The young flee Israel because it is a ‘failure’ and ‘xenophobic theocracy’ — ‘Haaretz’ columnist

Neri Livneh

Neri Livneh

An amazing piece on the Israeli reality, by Neri Livneh in Haaretz, reflecting on what a failure it is, how the best young people are leaving. She connects this to Israel’s constitution as a Jewish state, in which Jews are superior to others, and to Yair Lapid’s belief that there is nowhere else in the world for Jews but Israel. The cul-de-sac. Note her lament that she lost a horrifying number of classmates to war. To produce a xenophobic theocracy.

Why isn’t this kind of piece on the cover of the New York Times Magazine?

I’m going to Berlin because some of the people who are dearest to me in this world live there. I don’t know how long they’ll continue living there, but I know that if I were their age, I’d move there myself, or to some other country worthy of being called a democracy and in which there is a complete separation of religion and state. But at this point, I’ll remain in Israel, for as the German poet wrote: “You can make a new start, even with your last breath, but the water you have poured into the wine you cannot pour back out.”

 

…I’ll stay in Israel because I’ve aged and because, like a foolish gambler in the stock market, I’m ready to spend more and more money to try to redeem the lost funds I already invested in a stock that turned out to be a failure.

Too many of my friends are doing the same thing. It’s easier for them than it is for me, because they’ve already learned the trick of creating for themselves a private bubble of political alienation, in which they sink deep into an internal exile..

I went to all the right demonstrations, I wrote all the right things, I voted the right way, I did my part, and like a good Zionist woman, I went to the army. I became an officer, I lost a horrifying number of classmates as well as a few relatives in the Yom Kippur War, I got married, I had three terrific sons, I made sure they wore their gas masks and sang them cheerful songs, I lived with them in Jerusalem in the heart of the area hit by terror attacks and, because they said it was important, I tried not to get hysterical. And what did we get in the end? A country in which the only ones who can hope for something are those who believe in the morality of being an occupying nation or in the superiority of the Jews over all other peoples ‏(and there is overlap between the two groups‏), who want to live in a xenophobic theocracy, with a government in which the politicians − like Benjamin Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid − ask not what they can do for the citizenry but what the citizenry can do for the state

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 84 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. eljay says:

    >> A country in which the only ones who can hope for something are those who believe in the morality of being an occupying nation or in the superiority of the Jews over all other peoples ‏(and there is overlap between the two groups‏), who want to live in a xenophobic theocracy …

    In short: Supremacist “Jewish State”.

  2. W.Jones says:

    As a general rule, one thing progressives like to do is say things in society are getting better, we can take baby steps to reach the goal, it is slow but we are getting there, the future generations will see we are right. The discouraging thing about this is that surveys suggest younger generations of the author’s colleagues are becoming less tolerant. Much of Blumenthal’s book is anecdotal about attitudes, but unfortunately it has a lot more than a grain of truth.

    Please see the surprising statistical passages here dealing with “age brackets”. We are not even dealing with attitudes about Palestinians:
    link to jcjcr.org

    What can you do about this to promote Tolerance? Aren’t you practically hamstrung when it comes to changing attitudes if the governments – both there and here – and the Progressive community – here and there, are not willing to take on the problem directly like they normally would?

  3. pabelmont says:

    Yes, publish THAT in New Yorker, Nation, NYT, NPR.

    Lapid: “Jews can live nowhere else but Israel” — what he MEANS is “Nowhere else for mean-spirited Jews to live who need to lord it over others less powerful”.

    Nowhere else for Jews to live as oppressors.

    Nowhere else for Jews to live as aggressors.

    What is this a list of? Nobut all the social qualities Jews used to hate in Russia, Poland, later in Germany, etc. We didn’t want to be lorded-over, oppressed, aggressed-against, BUT WE SURE LOVE TO DO IT TO OTHERS.

  4. OlegR says:

    Most Israelis don’t agree with Neri Livne.

    The rate of immigration is in steady decrease since the beginning of 1990 ‘s

    link to themarker.com
    link to haaretz.co.il

    It’s in Hebrew so use translate.

    I am sure it frustrates her a lot that Meretz is not the ruling party but that’s democracy for you. The citizens voted for those names she dislikes so much.
    If that’s a cause to immigrate (to Berlin of all the places ) well all i can say is best of luck.And if things don’t work out you can always come back home.

    • amigo says:

      “If that’s a cause to immigrate (to Berlin of all the places ) well all i can say is best of luck.And if things don’t work out you can always come back home.” o legless r

      Wouldn,t bet on that Ruskie.

      1S 1P 1V.

      BDS .

      But keep dreaming comrade.

    • Dutch says:

      @ Oleg

      I don’t read Hebrew, but I hope you understand Dutch, as last night exactly this item was shown on Dutch national tv. Indeed many Israeli are leaving the place, but more telling is the industry that (desperately!) takes care of people taking their places.

      So what we see is a huge influx of mainly Americans, triggered by free flights, movals, subsidized housing in the West Bank, sponsored jobs, etc. The new colonists of Palestine.

      link to nieuwsuur.nl (interviews in English).

      • OlegR says:

        The article claims are not very substantiated.Like i said and provided links the numbers tell a different story.

        And the video showed immigration into Israel which is always welcome obviously so that’s kind of a supporting argument isn’t it.

