was Marat Balagula, who was born in Orenburg, Russia, in 1943. Once settled in Brighton Beach, he turned the Organizatsiya, the local mob, into a very profitable transnational criminal society. His most spectacular success was in the gasoline bootlegging business. Marat gained control of fourteen gas stations, formed two fuel dealerships and proceeded to buy gas from a corporation owned by the Nayfeld brothers. This setup provided a scheme to avoid paying billions of dollars of gasoline taxes.

    The scam worked as follows: Taxes were collected at the pump. Instead of turning the cash over to the government, the money was pocketed and disappeared without knowledge of the IRS. A number of shell distributorships were the key. One of these companies would purchase a shipment of gasoline and then make a number of paper transfers. At the end of the blizzard of paper would be a dummy company that was required to pay the taxes to the IRS. Instead, the company sold the gas at cut-rate prices to independent retailers with a phony invoice, stamped "All Taxes Paid." By the time the IRS came looking for the taxes due, the revenue agents were stymied by a twisting paper trail that lead to a dead end. There was no one person or company that could be held accountable for the non-payment.

    The scam became the biggest tax heist in U. S. history. The Russian mobsters by 1985 had stolen as much as $8 billion a year by evading state and federal taxes.

    "Nobody takes the Russian Jewish mob seriously," said a NYPD detective. "The lack of interest of law enforcement has given them time to grow." A major roadblock was the super sensitivity to the Jewish aspect of émigré crime. The Jewish leaders worried that the resulting negative publicity from acknowledging the existence of Russian Jewish mobsters, of which there were an estimated 5000 in the New York metro region, would foster a wave of anti-Semitism.’’

    Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, had once said the Russian Mafia posed the greatest threat to US national security

    "The rise and rise of the Russian mafia". BBC News. November 21, 1998. link to news.bbc.co.uk.

    • American,

      It was remarkable that one article you posted said: “The Israelis have said they will not attend [the major peace conference] unless the proposed joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation contains no members of the Palestine Liberation Organization…”
      So the Israelis were willing to go to a peace conference, but not one attended by the main opposition group?

      Also, the article notes that there is 4 billion in aid to the State. Since then, hasn’t the number risen? Yet now it’s usually discussed as 3 billion, as in the campaign “STOP 3 BILLION”.

    • Hey, what’s a few billion US taxpayer dollars down the drain? Besides, we got “Russian Dolls” on TV: link to thejewishweek.com

      More: link to huffingtonpost.com

      Although there’s some tension between America’s home-grown Jewish community and those who came in waves around the breakup of the USSR:
      link to ajcrussian.org

      BTW, the Israeli Law Of Return uses the Nazi Nuremberg Law formula to determine who is a Jew automatically entitled to immigrate to Israel. “Jewish Non-Jews” Of Israel
      link to thejerusalemconnection.us

      • “Although there’s some tension between America’s home-grown Jewish community and those who came in waves around the breakup of the USSR:
        link to ajcrussian.org”…..Citizen

        The major problem there is Russia did the same thing Castro did—got rid of a lot of their criminals and prisoners by putting them in the Russian Jewish immigration line.
        From other reports on this it seems the Russian organized crime groups both prey on the Jewish communities they settled in and at the same time are known to do them favors—-this combination of tactics may be to ward off any community demands for more law enforcement action against them –both being different methods of control.

        • American and Citizen,

          Your AJC article brings up a surprising point:

          Voting pattern
          John McCain 65
          Barack Obama 10
          Undecided 25

          According to an exit poll, 77% of Russian-speaking Jews in New York voted for the Republican incumbent over his Democratic challenger John Kerry despite the fact that 55% of Russian Jews were registered Democrats and only 25% registered Republicans. This reflected a perception of Bush as the bearer of Reagan’s legacy—his strong support for Israel and his muscular position against terrorism…

          The results are surprising, because among most Russians in general there is a strong preference for Obama, because of Bush’s lack of inhibition in foreign wars, as well as Bush’s backing of Georgia’s war with with Russia in 2008.

      • Citizen,

        You wrote: “BTW, the Israeli Law Of Return uses the Nazi Nuremberg Law formula to determine who is a Jew automatically entitled to immigrate to Israel.”

        But this is not fully true. The Nuremberg law could have been one basis, but it is not the same. The Nuremberg law defined people as Jewish based on ethnicity- that is, whether their parents or grandparents were Jewish. As a result, Christians with partial Jewish background were not spared. However, Israeli law considers that a person who converts to another religion is no longer Jewish and denies them the right of return.

