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Many leftwing Israelis are leaving the country — ‘Forward’ breaks an important story

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Yesterday the Forward ran an important piece, by Mairav Zonszein, saying that she and other leftwing Israelis are thinking of leaving the country, and many have left already:

Everywhere I turn these days, many of my peers have left, are leaving, are planning to leave or are talking about leaving. My family and I included. The reasons for leaving are always personal, and it’s hard to point to a specific political trend. But the discourse around leaving is indicative of a real crisis in the Israeli left regarding the inability to effect change, and the increasing sense that our ideals are unwanted and that we are outnumbered. Not just at the polls, but at the family dinner table, too.

This is an important piece because it is news, and Zonszein is telling the truth, based on my own travels in Israel earlier this year: lots of left-leaning Jews are thinking of leaving. Two friends of mine have left, a Palestinian and a Jew, because they feel their idealistic hopes of coexistence have no place in Israel. Zonszein says the debate over emigration is raging on her Facebook page and on the Haaretz opinion pages. In January in New York, at a Haaretz photo exhibition, Chemi Shalev mentioned the discussions of emigration, and the immense social pressure against it. Five years ago Gideon Levy reported that more and more Israelis were seeking foreign passports, for fear of the society coming apart.

But no one has covered this story in anything like the forthrightness that Zonszein just did. I have tried several times over the last few months to get people to write about it or talk about it; they wanted to stay under the radar.

So: hat’s off to the Forward and Zonszein for breaking a story that is in the mainstream’s lap. The New York Times or New Yorker should have done this story. They didn’t because they do not want to confront the political crisis that Israel is experiencing, before the world’s eyes, with Haaretz writers and military leaders speaking openly of Nazi and fascistic trends in the society, and the occupation entering its fiftieth year.

Zonszein describes a political climate that has become so inhospitable to liberal views. She first experienced alienation when she was showing up with Ta’ayush to prevent human rights abuses in the West Bank; Tel Aviv liberals had no idea what was going on, and didn’t care to know.

A decade later, and five years since the “tent protests” that saw hundreds of thousands of Israelis out in the streets protesting the high cost of living without any mention of the disenfranchised Palestinian population in our midst, this sense of alienation has only intensified. Instead of gaining legitimacy in Israeli society, activist groups like Ta’ayush, Anarchists Against the Wall and Breaking the Silence, which came of age during the second intifada with the goal of exposing and opposing human rights violations, are now targets of state-sanctioned incitement; they are marginalized even more than they already were, and delegitimized.

Israel currently has the most right-wing government in its history, and “leftist” is a bona fide bad word whose definition just keeps broadening. An Israeli who never set foot across the Green Line but who protested in central Tel Aviv against Israel’s past two wars in Gaza is considered radical. A soldier who has fulfilled his military service and then speaks out against the actions he carried out is a traitor. A 2016 poll shows that 72% of Jewish Israelis believe Israel’s control over the Palestinian territories does not even constitute an “occupation.”

Under these circumstances, how can the left possibly hope to shift the discourse, much less end the occupation?

You’ll see that the piece includes a subliminal advertisement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), based on the idea that Israel is incapable of changing without significant outside pressure. I wonder if the Forward tempered that statement, but of course BDS is the only game in town when it comes to nonviolent external pressure on Israel. And the mention reflects the fact that the liberal American Jewish community has to come to BDS if it wants to call itself liberal.

At the end of the article Zonszein has not resolved her quandary, but she has managed to get across bald descriptions of Palestinian persecution, including the fact that so many of them can’t go to the sea, as Zonszein can, and–

Every time I experience fear or anxiety about the increasingly violent, herd-mentality society my 2-year old is growing up in, I consider the Palestinian children who are stateless and roofless in Gaza.

My chief feeling about this article is pity that mainstream American publications are incapable of bringing themselves to cover this important story, because they are all so invested in what Max Blumenthal calls dreamcastle Israel.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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81 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    September 4, 2016, 1:49 pm

    a fantastic article by Zonszein (and excellent review phil)

    • Naftush
      Naftush
      September 6, 2016, 12:51 am

      “Fantastic — a word originally meaning ‘existing only in the imagination, unreal’ (Oxford English Dictionary). Indeed. For decades disaffected Israelis across the whole spectrum have been threatening to emigrate and the media honor them with sympathetic coverage each time. When demographers look at actual, not imagined, emigration, they find much lower numbers than the media “report” and give little credit to despair as the reason for it.

      • annie
        annie
        October 31, 2016, 3:59 pm

        regardless of an “original” meaning, is is commonly understood informally as:

        2.
        informal
        extraordinarily good or attractive.
        “your support has been fantastic”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 31, 2016, 5:07 pm

        “When demographers look at actual, not imagined, emigration, they find much lower number…”

        Still, since the trend is downward (oh, and aging, to, as the pop. gets lower) we need to ask ourselves: what’s the minimum number of Zionists needed to keep the place going?