        • amigo says:

          “And the video showed immigration into Israel which is always welcome obviously so that’s kind of a supporting argument isn’t it.” comrade oleg

          As long as they are Jews and not Goyim.

          Eh comrade oleg.

          That,s the good news you are referring to , right, racist.

        • Theo says:

          OlegR

          In the Boston area, you know Harvard, MIT, BU, etc., supposedly there are 15,000 israeli citizens with very high education.
          Do you think they belong to “the best”? Or the ever growing number of settlers make up that cathegory? Did you destroy a few olive trees lately?

    • Shingo says:

      Most Israelis don’t agree with Neri Livne.

      Yes they do. The rate of emigration (not immigration) is higher that the rate of immigration.

      • benedict says:

        Wrong.

        16,000 israelis emigrated. 9,000 veteran Israelis returned. 17,000 new immigrants came. That’s a net increase of 10,000. Then add another 110,000 Jewish children born.

        That’s about a 2 percent annual growth rate of jewish pop. In Israel. Sounds pretty robust to me.

        • Shingo says:

          16,000 israelis emigrated. 9,000 veteran Israelis returned. 17,000 new immigrants came. That’s a net increase of 10,000.

          The ones who returned are “veterans” meaning they are retirees who came home to live off welfare.

          That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

          Then add another 110,000 Jewish children born.

          The majority born to the Haridim who don’t work and are uneducated.

          That sounds pretty unsustainable to me.

  5. Kathleen says:

    An amazing piece for sure adding to the list another better late than never individual. Growing a conscience is a good thing. Looking at the facts…the racism in the constitution, the racism in the occupation all based on the taught superiority of one group over others. Israel’s actions deligitimize Israel.

    The New York Bloody Times will not touch an article like this but we can all do our best to spread it around the blog and FB world.

    • Shmuel says:

      An amazing piece for sure adding to the list another better late than never individual. Growing a conscience is a good thing.

      Have you ever read Neri Livne’s column before (she’s been writing in Israeli papers for years)? Why do you presume that she’s new to this issue or that she has only recently “grown a conscience”?

      Frankly, I’m a little baffled by this kind of score keeping.

      • Kathleen says:

        I have read a few of her pieces and I have never read one that so honestly exposes her feelings and the reality of the occupation. When you say “for years” how many years would you say.

        This is not score keeping but this is consistently bringing attention to the fact that many Jews have remained silent and complicit with this occupation for decades. The shift and growing a conscience about this critical issue is a good thing but it is a relatively new development for many Jews who have finally gotten involved with this issue.

        How this occupation has remained intact because of this complicity is important to remember.

        • Shmuel says:

          I have read a few of her pieces and I have never read one that so honestly exposes her feelings and the reality of the occupation.

          And that is what you call “better late than never” and “growing a conscience”? A more blatant turn of phrase, to the best of your knowledge, after having read “a few of her pieces”? Livne has been protesting vehemently against the occupation ever since I can remember.

          When you say “for years” how many years would you say.

          I’ve been reading her since the ’90s — in Haaretz and, before that, in Kol Ha’ir.

          This is not score keeping but this is consistently bringing attention to the fact that many Jews have remained silent and complicit with this occupation for decades.

          Consistently and constantly. Does this apply only to Jews? How do you measure complicity and when and how exactly does one stop being complicit? Are there any mitigating circumstances? How many years of speaking out is “respectable”? 10? 20? 60? Who gets to judge what constitutes speaking out? Does this principle of “bringing attention” to silence and complicity apply to other issues as well, or only this one? How high should this “bringing attention” be on the agenda of activists who care about this (or any other) issue?

          How this occupation has remained intact because of this complicity is important to remember.

          Definitely, in a “banality of evil” sense – historically, morally, politically -but is it really so important to bring it up (repeatedly) with regard to each and every individual Jew who does or says something decent or even admirable?

        • Kathleen says:

          Complicity of Jews who have supported the apartheid state of Israel for decades which Neri Levneh has admittedly done and Jews around the world who have sent money to Israel to organizations that support Israel no matter what they do are especially as well as non Jews who have directly supported Israel are especially guilty of this complicity of silence about Israel’s crimes.

          Look I celebrate and acknowledge that far more Jews have gotten involved with the movement over the last 5-10 years (Phillip Weiss being an example). But many people that I have talked with and who have been involved for decades see a real effort by some to cover up these tracks of silence and lack of involvement. And no real explanation about why they have been silent for so long knowing what was going on.

          I will continue to bring attention to this.

        • seafoid says:

          Judaism is a mess, Kathleen. The door to Israel from the US is shut closed and nobody is allowed to open it. But there’s a very bad smell coming through the keyhole…

        • Shmuel says:

          Complicity of Jews who have supported the apartheid state of Israel for decades

          And non-Jews who have supported Israel? And Jews who have not supported Israel?

          which Neri Levneh has admittedly done

          Neri Livneh is not just Jewish; she is an Israeli and, as such, actually does bear responsibility for her own actions and those of her elected representatives in this regard. But she has not been “silent” or “complacent”. On the contrary, she has (while living within Israeli society) protested against discrimination of all kinds and especially against the occupation, going to “all the right demonstrations” and writing “all the right things” – for decades.

