well…

Most of the proposals for a Jewish home specifically sought a state where Jews would not be afraid of anti-Semitic attacks, could live in peace and dignity as well thrive as a nation and express their identity with pride. Israel is now celebrating sixty with a successful economy, liberal parliamentary democracy, thriving Hebrew culture, many centers of Jewish study and inspiring high-tech industry. The country is considered a success and a solution to the many problems Jews faced throughout history.

However, while nobody worries about the existence of France or Germany, Israel is still questioning its future even after 60 years as a country. It is not embedded in the region, is at war with many of its neighbors, has no internationally-recognized capital and borders, and is not safe. But Israel is not only threatened by its enemies since inner conflicts, corruption and fundamental messianic religion are threatening its existence as well. Many Israelis are seeking European passports as a kind of insurance policy in case something wrong happens there. Since EU enlargement took place, every fifth Israeli is eligible to receive a EU passport so long as they come from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic or one of the 22 other EU countries and escaped the Nazis or survived the Holocaust. Their descendants are often also entitled to EU citizenship.1

Many Israelis of German descent are also starting to think of their forefathers’ home country and are applying for passports. The German embassy in Tel Aviv issued 3,000 passports last year alone, resulting in 50 percent surge in the number of Israelis who obtained German citizenship.2 Poland too is seeing a large amount of Israeli applications for passports. It is an ironic reversal, since many of these same people, or their parents, once lined up in Poland knocking on the doors of foreign embassies trying to get a visa that would enable them to escape anti-Semitic persecution or simply allow them toward a better life.

Avraham Burg, former chairman of the Jewish Agency, Speaker of the Knesset and a former candidate for the Labor party leadership, expresses in an interview with Ari Shavit in Haaretz the sentiment that is leading many Israelis to seek a European passport and to see Europe as the place for the Jews:

…The truth is that you are a salient Europist. You live in Nataf but you are all Brussels. The prophet of Brussels.

“Completely, Completely. I see the European Union as a biblical utopia. I don’t know how long it will hold together, but it is amazing. It is completely Jewish.”
“We do not want to accept this, but the existence of the Diaspora dates from the beginnings of our history. Abraham discovers God outside the borders of the Land. Jacob leads tribes to outside the borders. The tribes become a people outside the borders. The Torah is given outside the borders. As Israelis and Zionists, we ignored this completely. We rejected the Diaspora. But I maintain that just as there was something astonishing about German Jewry, in America, too, they also created the potential for something astonishing. They created a situation in which the goy can be my father and my mother and my son and my partner. The goy there is not hostile but embracing. And as a result, what emerges is a Jewish experience of integration, not separation. Not segregation. I find those things lacking here. Here the goy is what he was in the ghetto: confrontational and hostile.”
“Yes, yes. The Israeli reality is not exciting. People are not willing to admit it, but
Israel has reached the wall. Ask your friends if they are certain their children will live here. How many will say yes? At most 50 percent. In other words, the Israeli elite has already parted with this place. And without elite there is no nation.”

You are actually preparing tools for exile.

“I have been living with them from the day I was born. What is it when I say in prayer that because of our sins we were exiled from our land? In Jewish history the spiritual existence is eternal and the political existence is temporary.”
“There is no Israeli whole. There is a Jewish whole. The Israeli is a half-Jew.
Judaism always prepared alternatives. The strategic mistake of Zionism was to annul the alternatives. It built an enterprise here whose most important sections are an illusion. Do you really think that some sort of floating secular Tel Aviv type post-kibbutz entity will [continue to] exist here? Never. Israeliness has only body; it doesn’t have soul. At most, remnants of soul. You are already dead spiritually, Ari. You have only an Israeli body. If you go on like this, you will no longer be.”

You really are a globalist now. You really are going out to the world. You have taken a French passport, and as a French citizen you voted in the French presidential elections.

“I have already declared: I am a citizen of the world. This is my hierarchy of identities: citizen of the world, afterward Jew and only after that Israeli. I feel a weighty responsibility for the peace of the world. And Sarkozy is in my eyes a threat to world peace. That is why I went to vote against him.”

Do you recommend that every Israeli take out a foreign passport?

“Whoever can.”

Burg, who was chairman of the Israeli parliament, a leading figure in the Israeli Labor Party, one of the main figures in the Zionist establishment is calling whoever can to leave Israel. His views are fears that are not obscure ones. A blogger named Rec on the website Jewcy explains the reasons he left Israel. I feel he represents a growing voice among young Israelis starting a family.

Top 10 reasons for leaving your country – reason 10:
The first reason for me is this volatile mix of militarism and victimhood that is so infused into the Israeli soul. Both of these symptoms can be found in places around the world, but I find the combination toxic and possibly unique. While this is not an immediate reason that people usually cite as an acute problem, in terms of raising kids I think it is major. It is so prevalent in the culture most people don’t even notice it. Maybe being away for a while brought it into sharper contrast for me.

We’re dealing here with a regional superpower. Its GDP dwarves the combined GDP of its impoverished neighbors, its nuclear enabled army several orders of magnitude more advanced than its purported enemies. Half the people of its the arch-enemy are malnourished. And, to top it all, it is fully backed, militarily and financially, by the world’s sole superpower to an extent that not even a symbolic denouncing resolution can get through the UN without a veto (I may be off on my UN terminology here).