    • Emory Riddle
      Emory Riddle
      September 6, 2016, 4:53 pm

      Anyone who moved to Israel and chose to live there these past several decades is not liberal. Period.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    September 4, 2016, 2:49 pm

    This is going to hurt Netanyahu, since he has made it his life’s mission to find every Jewish person in various corners of the world, like in Africa and even India, and entice them to come to stolen lands. He even tried to bribe the Iranian Jews, and took the opportunity to invite the French Jews over during a sad time in France. He needs to fill up those illegal abodes, and these left wing Jews who have decided to leave, will not help the colonization of Palestinian lands.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      September 4, 2016, 3:32 pm

      It’s not so obvious. Netanyahu may be glad to be rid of Jews who dissent and protest. There are not enough of them to make a big difference to the demographic equation. Attitude toward dissident Jews has always been one of the issues that divide Zionists. For instance, during the rule of the Nazi junta in Argentina, which Israel supported, the question arose of whether to try to rescue left-wing Argentinian Jews and bring them to Israel. Some Zionist functionaries took the view that Israel would be better off without such Jews, while for others what mattered was that they were still Jews. In fact, the junta agreed to release some Jewish prisoners on condition of their immediate deportation to Israel.

    • silamcuz
      silamcuz
      September 5, 2016, 12:32 am

      these left wing Jews who have decided to leave, will not help the colonization of Palestinian lands.

      Kay24, isn’t the USA made up of stolen lands as well? So these left-wing Jews are protesting against Zionism and settler-colonialism on Palestinian land, by moving to settler-colonial projects on Native American lands?

      • annie
        annie
        September 5, 2016, 1:08 am

        by moving to settler-colonial projects on Native American lands?

        berlin? there was no mention of where they were moving to.

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        September 5, 2016, 1:35 am

        berlin? there was no mention of where they were moving to.

        I have a feeling that such information was deliberately omitted as to prevent criticism like mine being made.

      • annie
        annie
        September 5, 2016, 2:14 am

        ah, your “feeling”? iow, you don’t know where “left-wing Jews” in israel are emigrating to but for the sake of argument decided to assume they were moving to the US — to pontificate on some poc diatribe as if your primary concern was rooted in Native American lands. cough.

        reminds me of your earlier comment:

        Same thing here in Israel, sure you could find some …. they are merely conforming to the present system of white supremacy

        so, how’s your morning in israel sila? waking up? the birdies chirping in the settlements today?

      • talknic
        talknic
        September 5, 2016, 3:15 am

        “So these left-wing Jews are protesting against Zionism and settler-colonialism on Palestinian land, by moving to settler-colonial projects on Native American lands? “

        LOL. Even if true, what a moronic argument.

        A) The US is no longer colonizing. Israel is still colonizing

        B) The US grants full citizenship and voting rights to those it once colonized. Israel extended the same courtesy to only a token minority of non-Jewish Israeli citizens, those it didn’t dispossess

        C) American Indians, tho formerly colonized, still live in America and can leave and return to anywhere in the US. Israel prevents its non-Jewish Israeli citizens from returning to Israel after having dispossessed them

        D) Where are all our US born Jewish fellows gonna go, (apart from illegally settling in non-Israeli territories) ?

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        September 5, 2016, 7:19 am

        Kay24, isn’t the USA made up of stolen lands as well?

        Really, these apologists have come up with the most ridiculous justifications to keep that damn occupation going. Let me try to explain this simply – we cannot go back in time and change the errors of our ways, and I think the native Americans were treated so badly, to say the least, we are now PRESENTLY watching a brutal occupation and the shameless theft of lands, and it can be stopped by the occupier and the world powers NOW. Pointing to US history centuries ago, can never justify what is going on right now, and it is ugly.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 5, 2016, 3:50 pm

        “so, how’s your morning in israel sila? waking up? the birdies chirping in the settlements today?”

        Exactly. BTW, “Silamsez” if nothing else, the time-stamps make it pretty clear. Or are you an incurable insomniac in Gary, Indiana? Let me say it once again.

  3. ritzl
    ritzl
    September 4, 2016, 3:03 pm

    Compare to the Joint List types who stay and fight for what they believe.

    These timid lefty Jewish-Israelis would rather bail than ally with their [natural] non-Jewish moral allies. The far bigger story is “Why?”

    I don’t pretend to understand the ease with which these lefties-of-convenience abandon their country/”Jewish State” and leave it to others – non-Jews – to fight their all-too-real battles. And frankly, they carry that defeatism/feebleness/lack of courage their new host country.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      September 4, 2016, 6:13 pm

      Ritzl,

      The Meistervolk Zionist entity citizens are not “at home”. Not only they don’t have to stay, they shouldn’t stay in other people’s homes. No matter that most who leave are just as Zionist as before –they are only leaving for more comfort and safety. They aren’t refugees.

      Once more, just to make sure it’s been said: nowhere in Palestine is the Zionist invaders’ own country. The only good thing these guys can do is to go back to their own countries.

      “Why?”
      What do you mean, “why?”
      Those “lefties” still in Palestine aren’t allied with the Joint List for a reason: they may be “lefties” by Zionist (or US) standards but they still believe in a “Jewish state”. They are goddam Zionists.