          Relatively recently (this is not her first column in this vein), and directly related to her years of activism and protest over these very issues, she has finally given up all hope of changing the country for the better, and wants out – much as the far more radical Felicia Langer did a number of years ago. And this is the “amazing” development you call “growing a conscience”? Did Felicia Langer also “grow a conscience” only when she gave up hope of changing Israel and moved to Germany?

          Look I celebrate and acknowledge that far more Jews have gotten involved with the movement over the last 5-10 years (Phillip Weiss being an example)

          And non-Jews who have gotten involved? Did Phil Weiss work for Aipac before he started this blog, canvass for the JNF? Where’s his complicity? And what if he did? Are there no learning curves, no recognition of past mistakes or trying to fix them, in your world?

          But many people that I have talked with and who have been involved for decades see a real effort by some to cover up these tracks of silence and lack of involvement.

          Where do they see this effort? Has Phil tried to predate his blog? Photoshop some pictures of himself wearing a keffiyeh at age 10? Why would anyone try to cover up something that only seems to matter to you? I have never known an activist on this or any other issue who has been anything but honest regarding when and how they got involved. Besides, what sort of “tracks” do “silence and lack of involvement” leave, and how would one go about covering them up?

          And no real explanation about why they have been silent for so long knowing what was going on.

          Phil seems to have been rather forthcoming about how and why he got involved. Medea, whom you have singled out many times for this kind of criticism, was busy saving the world in so many other ways before she decided she had to act on this particular issue (abandoning and ignoring many others). What do you call a “real” explanation?

          I will continue to bring attention to this.

          And from time to time I may point out how superfluous and petty it is.

        • Kathleen says:

          There is a phenomena taking place where non Jews who have been working on these issues for decades and often isolated by their actions by the Jewish community in these communities are being pushed out of these seats and replaced by Jewish individuals. I believe to make it look like this has always been the case. One situation I am aware of more recently has taken place here in Boulder Colorado. A man named Guy Benetelli was labeled and targeted by the Zionist community here in Boulder for his creation and hard work on the Nablus Sister City project which he birthed and worked on for years. He was targeted so much that he was forced to step down so that his hard work would not be completely destroyed. A Jewsih woman Essria was put in his place a wonderful articulate person but so was Guy. And somehow this is more acceptable to the Zionist community here in Boulder that a Jewish woman is now heading the group. There is some racism embedded in these situations.

          And on the degree of complicity in crimes being committed against the Palestinians for decades. There are those who set up the environment where those crimes can be committed, state officials, legislators those who commit the crimes the IDF, settlers etc. Those who send money to the very institution who commit those crimes, those who are aware and stay silent etc etc. Degree of severity when it comes to complicity for sure. But can not stand when people attempt to make it appear that they have always been on the side of justice on this or any other issue or those who try to canonize those who finally take a stand on this very serious human rights and social justice issue.

          Neri Levneh admits her complicity and support for the criminal activities of the Israeli government and questions her support. A good thing, but reviewing why one has supported this apartheid government for so long in a deeper way is even better.

        • Kathleen says:

          “and from time to time I may point out how superfluous and petty it is”

          Shmuel how long did it take you to start responding knowing what you knew or know now?

          I have thought long and hard about this. If in our dreams the crimes committed by Israeli’s against Palestinians ended up at the Hague of course the leaders and legislator’s who set up the environment for these crimes being committed would more than likely be judged to be the most guilty, then those who committed atrocities and human rights abuses (torture, breaking bones (a policy),removing Palestinians from their lands, cutting down olive trees, etc etc. Would Neri be in that group? I don’t know She sounds very aware of crimes that have been committed. Then where would those Jews and non Jews who have donated enormous amounts of money so that the Israeli government and illegal settlements thrive. How the degree of severity of the direct and indirect crimes that have been committed against Palestinians would be taken into account and punishment would likely line up the way the extremely brutal and deadly crimes were committed by the Nazi’s against Jews, Poles, Gypsies etc.

          I would apply those same wishes for justice and accountability to be applied to those in the Bush administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice Feith, Addington, Cambone,etc etc) who created, cherry picked and disseminated false pre war intelligence to the American people and then invaded Iraq on those false pretenses. The next would come those in congress who voted for the Iraq war resolution people like then former Senator Hillary Clinton who according to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter knew that there were no WMD’s in Iraq (and Senator Dick Durbin who was on the intelligence committee’s vote against the Iraq war resolution should have been a clear signal for Clinton, Kerry etc) would be put on trial. Then how the U.S. military who were sent in on these false pretenses and killed far more Iraqi people than Americans give the time of day to thinking about would be tried would be tough. It’s the higher ups in the Nazi regime, in the Bush administration, in the Israeli government who should be put on trial. But those who are complicit through their silence is something to be examined closely.

        • Kathleen says:

          There are absolutely learning curves. Many of us worked on now deceased Senator Byrd’s racist views and votes for years. Challenging him. He changed. But he acknowledged his racist views and votes. He did not try in any way shape or form try to hide from his direct complicity in racism after his evolution.

          But trying to pretend that these degrees of complicity do not hold the racist structure intact is denial. My sense Shmuel is that it there may be a possibility that you took a long time to take a stand. Just a hunch.