        In that case, what is their ethnicity if both their parents are Jewish?

        The main (and best) justification I can think of for the State is that it protects those who would be persecuted by anti-Semitism, yet the State does not protect them for a reason that does not make sense.

    • “But Mr. Bush yielded no ground today. Indeed, he said that he had “absolutely not” made any commitment to support the loan guarantee request, even at the end of 120 days. He noted his support in general for helping Israel absorb the flood of Soviet Jewish immigrants, but he has also repeatedly called for an end to Israel’s construction of housing for Jewish settlers in the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories seized in the 1967 Middle East war.”

      Congress never seems to notice that for decades Israel has thumbed its nose at US calls to end settlement expansion, even though its usually dumbed down by WH spokes critters these days–to “It’s an obstacle to peace. Israel knows our position.”

      And Israel gets ever more carrots from US, even in desperate economic times for Americans.

      • The US Congress relentlessly rewards Israel for continuing its insane colonisation programme in the West Bank. Most former directors of Shin Bet say Israel must get out of the West Bank.

    • Bravo. George H. W. Bush saw it was imperative to resolve Israel/Palestine problem and get Israel out of the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza.

      What a contrast with his moronic son. (Moron in foreign policy sense.)

  12. How many Russians were allowed into Israel who had no Jewish ties at all? That was Avrum Burg’s doing in the 90s. That influx contributed to Israel’s 90s technological leap, which it did not have before the Russian professionals showed up following the breakup of the USSR. These Russians wanted to come to the USA and we should have let them. They were highly educated, and far beyond what we teach in our schools.

    Higher education was compulsory after Lenin took over. If you were too dumb for university, you had to go to a technical school. Tom Bearden recounts how a “frustrated” Stalin after Potsdam and WWII had 2000 PhDs from one institute alone scour western scientific papers for mistakes missed, and anomalies to be studied further. It led to the discovery by (brilliantly educated) Soviet mathematicians that Oliver Heaviside had truncated Maxwell’s work written in quaternions by translating it (diminishing it) into the new vector mathematical form. Quaternions were difficult for any mathematician to calculate in (or understand), but the effect was to remove the scalar term from Maxwell’s work, or the gravitation portion that would have proved it a unified field theory–gravitation and electromagnetics–the thing Einstein later long sought but never found. Bearden says the Russian work, which they called Energetics and we later called scalar electromagnetics, produced a classified unified field theory in the early 50s, and put them decades ahead of anything the US had come up with. Bearden says that had Maxwell’s original work been recognized in the years after the Civil War–and it’s not what passes for Maxwell’s Theory today–we would have been zooming around the planets in space cars before the end of the 19th C. That’s how significant Maxwell’s work was.

    So it will be interesting to see how Israel, in its infinite can’t-see-beyond-its-nose wisdom, treats the professional Russians in its fold going forward. I know that many of them have left, for Germany, and some here. We were so stupid not to nab these people, but then the USA has always thought we were the brightest of the bunch and it’s never dawned on us that communist Russia could produce some of the greatest physicists, astrophysicists, chemists, astronomers, and mathematicians the world has ever known. Their discovery that oil is not produced by fossils, or plant matter, as one lone German chemist had proposed in the 18th C and we still parrot today, is genius to read. Even when Russian scientists in the early 1990s approached the sole Clinton White House energy guy in a post-breakup offer to show how it’s done, our WH einstein scoffed that the Russians would know more than we do; he sniffed that it wasn’t possible, and wouldn’t listen. The offer went away, and after 1996, Russia’s idea of sharing scientific research was over. Russia, these days, is the number one oil producer in the world, when it supposedly had zero energy reserves after a devastating WWII other than stuff in the arctic ocean in 1947.

    • “Their discovery that oil is not produced by fossils”

      Oh yeah, then why do they call them Fossil fuels? (joke)

      OK, now you have me interested! Tell me more.

      • “Their discovery that oil is not produced by fossils”

        As far as I can tell, this has not been definitively established, but the Russians are certainly finding oil in places where the “fossil fuel” theory says it would not be found.

        Here is a neat summary, with a link to an academic article.

        • @RoHa,

          “As far as I can tell, this has not been definitively established, but the Russians are certainly finding oil in places where the “fossil fuel” theory says it would not be found.”

          It was ‘definitively established” in Russia. American and British geologists (20th C) rejected it. How much of that rejection was anti-communism and the threat to their careers?