      • Raphael
        Raphael
        September 4, 2016, 8:06 pm

        Exactly, and the irony is the left wing Jews in the US are even more Zionist… then the Israeli left wing Jews.

        Because, for the US Jews, Zionism, is more based upon a spiritual Zionism; a quest to be free of the self imposed life of the ghetto of the Orthodox of the Old Country….this Zionism was at one time, many years ago the proto Zionism that then became the Zionism of today.

        But, the right wing Zionism of a Israeli Jew is more based on the illusion of a tribal power elite with a merger of power between the secular Jew and the Orthodox; so that marriage dilutes Zionism; it then becomes a empty patriotic nationalistic idol god. The golden calf god becomes the idol that feeds the great beast (war).

        Israel has become a ethno-national country run by fundamentalists right wing militant fanatics. I was living there; so I seen that it was different then what American Jews imagine it to be, or even what the world imagines it to be.

        When in Rome do as the Romans do. The Arabs should seek a nation within the nation of Israel; because a two state agreement is never going to happen, ever.

      • Raphael
        Raphael
        September 4, 2016, 8:49 pm

        “A Pharisee is someone who is virtuous out of obedience to the Great Beast.”

        Simone Weil

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 5, 2016, 3:55 am

        “The Arabs should seek a nation within the nation of Israel; because a two state agreement is never going to happen, ever. ”

        I don’t understand what you mean by this. How can the Arabs create a nation within Israel if a two state agreement is impossible? Regardless of which bit of Israel the nation is created in, it will be a second state.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        September 5, 2016, 11:22 am

        @echino

        Israel is going away by its own hand. It may take a while but unless they go full Nazi on the Palestinians the Zionists have skillfully and inexorably maneuvered themselves into a minority position in what they call “their” own country.

        Cheers.

      • Raphael
        Raphael
        September 5, 2016, 12:07 pm

        Roha:

        I don’t understand what you mean by this. How can the Arabs create a nation within Israel…

        It is something the Israelite people have been doing for quite some time; they called it creating a State within a State in 1896. Today… it would be called a Nation within a Nation so as to debate it in the UN, for example.

        And, for Israelite debates, the Arabs could keep the State within a State formula. And, because when I was living in Israel; it seemed that modern day Israelis were stuck in some time in the past; so, it is yet another reason why it a peace agreement that Israelis would agree too.

        See Bernard Lazare:

        Anti-Semitism, It’s History and Causes By Bernard Lazare
        by Bernard Lazare
        1894

        In reality, the Jew lived under the rule of a lord, Yahweh, who could neither be conquered, nor even assailed, and he knew but one thing, the law, i.e., the collection of rules and decrees which it had once pleased Yahweh to give to Moses a law divine and excellent, made to lead its followers to eternal bliss; a perfect law which the Jewish people alone had received.

        With such an idea of his Torah, the Jew could not accept the laws of strange nations; nor could he think of submitting to them; he could not abandon the divine laws, eternal, good and just, to follow human laws, necessarily imperfect and subject to decay. Thus, wherever colonies were founded by the Jews, to whatever land they were deported, they insisted, not only upon permission to follow their religion, but also upon exemption from the customs of the people amidst whom they were to live, and the privileges to govern themselves by their own laws.

        At Rome, at Alexandria, at Antioch, in Cyrenaica they were allowed full freedom in the matter. They were not required to appear in court on Saturday; (3) they were even permitted to have their own special tribunals, and were not amenable to the laws of the empire; when the distribution of grains occurred on a Saturday their share was reserved for them until the next day, (4) they could be decurions, being at the same time exempt from all practices contrary to their religion; (5) they enjoyed
        complete self-government, as in Alexandria; they had their own chiefs, their own senate, their ethnarch, and were not subject to the general municipal authorities.

        Everywhere they wanted to remain Jews, and everywhere they were granted the privilege of establishing a State within the State. By virtue of these privileges and exemptions, and immunity from taxes, they would soon rise above the general condition of the citizens of the municipalities where they resided; they had better opportunities.

        https://ia802608.us.archive.org/11/items/Anti-semitismItsHistoryAndCausesByBernardLazare/anti-semitism-causes-bernard-lazare.pdf

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 5, 2016, 12:56 pm

        Israel is going away by its own hand

        How so? That’s a seductive, widespread soundbite that doesn’t stand to analysis.

        unless they go full Nazi on the Palestinians

        Obviously you haven’t heard enough people on the Nazi occupation of WWII. You’re welcome to present significant differences. What else do you need? [In fact, in those times help was on its way, with both the Allies fighting and an effective resistance. Unlike today’s wordplay-help from international bodies and worldwide bashing of any resistance.]

        the Zionists have skillfully and inexorably maneuvered themselves into a minority position in what they call “their” own country

        So what? They’ve been a tiny minority at the start, too. If you think the Nazi occupiers and the minority Boers were defeated “by themselves” you got another think coming.
        The Zionists only have to be stronger than the occupied. Numbers are irrelevant.
        Today, the Zionists’ force is that of the US of freakin A.
        More exactly, the Zionist government in Palestine IS the US.
        Even if that weren’t the case, the Zionists still have the option of a successful genocide.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 5, 2016, 4:19 pm

        I don’t feel that anybody should stand in the way of the Zionist project shrinking to its natural and sustainable size. And every little bit helps.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 5, 2016, 5:00 pm

        “Exactly, and the irony is the left wing Jews in the US are even more Zionist… then the Israeli left wing Jews.
        Because, for the US Jews, Zionism, is more based upon a spiritual Zionism…”

        Fake left.