Yet despite all that there’s this prevailing ghetto mentality. This palpable feeling that we’re living on the knife’s edge, on the brink of total annihilation. I’m not even going to go into the central role the Holocaust plays in the lives of Israelis as it relates to the present. Our enemies are forever scheming our destruction for no other reason than our religion. And the world is out to get us because, well, they’re just conditioned that way. Nothing we do or did has any significant bearing on it and there’s nothing we can do to stop it – it’s part of this perpetual continuum of irrational Jewish hate that runs through the generations. This, of course, is a self fulfilling prophecy since the more we’re attacked the more we feel justified in retaliating, which in turn results in more attacks which prove once again that we are indeed alone in the world.

And on top of that there’s the flip side of the victimhood – the military might. We’re not some Tibetan monks, suffering under the boot of China. We’re a victim with weapons and we know how to use them. We’re always an incursion away from fixing the Qassam problem. Always a surgical strike away from decapitating “the head of the snake”. These actions have consequences (and a fairly poor track record I might add), but no matter what it is that our actions cause we always end up being the ones being wronged. And this militarism finds its way into every aspect of Israeli society.

People may disagree with my characterization here and I’m sure most people do. But in my opinion there’s this huge disconnect between what I view as the reality of the situation and the manifestation of it in the Israeli psyche. While this may sound like heady analytical stuff I think it’s poisonous and I think such a gap has deep psychological ramifications. We as adults can cope with it in any number of ways, but I think its effects on children are much more insidious, and while to some extent this disconnect has always existed I think it is more pronounced now as the gap between reality and perception deepens.

Both Burg and Rec talk about leaving a society they feel “has lost its soul”, many feel that Israel is in a real danger of being destroyed from the inside.

Rabbi Professor David Hartman, a philosopher from Jerusalem, is of the opinion that messianism is the greatest threat of the state of Israel today. He believes that Israel is in danger of self-destruction if it won’t return to reality and adopt a politics of now, not one of salvation(3). Israeli conductor Daniel Barenbiom believes that “the Israelis are on a path which makes one doubt that there will always be a Jewish state in Israel”.4 One of the country’s leading writers, David Grossman whose latest novel, Isha Borahat Mibesora (English title: Until the end of the land), tells us of the character Avram, who is taken captive by Egypt during the Yom Kippur War, and whose captors succeed in convincing him over the course of a week that Israel has been destroyed. It is not hard to convince Avram of this, just like Grossman’s own fears that he expressed at the Paris book fair in March 2008, that Israel may cease to exist, that it may not be around to celebrate its second 60 years.5 Even former Shin Bet Chief Yaacov Perry has his doubts “if we continue to live by the sword, we will continue to wallow in the mud and destroy ourselves”.6

After hearing from some former top-level Israelis officials and intellectuals and an anonymous talkbacker on a not well respected website, one might ask if what one could really learn from this. Is the fear of Israel’s destruction based on reality, or are they following the long Jewish tradition of a justified healthy paranoia. Clearly I don’t have the tools or the capabilities to answer the question but I believe we should be listening to all voices of warning. One important way of trying to get a feel for what the future holds is to listen to the voices of a more hidden culture. Culture is like a stethoscope of society and by exploring the discussions and fears that artists, writers and musicians are creating through their work; one can in turn listen deeper as well as past all the slogans. The artists do paint a similar picture of fear but, in addition, are also discussing and creating alternatives to the Jewish state and its people.
see the Artists, Writers and Musicians post

————

1 Bettina Marx, EU Passport Gets Popular in Israel, Deusche Welle
2 Haaretz 23/07/2007
3 David Hartman, Israelis and Jewish tradition – from the Question of Zion
4 Emma Brockes, Wake up, Israel
5 David B. Green, Telling ourselves a new story
6 Chris McGreal, Israel on the road to ruin, warns former Shin Bet chief

COMMENTS / 2 COMMENTS

I do not have the impression that the creation of Israel had done anz harm to Diaspora. Only a tiny fraction of the Jewish population lives in Israel, so actually the Diaspora remained unscathed. Your idea of Jewish state, be it in Germany or in Poland, is nothing more than an attempt to repeat the tragedy of Palestine, only this time on European soil. If one wants to re-create a statehood that did not exist for 1,800 years, and one does not have the bulk of one’s own population in one place, one should then go where there is plenty of space and hardly any people living there – so as to avoid the Zionist error of creation of a state in a “sea of enemies”. Many people in Europe might seem to be “embracing” Jews now – but will they still be once a Jewish state is created in their midst and on THEIR soil? Arabs also were not necessarily hostile in the past, but anyone can see what the Jewish occupation had generated among them. This is why in my Polish article (http://www.monio.info/2009/07/22/czy-izrael-to-pomylka/) I suggested that today’s Israel should be dismantled and recreated in a completely new place. it is up to the Jews to find whatever is still left for inhabitation on this planet. The Madagaskar-option is long dead (was a possibility over 70 years ago, not anymore). But as the early Zionists were considering different options in the past and were able to create a new Jewish statehood without the means they have now, so they should succeed this time as well – only this time they should abstain of pushing themselves INTO foreign, densely inhabited lands. Otherwise the Jewish question that once raged in Europe (and now is raging in the Muslim world) will be reignited there once again. It is high time to stop this happening again.
On the whole however I am very much inclined to think about your initiative in positive terms. You are trying to solve the problems created by the politically brutal and morally insensitive creation of Israel at the expense of Arabs. I only think that an attempt to shift Israel to Europe, to that “completely Jewish” EU can be viewed as a kind of “lighthouse”, which is WARNING lost sailors against coming to close to itself as to a dangerous cliff and rocks…

Cheers!!!

Michael Monikowski
Perth, Australia

Michael Monikowski added these pithy words on Sep 19 09 at 14:36

Hey, I’m very happy I found Medinat Weimar

Site Link added these pithy words on Sep 18 12 at 07:43

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