          The Russians were able to produce oil or petroleum in the lab by submitting marble, iron oxide, and triple-distilled water to pressures of 50 kbar at 2000 C. In the intro paper link in my reply post to W.Jones below, it says this:

          A following paper reviews, and refutes, the claims for “evidence”[sic] for a biological origin of petroleum (commonly asserted in typical British and American textbooks on petroleum geology), – e.g., the “biomarkers,” the observation of optical activity, the slight differences in the abundances of linear molecules with odd (or even) numbers of carbon atoms, the presence of porphyrins, etc. The claims for each (as evidence of a biotic connection for petroleum) are refuted, with unchallenged evidence published in first-rank scientific journals often as long as thirty or forty years ago. The continued, egregious claims of such as “evidence” of a biological origin of petroleum are acknowledged to be fraudulent. A recent paper describes very recent analysis of the thermodynamic stability of the hydrogen-carbon system in circumstances most favorable to the evolution of hydrocarbons, and shows that the hydrocarbons which comprise natural petroleum cannot evolve spontaneously at pressures less than approximately 30 kbar, which pressures correspond to the depths of the mantle of the Earth. In the second instance, this paper describes experimental demonstration of the foregoing theoretical predictions, whereby laboratory-pure solid marble (CaCO3), iron oxide (FeO), wet with triple-distilled water, are subjected to pressures up to 50 kbar and temperatures to 2000 C. With no contribution of either hydrocarbons or biological detritus, the CaCO3-FeO-H2O system spontaneously generates, at the high pressures predicted theoretically, the suite of hydrocarbons characteristic of natural petroleum. (links in original text)

          Dr. Kenney says elsewhere that the if biotic material created the largest Saudi Arabian field, you would need a cube of 19.5 miles (each side!) of fossil detritus to start with. Underground.

        • ” you would need a cube of 19.5 miles (each side!) of fossil detritus ”

          No problem. Remember that prehistoric beasties were enormous, and the average ancient diatom was about the size of a bus. Doesn’t need many of them.

          “Underground”

          Buried by a tidy-minded dinosaur.

        • “American and British geologists (20th C) rejected it. How much of that rejection was anti-communism and the threat to their careers?”

          For British geologists, I would suspect the threat to their careers would be the deciding factor. Anti-communism was hardly a great concern among British geologists.

        • @RoHa and W.Jones

          Further, check this article out. Get to the end, or read from the end to the beginning, esp. the part about Cheney:
          link to engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net

          BTW, Kudryavtsev said this abiotic explanation explains the source of “oil” (bitumen) in the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada. (From your friend and mine, wikipedia)

          [Kudryavtsev] noted as mentioned above that the enormous quantities of hydrocarbons in the Athabasca tar sands in Canada would have required vast amounts of source rocks for their generation in the conventional discussion, when in fact no source rocks have been found. link to en.wikipedia.org

          The ‘oil’ or bitumen extracted from the Oil Sands (by steam) keeps filling up the sand.

        • @RoHa,

          Great interview on NPR Science Friday with Dr. J. F. Kenney after his paper was published in the National Academy of Sciences:
          link to web.archive.org

          Dr. Kenney points out in response to a caller’s question that biologic material cannot exist at temperatures higher than the boiling point of salt water, which is reached 3 kilometers down from the earth’s surface.

        • “Halford Mackinder’s worst nightmare”

          I thought I was the only one who remembered Mackinder. Many years ago my uncle gave me his copy of Democratic ideals and Reality. It is in front of me now. Pelican, 1944.

          (And I hate the way links on MW work. Why can’t they open a new window so I can look at both MW and the linked site?)

          Bit surprised the article says “dead dinosaurs”. I learnt the biotic theory as “dead diatoms and plants from long before the dinosaurs”.

      • @W.Jones,

        “Oh yeah, then why do they call them Fossil fuels? (joke)”