        “The Arabs should seek a nation within the nation of Israel; because a two state agreement is never going to happen, ever”

        And run right.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 5, 2016, 6:27 pm

        “A Pharisee is someone who is virtuous out of obedience to the Great Beast.”

        Like running and fetching the letter ?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 6, 2016, 3:18 am

        So you think the Arabs should emulate the bad behaviour of the Jews and set up a society within a society.

        How would this gain them their full rights, in what is their own country?

        The Gentiles tolerated this when the Jews did it, but would the Israeli Jews allow the Arabs to do it? Especially when there are people like you who want to destroy the mosques and churches.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      September 5, 2016, 12:10 am

      Mairav Zonszein is also a +972 contributor/staff and has faced abuses for her articles, possibly death threats to her and other staff. I don’t know how brave I’d be if my life or my child’s life were threatened; however, that would put me kind of on par with a Palestinian mother and that might give me strength. I don’t knock her for leaving, but she has the freedom of movement no Palestinian has had in the last 70 years and that’s pathetic.
      I don’t think so-called liberals/leftists/whatevers heading for Ben Gurion in droves is going to have any effect on the present situation. The right wing knows they can’t change the so-called left, and the so-called left hasn’t been able to change the right. BDS alone isn’t going to be able to take down this beast and kill it once and for all. The so-called high holy days are just around the corner and I’m filled with dread.

      • annie
        annie
        September 5, 2016, 1:45 am

        BDS alone isn’t going to be able to take down this beast and kill it once and for all.

        don’t count on that.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        September 5, 2016, 4:23 am

        Annie – don’t understand your response. BDS has done and continues to do a lot, but I’m afraid it will take a lot more to end this because the right isn’t interested in peaceful solutions and I think this other ‘peculiar institution’ won’t end without bloodshed.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        September 5, 2016, 10:27 am

        Mairav Zonszein has some courage but she’s leaving. Haneen Zoabi, who faces bigger and more numerous threats to life and liberty, is staying and slogging it out.

        I understand the elements of truth in what you’re saying Marnie, but I’m sticking with my original comment. The cut-and-run attitude/ability and the seemingly complete unwillingness to work with “others” of the Jews who MW seeks to influence to make Israel better, help Palestinians, show that not all Jews are violently racist and/or repressive Zionists, or some other good purpose, negatively impacts the effectiveness of the message here.

        I believe it’s an important message but I question whether a large chunk of the target/receptive audience is even capable of acting on that message because of artificial/self-imposed constraints.

        That’s why I asked, “Why?”. Why is Mairav Zonszein leaving the “Jewish State” when Haneen Zoabi is not? I believe that’s a more complete and important discussion than the lone fact that Ms. Zonszein is leaving.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 5, 2016, 11:13 am

        Ritzl,

        The cut-and-run attitude/ability and the seemingly complete unwillingness to work with “others” of the Jews who MW seeks to influence to make Israel better, help Palestinians, show that not all Jews are violently racist and/or repressive Zionists, or some other good purpose, negatively impacts the effectiveness of the message here.

        There is no need to be “violently racist and/or repressive Zionists” to be military or civil invaders/occupation personnel. There is no need to be personally “violently racist and/or repressive” to be Zionists. There are a few Meistervolk “Jewish” Zionist entity citizens who have joined the resistance in Palestine but that is a rather hard and risky thing to do.

        Ms Zonszein is to be very highly commended for getting out (or her intention to do so), even if this isn’t likely to represent any material duress. It is her duty to do so. Of course the Zionist government is happy to see her leave: one can’t have everything.
        One can only hope that she will continue to oppose the Zionist-entity-born racist shits that are poisoning the air in so many cities of Europe and America.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        September 5, 2016, 11:35 am

        Echino, I’m getting your anger but not your reasoning.

        PS. “Meistervolk?” Seriously?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 5, 2016, 12:14 pm

        Ritzl,

        If you see it as anger rather than reasoning we can’t talk.
        Of course “seriously” Herrenvolk (aka Master Race in English, hence my lapsus.) It is the shorthand technical term for the racial/pseudoracial/ethnic/religious etc. characterization of the dominant element in a racial supremacist tyranny.
        In this case, the ”Jewish” citizens of the Zionist entity are alien invaders, too, in addition to being the Herrenvolk. This means that the only ones among them with a legitimate claim to be anywhere in Palestine are those with pre-invasion Palestinian ancestry. That’s why I say that the duty of all invader people is to get out.