          I think it is best to acknowledge this complicity not try to pretend it was never there and did nothelp maintain the human rights abuses continuing

        • Shmuel says:

          Kathleen,

          This is not the Hague, and the people you seem to have the most problem with are Jews who actually speak out about Israel’s crimes. You make assumptions about them — what they know, knew, supported, were silent about and should have done. You are both pleased that they are speaking out against injustice and irked by them for some reason. So you give them credit, while making insinuations about their past – not so much about what they may have done, but about what they may not have done.

          If you know something relevant about a current activist’s past, spit it out. If not, the kind of vague guilt by association you feel is so important that it must constantly be repeated (to establish a hierarchy of guilt or a hierarchy of credit?) is, at best, superfluous and petty.

        • Shmuel says:

          Shmuel how long did it take you to start responding knowing what you knew or know now?

          I was in an extreme right-wing religious-Zionist high school in Jerusalem at the time. I didn’t condemn the Nakba or embrace the RoR right away, but started to question some of the tenets of right-wing Zionism (territorial expansion, settlement, ethnocentrism, negation of Palestinian rights, etc.).

          How long did it take you? Did you understand everything in one go and immediately start to take action on the “front lines” (long before all of these “better late than never” types)?

          My sense Shmuel is that it there may be a possibility that you took a long time to take a stand. Just a hunch.

          By whose standards? On whose clock? And who cares?

        • W.Jones says:

          Shmuel and Kathleen,

          I wouldn’t worry too much about the mini debate you guys are having.

          It’s admirable when someone can change their mind to favor equality, and it’s also OK to look back, once you woke up, and wonder why you missed it all those years.

          Peace, guys.

        • Keith says:

          KATHLEEN- “There is a phenomena taking place where non Jews who have been working on these issues for decades and often isolated by their actions by the Jewish community in these communities are being pushed out of these seats and replaced by Jewish individuals.”

          What is the current status of Greta Berlin?

        • Kathleen says:

          I have problems with anyone who is aware of injustices and does nothing about it. Stands silent. Complicit. I explained to you what I find especially interesting is this phenomena of long time activist being knocked out or pressured out of leading positions by newly involved Jewish activist.

          Your admitting that it took you a long time to be willing to take a stand explains much of your anger for being called out about that possibility.

          Acknowledging this and looking at why it took you so long is something to be examined closely.

        • Kathleen says:

          Bet you are or have been willing to ask, wonder why so many Germans, Poles,the rest of the world did not respond to what was happening in Hitlers death camps to 6 million Jews, 3 million Poles, Gypsies etc. Why do people stand by when they may have a sense of what is taking place.

          The same question should be asked of you and anyone else. But especially those who have supported Israel in some form or another. I became aware of this issue in the mid 70′s I began to respond immediately. Responded in like mind to the situation in Iraq before the invasion. Fought tooth and nail for that invasion not to happen.

          I ask the same questions about why the majority of Americans seem to not give a rats ass about at least 650,ooo Iraqi’s being dead because of our invasion, millions displaced, thousands injured. It is the lack of response when people know what is going on that has me asking those questions. And people’s need then to take a front row seat and act as if they have always been there. Or say for instance Phil Weiss (I have brought this up) making it appear that somehow Peter Beinart is so brave for finally becoming one of the better late than never crowd. Canonizing the better late than never crowd. What is this need to do this? There are more examples of this

        • Keith says:

          KATHLEEN- “I would apply those same wishes for justice and accountability to be applied to those in the Bush administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice Feith, Addington, Cambone,etc etc) who created, cherry picked and disseminated false pre war intelligence to the American people and then invaded Iraq on those false pretenses.”

          No doubt that these people have escaped justice, the power elite usually do. However, please be aware that you are focusing on the public face of the imperial elite. Let us not ignore the men who wheel and deal in the shadows. The Bush administration didn’t hijack the empire. The empire serves the deep state. So do empire Jews. So does Obama. Without a fundamental restructuring of the political economy, things will likely get worse. The financial system is the key.

        • OlegR says:

          Shmuel i think Kathleen does not like Jews , even reformed Anti Zionists
          like yourself.You just didn’t repent in time, or you are not showing enough remorse, or some other misbehavior.

        • Shmuel says:

          Your admitting that it took you a long time to be willing to take a stand explains much of your anger for being called out about that possibility.

          I did no such thing. You did it for me (based on your “hunch”). You have also decided that I have “anger” and that it is “for being called out”. My comments to you on this subject have focused on your constant repetition of this meme, every time you hear (note: you hear, regardless of what has been said or done previously without your knowledge) of a Jew who has spoken out against injustice in I/P.

          It is healthy to ask about complicity (where there is reason to believe that there has been any – just being Jewish is not reason enough) and silence. It is petty to keep harping on who got where first and whose words and deed must be contextualised as “better late than never”.

          Acknowledging this and looking at why it took you so long is something to be examined closely.

          Examined by whom? By you? You don’t need to examine anything about me, because you already have all the answers.

        • Shmuel says:

          Bet you are or have been willing to ask, wonder why so many Germans, Poles,the rest of the world did not respond to what was happening in Hitlers death camps to 6 million Jews, 3 million Poles, Gypsies etc.

          Bet you’re wrong, but what do I know about my own thoughts and feelings. I’m Jewish, so I must think these things. You have a hunch.