        Here’s one paper, published in Energia, 2001, 22/3, 26-34

        Dismissal of the Claims of a Biological Connection for Natural Petroleum

        J. F. KENNEY
        Joint Institute of The Physics of the Earth – Russian Academy of Sciences
        Gas Resources Corporation, 11811 North Freeway, Houston, TX 77060, U.S.A.
        Ac. Ye. F. SHNYUKOV
        National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
        Vladimirskaya Street 56, 252.601 Kiev, UKRAINE
        V. A. KRAYUSHKIN
        Institute of Geological Sciences
        O. Gonchara Street 55-B, 01054 Kiev, UKRAINE
        I. K. KARPOV
        Institute of Geochemistry – Russian Academy of Sciences
        Favorskii Street 1a, 664.033 Irkutsk, RUSSIA
        V. G. KUTCHEROV
        Russian State University of Oil and Gas
        Leninskii Prospect 65, 117.917 Moscow, RUSSIA
        I. N. PLOTNIKOVA
        National Petroleum Company of Tatarstan (TatNeft S.A.)
        Butlerov Street 45-54, 423.020 Kazan, Tatarstan, RUSSIA

        link to gasresources.net

        I remembered it wrong. It was a Russian in 1757 who first claimed that oil was formed by biological detritus. Later German, French, and Russian scientists in the 19th C proved him wrong. Here’s a short explanation of that. Click on Introduction on the left panel:
        http://www.gasresources.net

        A bibliography of scientific papers is here:
        http://www.gasresources.net

    • I was posted at +972mag. I guess youtube comments are basically “It is indeed a scandal that a gorgeous blond can get a Jewish conversion in 10 seconds, why not one second!” and “Those jokers play Arab songs at a wedding! Eeks!”

  13. “And they come here and they have the non-Jewish mother and the Jewish father.”
    ——————–
    They often don’t have a Jewish father either.
    The passport of the Soviet Union had an entry ‘Nationality’. That could be ‘Estonian, Georgian’ etc. and also ‘Jewish’.

    A sizable number of Russians (or from other parts of the ex-SU) thought they might be economically better off going to Israel. First, they had to get a passport. They went to the passport office, gave the officer a pack of Marlboros and told him to put in ‘Jewish’ under the entry of ‘nationality’. Then they went to the Israeli immigration authorities and presented their passports. The Israelis were happy to ingather their ‘Jewish’-Russian brethren.

    • @ Klaus Bloemker

      All they needed was one Jewish grandparent, no matter which gender. The notion is Israel is there to protect anybody against institutionalized jew-hatred; hence, the formula criteria used for ROR is the same as Hitler’s Nuremberg Law’s.

      • Citizen,

        Actually, the ROR does not match the racist Nuremberg Laws: under the ROR, if someone accepts another religion, they are no longer Jewish. Hence one of the issues that comes up with the immigration wave discussed in Phil’s article.

        Does that make the ROR partly discriminatory in terms of religion?

      • James,

        I was told his scam – giving the Russian passport officer a pack of Marlboros and telling him to write in ‘Jewish’ as ‘nationality’ in the passport – I was told this by an Israeli who claimed to know this.

        • I’ve heard things like this too, and I think from similar folks. In any case, immigration fraud attempts are not uncommon in general, so it should even be foreseeable.

        • @Klaus –

          Someone who is willing to move to Israel, adopt the culture, language and major traits of the religion as well as fight Israel’s wars is a convert in my book. Ruth becomes a convert through oath of allegiance sealed with intercourse not rabbinic teaching.

          I think for most all of these Russians they are genuinely Jewish, the spouses of Jews or the direct descendants of them. But for the few who joined up voluntarily and meant it, welcome to the tribe. If it was purely a scam then put them down.

        • What if some of the scamming, illegal immigrants were “willing to move to Israel, adopt the culture, language and major traits of the religion as well as fight Israel’s wars”?

        • Ruth becomes a convert through oath of allegiance sealed with intercourse not rabbinic teaching.

          The Book of Ruth doesn’t mention the topic of conversion and the modern process bears no similarity. Ezra and Nehemiah didn’t mention sealing the deal through intercourse or oaths of allegiance either.

        • as well as fight Israel’s wars is a convert in my book

          doesn’t really matter if they are jewish if the demographic battle is out numbering palestinians. after all, ‘fight israel’s wars’ is primarily about running the occupation. it’s tiered citizenship after all.

        • as well as fight Israel’s wars is a convert in my book

          That’s not the reality at all though. See The ‘unworthy’ Ms. Margolis: Granddaughter of Holocaust survivor who came to Israel as child, serves as IDF officer, stunned to find Rabbinate does not deem her ‘Jewish enough’ to marry in Israel.
          link to ynetnews.com

        • @W.Jones

          What if some of the scamming, illegal immigrants were “willing to move to Israel, adopt the culture, language and major traits of the religion as well as fight Israel’s wars”?

          Then they aren’t scamming anymore. They are Israeli.

        • Then they aren’t scamming anymore. They are Israeli.

          But still not Jewish enough to be considered eligible to marry an Israeli Jew, be buried in a Jewish cemetery, or to have the personal status of a Jew under the law of Israel. So they themselves are the ones “being scammed”.