        Haneen Zwabi is at home, and she had the breathtaking courage to mark herself as a resistant because a spokesperson within the system is necessary. Ms Sonnschein is not at home; she’s not a resistant but an objector expressing deep antipathy to the inhuman excesses of the Zionist invasion, something certainly commendable that can be done more easily anywhere in Europe.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        September 5, 2016, 12:37 pm

        ritzl – Thanks for your thoughts. “Mairav Zonszein has some courage but she’s leaving. Haneen Zoabi, who faces bigger and more numerous threats to life and liberty, is staying and slogging it out.”

        This is and has always been Ms. Zoabi’s home. That’s not true for Ms. Sonzsein or myself for that matter, but I’m not going anywhere unless I’m physically removed. I’ve never been back to the u.s. since I left and have no plans to return.

        I think the so-called ‘left’, departed with Yitzak Rabin. There are no loud Jewish voices of sanity here. It makes me think about nazi Germany. I wonder how many German christians left Germany before 1939? Jews then were in the same straits as Palestinians now – they couldn’t get out even if they wanted to.

        BDS is awesome and has opened a lot of people’s eyes, but I’m not optimistic that BDS alone will make things right. I think with israel having nuclear weapons and settlers armed to the teeth, these criminals won’t hesitate to shed a lot of blood, even their own, before there can be a real secular democratic state for all people. And again, the Jewish holidays coming up fill me with dread.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        September 5, 2016, 1:59 pm

        Hi Marnie. I had thought that Ms. Zonszein had considered Israel her home as well.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 5, 2016, 2:39 pm

        Ritzl,

        Of course Zonszein will consider the Zionist entity her home if she is a Zionist.
        By the very definition of the term.
        Are you sure of what you are saying? That’s a very bad point against her.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 5, 2016, 2:53 pm

        Marnie,

        Thank you for the voice of sanity all the way from the belly, as the cliché so rightly says, of the Beast.

        Boycott and sanctions are not going to do anything on their own, of course. Too many of us have been smoking that “Peace activism” hookah at school and in daily life. They even got to the point of believing that Indian independence and South African regime change occurred peacefully… oy. I’ll risk to suggest that the dream hookah is filled with US bullshit on “color [counter]revolution” and the unopposed conquest of the Soviet Union.

        Boycott might, though, help tilt public opinion in the States. The response elicited here by even minimal interventions is very promising to those of us who remember the South Africa boycott.

        Provided, of course, that the boycott movement some day frees itself of its “BDS” trademark-like top-down control; otherwise any thought of sanctions is a fairy tale.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        September 6, 2016, 12:04 am

        Echinococcus – “Thank you for the voice of sanity all the way from the belly, as the cliché so rightly says, of the Beast. Boycott and sanctions are not going to do anything on their own, of course.”

        We’d better redefine sanity then. Anyway, I disagree. BDS has done a huge amount on its own; there’s articles on MW every week about it’s growing impact and you know that yourself. I said that “BDS alone” won’t kill this beast.

        ritzl “Hi Marnie. I had thought that Ms. Zonszein had considered Israel her home as well. ”

        That may be, but maybe, like Annie suggested, she feels she’ll accomplish more somewhere outside the beast.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 6, 2016, 6:03 pm

        Marnie,

        “growing impact” of course, in the sense of growing influence, audience, etc. But no literal impact yet –no cigar. We mean the same things in different words.

  4. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover
    September 4, 2016, 4:25 pm

    Weiss sez:
    “my own travels in Israel earlier this year:”
    Very disappointed with Israel’s security forces for allowing you to enter the country.

    • James North
      James North
      September 4, 2016, 5:45 pm

      Mooser: Stop it! Did you get tired of commenting under your own name?

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 5, 2016, 7:29 am

      A dissenting Jew is a security threat to Israel’s Gleichschaltung, right?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 5, 2016, 3:40 pm

      “Weiss sez:“my own travels in Israel earlier this year:”
      Very disappointed with Israel’s security forces for allowing you to enter the country.”

      “Grover” it’s worse than that. What about all the younger folks on Birthright or other trips, who come as sentimental Zionists and leave as anti-Zionist?
      The answer is obvious, the best thing for Israel to do is simply keep Jews out entirely. Why take chances?

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      September 5, 2016, 5:38 pm

      @Steve Loser:

      Yawn. Go away.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 5, 2016, 6:21 pm

        “K Renner”, please don’t be too tough on “Grover”.
        He’s my first try at a sock-puppet, I’m bound to make lots of mistakes.

  5. wdr
    wdr
    September 4, 2016, 6:46 pm

    Check the Israeli population statistics to see if you are right. The Jewish population of Israel is actually the fastest growing of any population group in the Western world. The article here said that two people, possibly three, have left Israel, one of whom is a Palestinian. Obviously, the author is not a mathematics professor.

