The Happy Arab News Service

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Israeli vs Israeli

Last updated: Apr 24, 2007

April 24, 2007

For Midi

Midi said:

What we do need to do is to tie the "other" population even closer to the jewish population, otherwise there is no possibilty of more immigration of "others". With statistics you can form peoples minds and the CBS has been very good at this previously. Why dont create instead of "others" a term that indicates that they want to join the jewish people through slow assimilation (rather than conversion)? This would make it easier to accept and digest lets say 200 000 more halv and quarter jews from FSU.

Its not the best solution in the world but would give breathing space for another decade until the arab birthrate is lower than the jewish.


First of all, I don't think that the Arab birth rate will become lower than the Jewish one in the foreseeable future. That's why we should consider the idea of non-Jewish immigration to balance off the growth of the Arab sector, unless we suddenly get a few hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants from Europe. Such a possibility exists because these days not only Jews but even Europeans themselves feel threatened by the Muslim immigration. Pinchas Landau was discussing this option recently. He claims to see signs of the incoming Jewish immigration from Europe.

From an Israeli viewpoint, the relocation process is still in its early stages, but several aspects are already clear. First, large amounts of capital - meaning billions of euro - are flowing into Israel from European Jews and have made their mark on the real estate markets of many cities. The flow of people is still very small, if measured in terms of aliya, but is significant in terms of holiday tourists, students and other personal visitors. All these flows are likely to be stepped up, in line with the deterioration of Jewish security and communal stability in Europe.

The implications for Israel, its economy and society, are staggering. On the eve of the country's 59th Independence Day, the received wisdom in official and intellectual circles is that no further mass aliya can be expected (interestingly, this was also the accepted view in the late 1980s). This time, however, there can be no grounds for surprise: the writing is on the wall for European Jewry, it's not in code and needs no interpretation. The way European Jews are behaving demonstrates that they have read and absorbed the message, even if the Israeli government and bureaucracy have not.

Fortunately for this forthcoming wave of immigrants, they should not have to depend on the government and its agencies to get them out, get them here and get them back on their feet. Although they will be seeking refuge, they will not be coming as refugees in the classic sense, but will bring their financial, cultural and intellectual wealth with them. In its outward form, the impending Exodus from Europe therefore should be quite opposite to that of Exodus 1947, and indeed to the original Exodus - but its driving force and goal will be the same.


Regarding the Israeli vs Jewish thing. The problem is that the things got mixed up at the level of language. Technically speaking secular Israeli Jews are developing the Israeli identity and non-certified Jews and other immigrants adopt it easily. The second generation Russians and many children of foreign workers are 100% Israelis. They speak Hebrew as a mother tongue, celebrate Israeli holidays which are basically Jewish ones. Some serve in the army.

This process is greatly facilitated by the fact that Israeli Jews are racially diverse. Judging by people's outward experience you have blacks, Europeans and Arabs here. A Lebanese blogger who's been here recently was amazed to see that many of our Mizrahim look very Arab and at times he could even guess the country of origin. So non Jewish Israelis are indistinguishable from Israeli Jews as there are no rules here in terms of what a regular Israeli should look like. Ironically, it is these people who become real Israelis as they often have no Jewish or other identity apart from their Israeli one.

You should know that whatever i write about the Israeli identity is 100% descriptive and not prescriptive. It's a reflection of very real trends going on in terms of identity of the secular and mildly traditional Israeli Jews. It is no 'feel good, save the world' ideology of our peace loonies style.

The confusion starts because Israeli leftists also use the term 'Israeli' and Israeli Arabs even claim they want to become 'Israelis' (even after in a public poll 1/4 of them shamelessly deny that Holocaust ever happened and 1/2 claim Hezbollah was right to kidnap our soldiers !!!). But they have something very different in mind. They want a binational state, and they use the same word 'Israeli' to mean something political, more like giving the Israeli Arabs collective rights, cultural and political autonomy and other shit. It's basically about undermining Israel as a country of Israelis. So they use the same term but they want just the opposite.

There is no need to talk about slow assimilation and Israel has no problem with half, quarter and even non Jews from FSU, as it is all over in the second, if not the first generation. Israel is a total melting pot. All these talks about racism are nonsense. And technically speaking the CBS columns should be not Jews and others vs Arabs but Israelis and others (others include non Arab Christians and even Jews like some orthodox sects) vs Arabs but here shit starts because of political correctness.


I think that i can clear all possible misunderstandings and misreadings in the following way. What we got in Israel is not exactly a new nation or ethnicity. It's a new type of Jewish community. Jews always had communities with very pronounced differences. In Israel the secular part of the Jewish community started developing a different approach by allowing non Jews to join it not only by conversion but also through cultural and linguistic assimilation.

But it remains a Jewish community, in fact the biggest Jewish community in the world. But clearly it's just a part of the larger Jewish nation and it was and remains the sanctuary for the rest of the Jews. It minds less the traditional definitions of Jewishness and for this matter conservative or reform conversions, because its relationships with the Jewish diaspora are more and more defined by the Israeli nationalism, means support for Israel as a state. And from my observations non Jews who join the Jewish community in Israel largely adopt the perception of Israel and Israel oriented Jewish diaspora as one nation though they identify it not in a cultural sense or because of shared historic legacy but in terms of support and solidarity with Israel.

But because it's just another Jewish community, Israeli Arabs have nothing to do with this (unless they are ready to switch to Hebrew and to give up on their connection to the Arab world). Neither Pushtuns or Baluchis have anything to do with this, though Israelis have a knack for reducing everything to nonsense and some people will sure try to drag into this shit even Australian aborigines.

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