Age limits deter aliyah and are a disgrace to Zionism

Knesset member Michael Oren has proposed bringing 10,000 non-Orthodox Jews on aliyah every year “because we have a prime interest in preserving the Jewish people outside of Israel.” Is he joking?

The catch is that he is proposing to bring “young” Jews, or “young professionals.” Who will, of course, soon discover that their parents and grandparents will not be able to join them because the government — of which he is a member — poses so many age restrictions that they will have a very difficult time finding work or studying.

Present government fears aliyah from the West

The question is: does the present government really want aliyah from the West? Has it not spent decades carefully planning all sorts of restrictions for those above the age of 30-35? The vast majority of Jews in the West are above the age of 30. They also tend to be quite liberal on social issues. The current government is undoubtedly aware that a large aliyah from the West could change the balance of power in the Knesset. Are they so keen on holding onto their own positions and so power hungry that they are willing to risk the enormous benefits that large-scale aliyah from the West would bring to Israel?

Unfortunately the answer is yes. New olim (as well as many veteran Israelis) find they cannot find a job, study or even volunteer because just about every job or program in Israel has an age limit. When one asks why the answer is always the same: “Otherwise we won’t get funding.”

What makes this particularly ludicrous is that Jews are known for longevity. The Longevity Genes Project at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York is currently researching 500 healthy Ashkenazi Jews between the ages of 96 and 112. They are fortunately not living in Israel, where many elderly search the garbage to supplement their pitiful allowances.

Life expectancy propaganda

We are always hearing how wonderful the Israeli healthcare system is because of our life expectancy, one of the highest in the world. Unfortunately many editors either cannot count or are not so good when it comes to critical thinking. Jews outside of Israel live significantly longer than the rest of the population. Which means they live longer outside of Israel than in Israel itself. If the Israeli healthcare system was so good, Israel would be in first place as far as life expectancy is concerned.

Israeli anti-aging research

A Times of Israel blogger recently wrote how Israel is a leader in anti-aging research. Mazal tov! On a recent trip to the Netherlands, I found shops full of anti-aging products that are not available here. And those that were available were less than half the price. Is research in Israel supposed to benefit the population as a whole, or only a wealthy few?

About the Author
Asaf Shimoni is an author, journalist and translator who returned to Israel in 2016 after spending 40 years abroad, most of them in the Netherlands. He grew up near Boston, made aliyah while living on a kibbutz (from 1973 to 1976), and graduated from Syracuse University in 1978. He also lived some 5 years in Sicily. He believes that the media should be as critical and truthful as possible.
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