    • annie
      annie
      September 4, 2016, 6:52 pm

      Check the Israeli population statistics to see if you are right.

      where? because it is my understanding accurate figures are hard to get because they count citizenship as population.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 5, 2016, 12:10 am

      2016 Israel to date has a net migration rate of 27 people per day. http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/israel-population/

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 5, 2016, 4:55 pm

      “Check the Israeli population statistics to see if you are right.”

      86 million, last I checked. Nothing to worry about, there’s plenty for any contingency.

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      September 5, 2016, 5:41 pm

      @Hasbara:

      The fact that the ultra-orthodox and the “national-religious” camps try to pop out as many children as possible, something that they think is their duty “for Zionism and Israel”, doesn’t change the fact that “leftist” Israelis seem to be fleeing the country.

      I always laugh when people like you try and pretend that Palestinian women are “baby factories” and nothing but. Two or three children on average is nothing compared to the regular litters created by the “settlers” and the revisionist Zionist element.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 6, 2016, 9:54 am

      wdr: “The Jewish population of Israel is actually the fastest growing of any population group in the Western world”

      The Jewish population of the colonial settler state has the highest “birthrate” in the “developed” world which is not the same as growth rate.

  6. James North
    James North
    September 4, 2016, 9:45 pm

    Mairav Zonszein is a great journalist and a moral giant.

  7. silamcuz
    silamcuz
    September 5, 2016, 12:06 am

    What this article failed to point it out is that these left-wing Jews are moving to countries with high GDP, predominately white population, and with a fairly progressive political climate. Hence, it is more of a privilege for them to move there rather than some sort of noble sacrifice against Zionism. It’s not like these folks are moving back to Yemen, Ethiopia, Iraq, Morocco or other countries their ancestors arrived from. Given the opportunity, even the most nationalistic Palestinians would jump at the opportunity to migrate to the US, UK, Germany etc with their families.

    • annie
      annie
      September 5, 2016, 1:55 am

      it is more of a privilege for them to move there rather than some sort of noble sacrifice against Zionism.

      99.9% of emigrants all over the world do so for a better life (call that privilege considering if they were muslim- palestinian instead of jewish-israeli ok definitly). but she didn’t call it a “noble sacrifice against Zionism” — you did that. As a dedicated activist, wondering if you can better further your cause out of the country or inside is smart, and natural.

    • talknic
      talknic
      September 5, 2016, 3:28 am

      @ silamcuz

      “What this article failed to point it out is that these left-wing Jews are moving to countries with high GDP, predominately white population, and with a fairly progressive political climate. Hence, it is more of a privilege for them to move there rather than some sort of noble sacrifice against Zionism”

      What you failed to do was read the first line of the Forward article

      “A debate has been raging in the Israeli left over the past few weeks — primarily in the opinion pages of Haaretz and on my Facebook feed — about Israelis who are choosing to move away from Israel as a political statement http://forward.com/opinion/348998/should-i-give-up-on-changing-israel-from-within-and-take-a-stand-by-leaving/?attribution=articles-hero-item-text-1

      ” It’s not like these folks are moving back to Yemen, Ethiopia, Iraq, Morocco or other countries their ancestors arrived from”

      Right. So their ancestors weren’t from Israel or pre-Israel Palestine … glad we got that sorted

      “Given the opportunity, even the most nationalistic Palestinians would jump at the opportunity to migrate to the US, UK, Germany etc with their families”

      Seems the majority would rather move back to their rightful homelands, where their ancestors came from

  8. gamal
    gamal
    September 5, 2016, 10:20 am

    Mairav the Ramones tribute circuit beckons, keep it deadpan, its what jonny would have wanted, but remember you can’t say anything nice about bonzo (when he) goes to bitburg.

  9. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    September 5, 2016, 12:06 pm

    @wdr
    “Check the Israeli population statistics to see if you are right. The Jewish population of Israel is actually the fastest growing of any population group in the Western world”

    You have obviously got these statistics yourself so perhaps you can be helpful and provide a link ?

    BTW JSIL is not in “the Western World”. It is in the Levant aka the Middle East. That is East as in the opposite to West.

  10. Marnie
    Marnie
    September 5, 2016, 12:55 pm

    I wonder if there will be americans leaving the u.s. after this election? Or if there’s been any that have already left because of the politics?

  11. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    September 5, 2016, 6:23 pm

    So: hat’s off to the Forward and Zonszein for breaking a story that is in the mainstream’s lap. The New York Times or New Yorker should have done this story. They didn’t because they do not want to confront the political crisis that Israel is experiencing, before the world’s eyes, with Haaretz writers and military leaders speaking openly of Nazi and fascistic trends in the society, and the occupation entering its fiftieth year.

    “In the mainstream’s lap” ??? Hardly. As you say, the NYT and New Yorker have not picked up this story.

    My take? I have no way to know how numerous the folks are who are contemplating leaving Israel. But the problems facing those who are are very interesting as a human-interest story. Those who reflexively support Zionism (NYT and NY among them) will, of course, not wish to tell either story — neither the emigration story nor the human interest story. which makes one wonder shy Forward did publish it. I guess it is merely a dirty-laundry story “within the Jewish family”.

