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Israeli gov’t employs guilt to try and reverse reverse-aliyah

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The Jewish majority in Israel/Palestine is threatened by reverse aliyah, the trend of Israelis with opportunities to leave that country for the west. Alex Beam at the Boston Globe reports on an Israeli gov’t campaign to guilt Israelis into moving back by putting up billboards in the Boston area.

The government has used many different incentives in its long-term program to reverse the “brain drain’’ of highly qualified citizens to Western Europe and the United States. This most recent campaign attempts to use a new tool: guilt. The message of the Cambridge billboard, which is reprised in several 30-second TV ads you can see at the website, is that Israelis who linger too long in the diaspora risk losing their Jewish roots. In one of the ads, a family is Skyping their grandparents in Israel at Hanukkah, and the presumably assimilated daughter refers to the season as “Christmas.’’ A look of pain shoots across her grandparents’ faces….

There are 10,000 Israeli citizens in the Boston area and perhaps a million in the United States. Israel offers generous incentives, including 10 years of tax relief from overseas income or investment, Hebrew lessons for children – even 200 free cellphone minutes – to returnees…

Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis[:] “When Israel was created, it was declared that Jews could only be safe inside that homeland. But America challenges that, offering a place where Jews can live in equality with other people and not suffer from anti-Semitism.

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17 Responses

  1. patm
    patm on November 19, 2011, 11:22 am

    “Israel offers generous incentives, including 10 years of tax relief from overseas income or investment, Hebrew lessons for children – even 200 free cellphone minutes – to returnees…”

    All this, and they still need to use guilt to try and lure folks back. The powers that be must be getting quite desperate. And it’s not surprising! The specter of an Israel run full tilt by the Spitting Jews must be terrifying to many citizens.

  2. yourstruly
    yourstruly on November 19, 2011, 11:57 am

    which raises the question as to how much it would cost, utilizing incentives to promote reverse-aliyah, to drain the zionist entity dry of its jewish settlers? with a million former settlers already in america and thousands more in europe, how many additional israelis emigrating elsewhere would it take to render the zionist entity nonviable? – a half-million, one million? And say the cost was twenty thousand dollars per settler opting for reverse-aliyah, the cost to get 1 million settlers out of the zionist entity would be what, 20 billion dollars? surely this isn’t an insurmountable sum, considering the wealth of oil rich gulf nations, not to mention the u.s. of a. and other western nations that forced the settler-entity upon an unwilling arab/islamic world. bargain basement price too, compared to what’s being spent on the p/i conflict, along with the other wars that said conflict gives birth to.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont on November 19, 2011, 12:25 pm

    It might be that Israel’s Jewish population is growing even as some of its educated population is slowly moving out. Leaving the settlement-minded, ultra-nationalist, Masada-types. There will be no leaven! Heavens, it must be like eating nothing but matzo. Imagine, an Israel without liberals (I know, i know; but anyhow) and the ultra’s with their fingers on the “button”.

  4. Avi_G.
    Avi_G. on November 19, 2011, 12:35 pm

    […] and perhaps a million in the United States.

    Data I have come across puts the figure closer to 200,000 Israelis in the US, not a million.

  5. patm
    patm on November 19, 2011, 1:42 pm

    “The ultra-Orthodox are changing the face of the IDF” By Amos Harel

    “The former IDF rabbi was right about the reservist generals who have protested what they see as extremist religious trends within the army: This isn’t the army they used to know.”

    seafoid posted this link on another thread. It fits here too.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on November 19, 2011, 6:27 pm

    RE: “Israeli gov’t employs guilt to try and reverse
    reverse-aliyah” ~ Weiss

    “We are raised to believe that we are hated” says an Israeli high school girl. ~ from the documentary Defamation by Yoav Shamir (2008)


    (excepts) I urge every person on this planet to watch Yoav Shamir’s Defamation, a documentary about anti-Semitism…
    …He provides us with some intimate footage of Israeli youth being indoctrinated into collective anxiety and total neurosis just before they join the IDF.
    The general image we are left with is no less than grotesque. The film elaborates on the aggressive vulgar orchestrated amplification of fear amongst Israelis and Zionist Jews. “We are raised to believe that we are hated” says an Israeli high school girl on her way to a concentration camp…
    …Shamir provides us with an opportunity to see how badly young Israelis behave once in Poland. You watch their contempt to the local population and disrespect to Polish people and institutes. You can also watch Israelis project their hatred onto others. For some reason they are convinced that everyone out there is as merciless as they happen to be. The Israeli youngsters are saturated with fear, yet, they are having a good time, you can watch them having a party dancing in a bus all the way to a Auschwitz…

    “Defamation” can be streamed from Netflix –
    “Defamation” is also on YouTube (in 9 parts) –

  7. Inanna
    Inanna on November 19, 2011, 7:16 pm

    These kinds of arguments show me there’s nothing ‘liberal’ about zionism. How can arguments about ethnic fears about demography be anything but racist?