          Or say for instance Phil Weiss (I have brought this up) making it appear that somehow Peter Beinart is so brave for finally becoming one of the better late than never crowd. Canonizing the better late than never crowd. What is this need to do this?

          I think Phil has gone a little overboard on Beinart (and have said so), not because he’s a member of the “better late than never crowd” (that’s your obsession), but because Beinart’s message is problematic.

        • Shmuel says:

          It’s admirable when someone can change their mind to favor equality, and it’s also OK to look back, once you woke up, and wonder why you missed it all those years.

          Thanks, W. Jones. “Blessed are the peacemakers” :-)

        • ziusudra says:

          @Shmuel,
          …. the king of vague guilt by association……

          As an American, Italo/Greco, Catholic, living in Germany,
          who married a Bavarian Girl. We have heard enough of
          ‘collective guilt’ throughout the Generations of Nazi crimes
          against Jews.
          Me two daughters now live in Milan & San Diego, both
          they & me Grand Children are guilty of Nazism!?
          I went through that BS with my catholic upbringing of
          my venial sin!
          ziusudra
          PS Oh, there are many ways to enslave you, my dear.

        • Theo says:

          OlegR

          Why is that when someone does not praise something that is done or said by a jew it immediately registers as anti-semitic or dislike to jews?
          I personally do not find anything negative in what Kathleen said.

          A few years ago I had the pleasure to listen to Beinard several times on LKL and other shows, he did not impress me either. Hot air can blow a baloon up, yet is is still pretty empty, not much substance.

      • ziusudra says:

        Greetings Shmuel,
        I came away with her words giving me an impression of her Menschkeit.
        When Zionists write, they only have feelings for crimes against them from the world, they whine.
        No longer being in N.Y., living here in Germany so long, I’ve associated with singular Jews in Paris, Milan, Munich; they are all menschlich.
        ziusudra
        PS Great Postings, Bubala.

  6. ritzl says:

    “ask not what they can do for the citizenry but what the citizenry can do for the state”

    That’s a brilliant fascistic observational turn of Kennedy’s words. It’s a perfect enigmatic description of just how fundamentally Israel feigns democracy but acts otherwise.

    In the next phase of one state/two state existence, there is going to be a lot of pent-up political commonality between Palestinians and these visionary but disenfranchised democratic Israeli die-hards. Who knows if it will be enough to smooth the transition, but maybe it will. A little hope anyway.

  7. Nevada Ned says:

    Neri Livneh says she lost a “horrifying number” of classmates and relatives in the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Israeli war deaths were in the range 2,500-8,000, according to Wikipeia.

    If that number is “horrifying”, what word do you use to describe the deaths of 17,000-20,000 Palestinians and Lebanese just nine years later, in Israel’s 1982 war?

    Beyond “horrifying” ?

    And by the way, it’s not at all unusual to find articles in the Israeli press that could never get published in the US mainstream media. Too hot to handle.

  8. piotr says:

    I agree with OlegR. The state tries to improve the lot of citizens and addresses their concerns, poor Neri simply has bad luck of being in minority. She is proud of her three sons who most probably served in IDF. But what if she had daughters with less martial inclinations? They would go to national service where they could be subject of nasty deprivations.

    Luckily, Naftali Bennet, the minister in charge, just last week extended a helping hand in response to complains of the citizens. Young women serving in national service in hospitals will no longer be used in shifts after 9 pm. You may ask: what so bad about the night shift? Girls in combat units do not have such exemption, after all. Yes, because hospitals present a unique set of dangers for young impressionable females: night shifts staffed with young Arab doctors.

    • OlegR says:

      So there are young Arab doctors in Israeli hospitals ,
      how could the “apartheid” state allow it ?

      • Mndwss says:

        piotr told you how the apartheid state could allow it….

        By keeping them apart…

        • OlegR says:

          But how could Arab doctor even work at Israeli hospitals or get a degree
          for that matter , under apartheid ?

        • Theo says:

          OlegR

          The romans and greeks also had slaves working in their homes and fields,
          however they certainly did not have the same rights.
          Do those arab doctors have the same pay as jewish ones, can they become medical heads of sections or even the hospital?
          I personally doubt it.

        • benedict says:

          Theo

          Read about Dr Masad Barhum, Arab director of the Israeli government hospital in Nahariya.

          Obviously you don’t really understand Israeli society.

          link to he.wikipedia.org

        • Theo says:

          benedict

          Thanks for your link, however I am not jewish and do not read hebrew!
          My vocabulary is limited to meshuge, shmuck und gefillte fish!!
          On the other hand you should know that one bird doesn´t make a spring and that rule also applies here.

          As far as the israeli society goes, one must not visit that country, the bad news you can hear all over the world, even birds say it: chip, chip, chip.

        • edwin says:

          Israel does not do petty apartheid. It does grand apartheid.

          Ronnie Kasrils
          link to vimeo.com
          link to vimeo.com

      • Dutch says:

        @ Oleg

        Don’t you know how Apartheid works? Your name suggests differently.