        • JeffB -

          There was something similar with Russians of ethnic German descent who could get German citizenship. They went to the immigration authority and presented a photograph of their grandfather with a German shepherd dog
          as proof that they are authentic German. – Although they are not fighting
          our wars, I don’t blame them.

        • “That’s not the reality at all though. See The ‘unworthy’ Ms. Margolis: Granddaughter of Holocaust survivor who came to Israel as child, serves as IDF officer, stunned to find Rabbinate does not deem her ‘Jewish enough’ to marry in Israel.”

          That’s awesome. I can imagine the look on her supremacist face when she realizes that being an advocate of the bigotry doesn’t make her immune from bigotry. Awesome. Hopefully every israeli gets to feel like a worthless piece of crap, to the core of their being, at least once (and preferably more) in their lives until the Palestinians have freedom and justice in their own land.

        • “was it necessary to be willing to fight [for Israel]” to be a Jew ?
          ——————————————————————-
          Don’t you have to fight for America to be an American?
          Don’t you have to fight for Germany to be a German?
          ——
          Yes indeed, you have to. It can turn a Russian into an Israeli and a Jew into
          a German. — A couple of month after Hitler became the Reichskanzler of Germany on January 30, 1933, he passed a decree on April 7. to purge communists, Social Democrats and Jews from the civil service.
          ————–
          Civil servants of “non-Aryan descent” had to be retired.
          But there was one important provision: They could stay on …

          “if they had fought on the frontline in the [first] world war for the German Reich or its allies or their fathers or sons had died in the world war.”
          ——————
          You see, there is something to it what JeffB has said.

        • That’s awesome. I can imagine the look on her supremacist face when she realizes that being an advocate of the bigotry doesn’t make her immune from bigotry. Awesome.

          Even more priceless was yesterday’s Haaretz story about the denizens of Itamar, who woke-up to the discovery that the man who founded their illegal settlement by stealing land from the Palestinians had moved-on and was now stealing land from their settlement too (using the same intimidating methods).

          It was worth the subscription all by itself. See Israeli ‘hilltop youth’ accuse their former hero of stealing settlers’ land: After 17 years of lauding Ran as a hero for his agricultural enterprise, Itamar residents discovered that those who didn’t cry out when he expropriated Arab lands had just become his next victims. link to haaretz.com

  14. “It wasn’t two decades ago that Americans were being implored to set Russian Jews free.”

    The campaign was immortalized when Saturday Night Live’s Roseanne Roseannadanna gave her rebuttal to the Campaign to Save Russian Jewelry, with her complaint that American jewelry was just as good.

  15. Since it’s not practical for most not-fully-Jewish Israeli couples to travel abroad just for a marriage certificate, esp. since they wouldn’t go to present neighboring countries, you could make yet another argument for the 2-state sol’n. For if a Palestinian state were to be established, the Israelis could just take a short bus trip across the border to Palestine, the gov’t of which would issue a marriage certificate to interfaith or not-all-Jewish couples. Such Israeli couples then have a practical option, w/ less pressure on the gov’t to alienate the religious block by allowing civil interfaith marriages, and the new Palestinian gov’t could have an extra source of revenue. So replace the Qalandiya checkpoint w/ an Israeli-friendly marriage bureau in a Palestinian state.

  16. Weren’t hundreds of thousands of the so-called “Jews” that Henry M. Jackson and the proto-neocons forced the Soviet Union to allow to emigrate, in fact primarily Christian by descent?

  17. Klaus -
    This challenge is as old as the term “Jew”. And predates your third century priest. See Haman’s charge of treason against the first Jews in the biblical Book of Esther “their laws are different from all other people’s etc.” (yes, before anybody says it, I know about Jeremiah too).

    You give Jews too much credit. We’re still trying to figure it out. And it’s changing the whole time. But marrying non-Jews, displaying their gods and generally giving up being Jewish provides no guarantee for winning love and security.
    See the case of German Jews 80 years ago.

    • “See the case of German Jews 80 years ago.” No one really had security in Nazi Germany. As D.Bonhoffer says, when they got done with all the other groups they persecuted (gypsies, etc.), then they came for me. The Nazis ultimately planned for Christianity to disappear too.

  18. I write as a mere observer, but isn’t all this just a repetition of past self-destructive conflicts? Indeed I wonder whether they are actually past but ever ongoing and it is only one’s attention at variously critical moments that brings them in and out of focus.