  8. RoHa
    RoHa on November 20, 2011, 1:05 am

    “Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis[:] “When Israel was created, it was declared that Jews could only be safe inside that homeland. But America challenges that, offering a place where Jews can live in equality with other people and not suffer from anti-Semitism”

    Is he suggesting that Jews could not live in equality in America before Israel was created?

    And is he suggesting that Jews could not live in equality in Australia before Israel was created?

    • SimoHurtta
      SimoHurtta on November 20, 2011, 4:57 am

      Also an interesting and less explained point in the Jewish “history” is how Jews managed to become the best educated and richest minority in Europe and USA. An astonishing achievement for a minority which claims all the time being undermined and heckled. Sure what happened in WW2 was a great tragedy, but most of time Jews had rather good times compared for example to Romani people.

      Before WW2 in Poland Jews were excellently represented in professions like doctors (56% of all doctors in Poland), teachers (43%), journalists (22%) and lawyers (33%). Jews represented then about 10 percent of the population. Hardly possible for a pariah ethnic/religious group. Imagine that in Israel over much 50 percent of doctors or one third of lawyers would be Israeli Arabs (20 percent of the population). Then we could not speak about Apartheid, we would speak about the majority’s dissatisfaction with the “situation” .

      • jewishgoyim
        jewishgoyim on November 20, 2011, 9:45 am

        Do you have any sources? Links? I mean these figures do not seem impossible but it’s a sensitive subject so you’d better back it up.

        Also success is not a defintive sign of acceptance. Success can breed resentment and suspicion. It makes one vulnerable to be singled out.

      • SimoHurtta
        SimoHurtta on November 20, 2011, 3:06 pm

        Sensitive? Why? Facts are facts. Jews are surely not and have not been the Romani people of Europe. We all know the numerous Nobel prices and famous Jewish business families and their achievements. Name one ethnic minority which has succeeded better in the field of education and wealth?

        The Poland education facts can be found on the page

        One example of the wealth of the Jews is the claim that one third of the German costs of WW2 was financed with the properties taken from Jews.
        As said Jews were a small minority in Germany in the 30’s. Small but rich.

        I find it a bit absurd how the same people can in one sentence brag about the achievements of their brothers and sisters in religion and in the next sentence describe how abused they are and have always been. The indisputable achievements of the Jews are well known. These achievements are not possible for people treated as the lowest in the society.

      • jewishgoyim
        jewishgoyim on November 20, 2011, 6:51 pm

        It is not a contradiction. Jews seem to be successful until things go awry for some reason. Then some people notice they are a sizeable presence in the establishment and they get blamed… Like the Weimar Republic or the Austro-Hungarian Empire falling into pieces.

        That’s why neocons are all over the place about the OWS rhetoric about the 1% against the 99%. They know their Jewish history and they know that Jews are a sizeable part of the 1% although they are only 1.8%. So the OWS is a non-starter for them. At least 35% of the 400 richest Americans are Jews as per the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

        Success is not a guarantee of everlasting safety. So Phil always says Jews are safe in the US but it’s likely that if you had asked Jews whether they were safe in Germany in 1910, an overwhelming majority would have said: “But of course!”. That’s where the anxiety is coming from in my view.

  9. tree
    tree on November 20, 2011, 2:24 am

    From the article:

    It’s a tough sell, as former MIT economics professor and now governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer explained in an interview with Newsweek: “The conditions are enormously better in the United States. A graduating student in economics who gets his first job in the United States will earn three or four times what he earns in Israel. And the universities are better equipped and all that. It demands something of people to come back.’’

    But, but…. Our hasbarists here keep telling us how great the Israeli economy is doing. Apparently its not doing as well as they protest.

    • Chaos4700
      Chaos4700 on November 20, 2011, 10:20 am

      That explains why public education in the US is under assault and why Zionists are flocking to “slash and burn” Republicans… I guess to “save” Israel from the “threat” of how much more attractive it is to stay in multi-cultural, mostly non-segregated United States.

  10. yourstruly
    yourstruly on November 20, 2011, 7:33 pm

    since the most that anti-zionists can do to liberate palestine is to rupture the u.s-israel special relationship, israel-firsters of whatever religion/political persuasion have to be exposed for the traitors that they are. the israel-first organizations know this too, which is why they get so upset (two decades ago, for example, when george bush the elder ordered ten billion dollars to be withheld from the settler entity because of its plans to expand west bank settlements. the critical nature of this special relationship in the minds of jewish israelis again was evident a year ago when their government greeted vice-president joe biden with the announcement that approval had been given for yet another settlement expansion. whether this embarrassing blunder would be off-putting to the special relationship became a major concern. turned out that the blunder wasn’t off-setting, but had it been, the popularity of the netanyahu government very likely would have suffered. seems there’s nothing that scares zionist settlers more than the prospect of losing the support of their one ally, the u.s. of a., which is why turning that fear into reality is just about the most important thing anti-zionists can do to advance the cause of justice for palestine. as for what sort of palestine, once the special relationship is no more, right now isn’t the fixation on that, like putting the cart before the horse?

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