      • amigo says:

        “So there are young Arab doctors in Israeli hospitals ,
        how could the “apartheid” state allow it ?” o leglessr

        ” Palestinian medical school grads protest exclusion from Israeli hospitals
        The Al-Quds School of Medicine, east of Jerusalem, is considered neither Israeli nor foreign, leaving its graduates ineligible to take the Israeli licensing exam.”Haaretz

        link to haaretz.com

        So comrade, which is it.East Jerusalem is not in Israel or it is and you are wrong about Apartheid.

      • Eva Smagacz says:

        Doctors, Arab citizen of Israel, are given all the antisocial hours and shifts that Jewish doctors can’t be arsed to do. Hence preponderance of Arab doctors at nights on duty in Israeli hospitals.

        • OlegR says:

          Eva you care to prove that bullshit claim ?

        • Cliff says:

          That makes sense, since Israel is a racist/fascist apartheid Jewish country club.

        • yrn says:

          Eva has secret resources, the Polish security force, they know everything about Israel

        • Eva Smagacz says:

          “Eva you care to prove that bullshit claim”.

          Well Sherlock, in the hospitals world over, the lower your status as a medic, the worse and more antisocial hours shifts you get. So unless you can prove to me that Israeli hospitals promote Arab Israeli doctors at the same rate as Jewish Israeli doctors, then Arab doctors do get all the sh**ty shifts.

          And this even without racism being factored in. Promotion prospects of coloured medical staff are stifled in UK, and I deduct, a la Conan Doyle, that it’s worse in Israel.

          But, I am willing to be pleasantly surprised. If you can show me that Arab medics prospects in Israel are equal or exceeding than of their Jewish colleagues, and / or time rotas from any 3 months from any two Israeli hospitals that does not give night/weekend shifts to Arabs over and above their representative numbers on the staff, I will give £1000,- to your favourite charity offering daily practical help to Holocaust survivors. I will publish the receipt in Mondoweiss, if Phil will agree.

          Deal?

        • OlegR says:

          So no you can’t prove it, you just make some assumptions based on what you think (again without proof) is happening all over the world.
          Like i said your claim is bullshit.

          And you want me to prove otherwise, sorry Eva no game i don’t have to prove anything to you the burden of proof is on someone who made a claim about something, this is how debate goes.

          Cheers.

      • piotr says:

        I did not use any disparaging nouns and adjectives, and I do not address the issue of what is and is not “aparheid”. My true point is that Israeli government is quite concerned with satisfying the needs of the citizens, but the public is divided and what some people demand is deeply revolting to the others.

        The preoccupation with the correct dating choices of Jewish girls is probably sensible to Israeli majority, but deeply revolting to some. The question is if this is a tiny minority, or a much larger and mostly silent group.

        Previous government tried to solve the following problem and failed. The ultra-orthodox use diesel electricity generators on Saturdays to avoid non-kosher power from the grid, and that is wasting the fuel and contributes to pollution. The government proposed to move the power generation away from the supervision by the ministry of Commerce (Industry?) and place it under the Rabbinate who would design properly kosher rules and attest to their validity. It was a total flop, because ultras would not trust the official Rabbinate, while the “seculars” were quite irate.

        Without Jewish education I was puzzled how one can make non-kosher electricity. Actually, simplicity itself: a Jew should not use products of Jewish labor performed on the Sabbath day. There are exceptions like saving lives, but you do not die if your refrigerator or lights are off for a day. So how about Saturday crews made of non-Jews? Here it was interesting: only Jews can work in such security sensitive places like power stations. Now the irritation with rabbinic supervision idea has another angle: in their push to make kosher electricity the rabbis could cut corners on security and hire non-Jews. Between Talmud and security requirements one can get easily perplexed. For example, there is a pool of people who became citizens as Jews but are not Jews according to the rabbis. They serve in the military and should be OK for the security, but they are also a category of people that should not exist, so it is hard to expect a policy relying specifically on them.

        Actually, the people who are not exactly Jewish are perhaps the most weird aspect of Israel. For example, they cannot marry at all, although the State mercifully recognizes the marriages performed abroad. As far as I know, most of them are patriotic/nationalistic Israelis and they are treated OK except for marriages (they have to do it abroad) and burials (they have to be buried away from Jews). It is a puzzle why the State does not accommodate them better. My guess is that by ideology, Israel exists to allow Jews to be VERY Jewish and not to be so-so or almost Jewish.

        • OlegR says:

          /The preoccupation with the correct dating choices of Jewish girls is probably sensible to Israeli majority, but deeply revolting to some./

          It isn’t actually.It’s a complete non issue to most people and an issue
          (in the sense that they make a fuss about it) to some religious nutters
          it’s also an issue to Left wing circles that inflate it every time for their political gains.

          Regarding the rest of your response
          / The ultra-orthodox use diesel electricity generators on Saturdays to avoid non-kosher power from the grid, and that is wasting the fuel and contributes to pollution./

          Nonsense, the ultra-orthodox (or any observant Jews for that matter) do not use electricity or generators on Saturdays at all so i am not sure where you come with that little gem.

          /They serve in the military and should be OK for the security, but they are also a category of people that should not exist/

          What do you mean shouldn’t exist.
          The Hok ha Svut does not define who is a Jew only who is entitled to emigrate and be naturalized. The rabbinical law does not concern itself with that.