  12. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    September 6, 2016, 12:12 am

    True patriots.

  13. Alvin Alexsi Currier
    Alvin Alexsi Currier
    September 6, 2016, 9:59 am

    When I read Grandma the article, she turned around from her cooking with her brow wrinkled, and said: “I thought the saying was about rats leaving a sinking ship, not about the Captain, crew, and passengers, leaving the ship to the rats?”

    • eljay
      eljay
      September 6, 2016, 11:01 am

      || Alvin Alexsi Currier: When I read Grandma the article, she turned around from her cooking … ||

      According to your profile:

      I am a retired former clergyman, 82 years old …

      Kudos to your grandmother for still being alive…and cooking!  :-)

      • annie
        annie
        September 6, 2016, 12:49 pm

        ;) you noticed that too eljay! i was going to say something but just figured he was referencing his wife as ‘grandma’. i think him and grandma have spent so much time together they probably think alike. check this out:

        I was walking along thinking that the old saying was about rats leaving a sinking ship, but then I stopped and chuckled as I said to myself: No now it is the crew and passengers fleeing the sinking ship and leaving it to the rats. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/12/israel-american-crazies/#comment-730794

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 6, 2016, 1:03 pm

        || Annie Robbins:   ;) you noticed that too eljay! … ||

        Rock on, Annie!!   \m/ > , < \m/

        || … i was going to say something but just figured he was referencing his wife as ‘grandma’. … ||

        Yeah, the thought occurred to me a short time after I posted my comment…but too late for me to edit it.  :-)

  14. xanadou
    xanadou
    September 6, 2016, 5:49 pm

    “with Haaretz writers and military leaders speaking openly of Nazi and fascistic trends in the society, and the occupation entering its fiftieth year.”

    Sixty ninth plus.

  15. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    September 6, 2016, 8:13 pm

    It does seem like anyone with a conscience would leave Israel, Although one might say the same for all of the death and destruction the U.S. has caused in the middle east. Why do we stay?

  16. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    September 7, 2016, 12:10 am

    Typical of ‘moral narcissists’ to flee like bunnies when their super sensitive monitors go off.

    Typical to write about the ongoing, decades old ‘brain drain’, that isn’t, or it’s non-effects on Israeli society.

    Typical of the anti-Zionists to cluck that the sky is falling.

    Little babies are being born everyday to nice Israeli couples.

    Israel will survive the Left, anti-Zionism and BDS.

    • eljay
      eljay
      September 7, 2016, 12:10 pm

      || Jackdaw: … Israel will survive the Left, anti-Zionism and BDS. ||

      Yup, and it’ll last a Thousand Years, too.

    • amigo
      amigo
      September 7, 2016, 1:13 pm

      “Little babies are being born everyday to nice Israeli couples. “jackduh

      “Nice Israeli couples “—a contradiction in terms .All the nice Israeli couples have left and taken their babies with them.

      “Israel will survive the Left, anti-Zionism and BDS. ” jackduh.

      You might be right but it will not survive the internal forces creating fissures in it,s very core , ie zionism and bigotry and self delusion.

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 7, 2016, 1:20 pm

        || amigo: … “Nice Israeli couples “—a contradiction in terms .All the nice Israeli couples have left and taken their babies with them. … ||

        I’m sure there are plenty of nice (Jewish and non-Jewish) non-Zionist Israeli couples left in Israel to whom little babies are being born every day. They represent a better future for Israel. :-)

      • amigo
        amigo
        September 7, 2016, 3:05 pm

        “I’m sure there are plenty of nice (Jewish and non-Jewish) non-Zionist Israeli couples left in Israel to whom little babies are being born every day. They represent a better future for Israel. :-) ” ,eljay

        eljay , I doubt jackduh considers non israeli Jews to be nice people and considering that 95% of Israel,s Jews thought the lawn mowing in 2014 was justified and only 4 % thought Israel over reacted that leaves precious few nice Israelis to effect any change.

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/over-90-of-jewish-israelis-say-gaza-op-justified/

        Note this poll is reported by the times of Israel–hardly a pro Palestinian “rag”.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 7, 2016, 1:45 pm

      “Little babies are being born everyday to nice Israeli couples.”

      And they make damn sure to anchor them with US citizenship.

  17. yourstruly
    yourstruly
    September 7, 2016, 1:45 am

    Here in the U.S. of A. the potentially most effective way for the pro-Palestinian/anti-Zionist movement to help transform the Middle East is by educating the public to the fact that our government’s unconditional support for Israel is the main reason They* hate us. That’s not to say that the multiple other wars (Afghanistan, Iraq ,Yemen, Somalia) that America has been waging in the Middle East don’t contribute to said hatred, but that. at least partly, our government engages in these wars under the misguided belief that by doing so it is protecting Israel. In the short term, perhaps, but what a steep price – in material as well as human lives – the public is and will continue to pay.