          /Actually, the people who are not exactly Jewish are perhaps the most weird aspect of Israel. For example, they cannot marry at all, although the State mercifully recognizes the marriages performed abroad./

          Not entirely correct two non Jews (according to halaha) can marry one another after a recent amendment to the laws.
          There is still a problem with couples when one of them is not considered a Jew and again the knesset is working on this as well.

          / My guess is that by ideology, Israel exists to allow Jews to be VERY Jewish and not to be so-so or almost Jewish./

          Israel exists to allow Jews to be Jewish.What that word means was is and will be defined by internal debate among citizens (including the ones currently considered non Jews by the orthodox )

        • Cliff says:

          Oleg said:

          Israel exists to allow Jews to be Jewish.What that word means was is and will be defined by internal debate among citizens (including the ones currently considered non Jews by the orthodox )

          No, Israel exists to allow Jews to reign over non-Jews with privileged status.

          Israel a racist/bigoted State that exists on top of the original majority population – the Palestinian Arabs.

        • OlegR says:

          No that’s not it Cliff sorry.

        • Walid says:

          “Nonsense, the ultra-orthodox (or any observant Jews for that matter) do not use electricity or generators on Saturdays at all so i am not sure where you come with that little gem”.(Oleg)

          It would have been unspeakable to have generators for Hassidim homes in the neighbourhood I lived for 5 years. But of course, they mostly all had 5 or 6 electric timers to turn on and off the lights in various rooms, to turn the oven on for the roast, to turn on and off the TV and so on. But they never went anywhere near a wall switch or plug during Shabbat.

        • OlegR says:

          Well yes they do use all sorts of gadgets to stay kosher and live a sort of normal modern life during Saturdays but Piotrs example was way way off unless he misunderstood somehting.

        • Shmuel says:

          Piotrs example was way way off unless he misunderstood somehting.

          Piotr’s account is exactly correct. There are haredim who will not use electricity (left on, or on a timer, of course) from the grid on the Sabbath, because its production involves Sabbath desecration by Jews. For that reason, independent generators are used.

        • OlegR says:

          /Piotr’s account is exactly correct. There are haredim who will not use electricity (left on, or on a timer, of course) from the grid on the Sabbath, because its production involves Sabbath desecration by Jews./

          Ok that makes more sense.
          Most of mainstream rabbinical figures allow the use of Hevrat Hashmal power.
          So i guess we are not talking about large numbers of people with misshugas.

        • Shmuel says:

          So i guess we are not talking about large numbers of people with misshugas.

          This article (Hebrew) from 6 years ago says “tens of thousands” and “a considerable proportion of residents in Haredi towns and neighbourhoods”: link to ynet.co.il

          I presume the number is significantly higher today.

  9. Theo says:

    It seems the last capital of the zionist history is being written and the finale is near.
    Will it be a peaceful andante departure or a very bloody crecendo?

  10. a blah chick says:

    I believe that during the election in 2009 Lieberman’s party had a slogan that went something like “No citizenship without loyalty.” Because for him the citizen exists to serve the state not vice versa. Sounds rather Soviet if you ask me.

    No matter what gotta keep that Zionist train rolling down that track, and don’t let anyone or thing stand in your way!

    Also can anything demonstrate the complete failure of Zionism than the face that there are people there who have dedicated their time to stop assimilation! I thought the creation of the Jewish state was suppose to put a stop to that problem.

  11. benedict says:

    Obviously, Neri Livni is a very frustrated and bitter Israeli. Yet she only represents herself. I dare say that most Israelis never even heard about here.

    Phil seems to relish the thought that the brain drain described by Livni indicates the beginning of a massive Jewish immigration that will significantly weaken Israel. Perhaps a kind of Jewish self-transfer palatable to phil’s liberal sensibilities.

    That argument doesn’t work. Let’s present some figures: in 2011 the number of Israelis that left the country (in the sense of staying away for more than a year) was about 16,000. That is one of the lowest immigration numbers from Israel in the last 30 years. It is also one of the lowest immigration rates within the OECD countries. During the same year about 9,000 people RETURNED to Israel. Finally, during the same year about 110,000 Jewish babies’ where born in Israel.

    Bottom line, folks: the Jewish population in Israel is growing and there is nothing you can do about it. No miraculous “brain drain” will save your day, phil.

    just get used to the idea and move on.

    • seafoid says:

      “Let’s present some figures: in 2011 the number of Israelis that left the country (in the sense of staying away for more than a year) was about 16,000. That is one of the lowest immigration numbers from Israel in the last 30 years”

      Give us the data for the last 30 years, Benedict. You undermine your argument with that stat. If it’s one of the lowest emigration was obviously higher in the other years. Israel’s economy did well in 2011. How will the stats look when it tanks ?

      • yrn says:

        Here are the numbers from the Israeli Statistic office
        Enjoy.
        Se how Israel Jewish population grows every year.

        link to cbs.gov.il

        • seafoid says:

          Doesn’t give any detail on Jewish immigration but the growth of the Palestinian population is higher than that of the Jews over 10 years (very sectarian stats BTW) so I guess there is substantial educated Jew migration and that the growth of the haredi pop is no economic substitute.

        • Shingo says:

          Se how Israel Jewish population grows every year.

          Yes, the uneducated and unemployed Haredim living off welfare. Sounds like a recipe for sustainability – NOT.

      • benedict says:

        in the early 90is the immigration rate was about 24,000 per year. So we see a DECLINE in immigration rate of jews out of Israel. The Israeli economy was lousy in 2001-2003. It didn’t trigger the mass immigration you are dreaming about.

        I mentioned Israeli jews returning to Israel (9,000 during 2011). I didn’t figure in NEW jewish immigrants making aliya. In 2011 that was almost 17,000. And by the way most of them have more than 16 years of education. So their goes your brain drain, seafood.

        Obviously Jewish population in Israel is robust and growing. Hope youl finf a way of getting over it.

        • Shingo says:

          So we see a DECLINE in immigration rate of jews out of Israel.

          It’s still greater than the rate of immigration into Israel and more importantly, it’s the skilled and educated who are abandoning Israel.

          And by the way most of them have more than 16 years of education. So their goes your brain drain, seafood.

          No, the brain drain is the highest in the Western world.
          link to haaretz.com

          Obviously Jewish population in Israel is robust and growing.

          Yes, the illiterate and unemployed Haredim and those who have no way of getting a job outside the country.

          Hope you’ll find a way of getting over it because Israel won’t.

        • Theo says:

          benedict

          One immigrates to a country and one emigrates from a country.
          Jews leaving Israel emigrate!

        • benedict says:

          shingo

          The term “brain drain” is misleading. The way you and phil are using it sounds as if Israeli society is becoming dumber. But that’s not the case.

          What IS happening is that Israel has one of the highest rates of scientist per capita and simply doesn’t have enough positions to offer them. That’s why about 1,000 Israelis have senior positions in top US universities. Most of them would have preferred to stay in Israel but the state simply has no jobs to offer them. In fact the percentage of Israelis aged 30-44 with high education is one of the highest in the world, significantly higher than the USA.

          There is a brain overflow not brain drain.

        • Shingo says:

          The term “brain drain” is completely accurate.

          Yes, the Israeli society is indeed becoming dumber as school test scores attest to.

          What IS happening is that Israeli scientist want better jobs than the limited options available to them in Israel. Also, the better educated are no longer able to stomach the apartheid, fascist society that Israel is becoming.

          Most of them would have preferred to stay in Israel but the state simply has no jobs to offer them. In fact the percentage of Israelis aged 30-44 with high education is one of the highest in the world, significantly higher than the USA.

          False. Polls show that most Israelis would prefer to leave Israel is they could afford the same standard of living elsewhere.

          Studies originating both in Israel and abroad that show “as many as half of the Jews living in Israel will consider leaving … if in the next few years the current political and social trends continue.” This finding is in addition to the fact that yerida, or emigration out of Israel, has long been running at higher numbers than aliyah, or immigration into the country.

          The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics states that as of 2005, 650,000 Israelis have left the country for over one year and not returned. The great majority of these were Jews. In addition, polls show that at least 60 percent and as high as 80 percent of remaining Israeli Jews “sympathize with those who leave the country.”

          Among those who stay, there is the conviction that the safe thing is to have a second passport issued by the United States or a European country.

          As the Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy puts it, “if our forefathers dreamt of an Israeli passport, there are those among us who are now dreaming of a foreign passport.”

          As the Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy puts it, “if our forefathers dreamt of an Israeli passport, there are those among us who are now dreaming of a foreign passport.”

          Approximately 200,000 or 22% of Russians going to Israel since 1990 have so far returned to their country.

          It is indeed a brain drain. Israel is becoming a Jewish Taliban.

          So sad.

    • Shingo says:

      I dare say that most Israelis never even heard about here.

      A love more have of heard about you, so I take it we should not pay any attention to what you have to say?

  12. lysias says:

    There’s a paragraph in Max Blumenthal’s Goliath where an Israeli says that all the best Israelis are going to Berlin and other European capitals.

    • OlegR says:

      I wonder how he tested that bestness.
      An ear exams perhaps ?

      • lysias says:

        When I posted that, I was only halfway through Goliath and had just read the paragraph I cited. I had not gotten to the book’s final chapter, “The Exodus Party”, which is all about the exodus of educated Israeli Jews to the U.S. and Europe. Some passages:

        With easy access to second passports (a luxury most Mizrahi Israeli citizens who emigrated from Arab countries do not enjoy) Israeli’s Ashkenazi middle and upper classes have escaped the claustrophobic atmosphere of the country of their birth in droves. According to current Israeli government estimates, as many as one million Israelis — a full 13 percent of the population — now live outside Israel, an increase of almost seven hundred thousand since 1980.

        . . .

        A 2007 poll of Israeli youth between the ages of fourteen and eighteen found that more than half would prefer to live abroad and would do so if they had the chance.

        . . .

        Though the United States remained the favorite country for Israeli emigres, Germany had emerged as the choice destination for the younger, artsier set, and for committed leftists like Edo. As many as 50,000 Israelis have applied for German citizenship and some 100,000 already held a second German passport. “For [young Israelis],” the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported, “Germany is not just a country like any other — it also happens to be one of their favorites.” And Berlin, with an Israeli population of 15,000, was their utopia, the Altneuland they could not find in Tel Aviv. As Der Spiegel put it, “The city from which the Final Solution was once managed now lures Israelis with its cheap rents and the promise of life in an exciting city that never sleeps.”