    How to turn the public on Palestine and the Middle East? By emphasizing the connection between U.S. support for Israel and the anger and hatred that renders the region’s youth susceptible to appeals from Jihadists that young people join them in defeating the invaders and other infidels; by reminding the public that Osama bin Laden made it quite clear that U.S. support for Israel was a key reason for 9/11, and by hammering away at the fact that the Iraq War that took more than 5000 American lives (not to mention several hundred thousand Iraqis’), was undertaken with Israel edging America on; same goes for the Syrian war.

    Underlying the effort to sever the U.S-Israel special relationship is the belief that without this support Israel’s days (not its people’s) will be numbered.

    *They = the Arab/Islamic world

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 7, 2016, 7:09 am

      I Agree.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      September 7, 2016, 7:27 pm

      I agree with some of what you say, yourstruly, but I wonder if it isn’t too late. If 9/11 didn’t prompt candid discussion 15 years ago, what will? People like Michael Scheuer ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Scheuer ) have written and talked about it, yet the message never penetrated to the masses, or the elites.

      Or so it would seem, at least. I recall hearing Ron Paul allude to our Middle East polices as a reason for 9/11, during one of the Republican debates. Rudy Giuliani feigned shock and amazement, saying something like, “I never heard that.” That ended the discussion on that topic in that debate, and in the election.

      Still, self-interest might be a powerful motivator, if people understood that our policies have not served us well. I for one welcomed President Obama’s trip to Laos, and the attendant recognition of the terrible harm we did there. Like so many things we do, done almost thoughtlessly, and quickly forgotten. War crimes and atrocities are things done by others, we like to think. The President did not apologize, but at least he acknowledged. I give him credit for doing more than any of his predecessors. The aid he offered is small and late, but something more than never and nothing.

      This may seem unrelated to your comment. The connection in my mind is that, when it comes to public policy, it seems that compassion, guilt, and other motives for constructive action seem less potent than self-interest.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        September 7, 2016, 8:42 pm

        PS: I said “The aid he offered is small and late, but something more than never and nothing.”

        That implies that something late is better than never, and something small is better than nothing, but that isn’t always true. There is lots of evidence that humans are programmed (whether by genes or experience doesn’t matter) to reject offers that are perceived as grossly unfair, even if doing so doesn’t seem purely rational. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimatum_game

        From that perspective, I suspect the disproportion between the harm the U.S. did and the aid it now offers to Laos might well prompt some people there to want to reject it. The same aspect of human nature may affect relations between Israel and its neighbors now and in the future. I suspect the sense of outrage that basic human norms of morality have been violated motivates many suicide bombers as well.

  18. hophmi
    hophmi
    September 7, 2016, 3:12 pm

    “Although these leftists make up only a tiny percentage of Israelis”

    I.e., not many are leaving. And personally, I cannot stand social activists who navel gaze and lament their own impotence. If Meirav is failing, maybe she should, I don’t know, try a different approach that doesn’t entail condescending to the rest of the Israeli population.

    I know this site has a vested interest in playing up the idea of Israelis leaving Israel as if it were some deluge, but as of 2014, the latest year for which figures are available, Israel had a positive net migration rate of 1.68, which means that more people are moving to Israel than are leaving. That’s higher than several Western states, including Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, and Iceland. None of these countries are involved in conflict of any kind.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?c=is&v=27

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 7, 2016, 9:55 pm

      “And personally, I cannot stand social activists who navel gaze and lament their own impotence.”

      Oh, for sure, “Hophmi”! The kind of person who uses somebody else’s blog to kvetch all the time.

      “Israel had a positive net migration rate of 1.68,”

      Hardly enough, is it? For what Israel wants to do, you need a burgeoning population desperate for new space, not begging for Jews who can live better, safer, and more freely almost anywhere else in the world.
      Oh, BTW, “Hophmi”, what is the example of Jewish self-government that is supposed to give me confidence in Zionism? I seem to have forgotten what it is.

  19. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    September 7, 2016, 5:09 pm

    The emigration story should maybe be set beside Uri Avineri’s recent contribution to the LRB blog, dwelling on Israeli tensions and disunity. He points to the anxieties and calls for an agreement coming from former heads of the intelligence services. I’m not too hopeful of seeing a major positive outcome. The emigration is a safety valve, reducing the ability of progressive and peacemaking forces to create tensions and receive concessions. They will increase the Israel-critical forces in the West but the liberal Zionist embrace awaits them there and may make their critique mild and acceptable.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      September 7, 2016, 5:27 pm

      Hughes,

      I very much doubt that the anti-Zionist among the, ehm, re-emigrated from the Zionist entity number more than fingers and toes. At any rate, there is a question of political convictions only for the very-hard core crazies of the settlements. It looks like your average racist Zionist soldier is very much a part of that emigration due to economic and job opportunities and/or personal safety. Some data would be needed to know if this criminal element is as represented as among the population of the Zionist entity.

      Be that as it may, any and all exit of Zionists from Palestine is positive.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      Tuyzentfloot
      September 7, 2016, 5:53 pm

      Alright, and if the secular Ashkenazis leave, what happens to the money? Will the money leave as well?

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