Pogrom, persecution… What motivates “the young generation of Israel” to turn in desperation to the head of the German state to intervene on behalf of their flight to the Diaspora?
The reason turns out to be Milky, the chocolate desert these Israelis as toddlers grew up on. Milky, it turns out, is cheaper in Germany!
Disregarding the fact that less than seventy years ago Germany spearheaded the effort to exterminate the entire Jewish People, that outside the authors of the appeal to Merkel that Europe is today in the midst of a resurgence of popular and, yes, political antisemitism unseen since the days before the Holocaust. Is it possible that barely seventy years since Auschwitz gates closed that Israeli youngsters, at least these self-appointed “young generation of Israel,” can have so limited awareness of history as to promote return to the Diaspora? What, if not an understanding of Zionism as response to antisemitism, its roots and purpose in creating a refuge for Diaspora Jewry, is a child studying in school? And who, with even a glancing awareness of our two-thousand year and continuing persecution history in the Diaspora, could opt for life in the galut over the state of the Jews?
Make no mistake: the Holocaust is but the latest mass assault on Jews by the West, the most recent such effort to deal with the Jewish Problem. Not the place to go into details but I strongly recommend for those who by choice or accident may not be familiar with our history a quick visit to Wikipedia. For a more pointed and comprehensive approach to the sources, history and future risk to our people (truly a necessary survival experience), I recommend my multi-year and continuing JPost blog, The Jewish Problem: From anti-Judaism to Antisemitism.
The conclusion, reduced to a single line, is that our population comprised 10% of the Roman Empire in the first century; today our numbers are a tiny fraction of 1% in the West. And that difference is NOT the result of lower fertility or “natural causes,” of Darwinian “survival of the fittest.” For 1700 years Jews in Christendom were forbidden to defend themselves, to possess or carry weapons. And that was certainly the case of our six million victims to the killing fields of Europe, 1938 to 1945.
As for cost-of-living deciding where to live: during the early Hitler years many Jews also chose the comforts and familiarity of German society.
It was not without reason that the 19th century founders of Zionism warned of the dangers of the Diaspora, had as their first priority to provide a refuge for the Jewish People.
Israel is not perfect. Anyone who lives, or has lived in Israel is familiar with the costs involved: taxes, bureaucracy and even, as our “young generation of Israel” so tastily points out, the cost of Milky. Is there inequity in wealth; are taxes heavier on the middle class, yes. That is a characteristic of Israel’s capitalist economy. On top of which is the unequal Middle Class burden of the cost of defending Israel in a hostile neighborhood, a defense burden unmatched by any other country in the world.
No, Israel is not perfect. Toys are cheaper in the West. But at bottom Israel has the IDF to defend against known and visible enemies when need arises. In the Diaspora the enemy is mostly unknown until the trains start rolling.
Whatever comforts the Diaspora has over Israel: who was there to protect our six million? And who in our Diaspora “home” will be there next time around?
A version of this blog, “Aliya to Germany! An invite to Israelis from, “the young generation of Israel” received the following response (an excerpt) from davidhm:
Too much of our nation’s potential is being wasted as young people with degrees earn minimum wage in menial jobs while it’s painted as “sacrifice”. Why don’t you question the lopsided economy concentrated in the hands of few and why the government refuses to do anything meaningful to amend that? These people are merely trying to secure their futures and that of their children.”
My response to david summarizes my thinking about Israel, Zionism, and the real threat represented by the Diaspora to the survival of Jews from Orthodox to Mischlinge:
“I entirely agree with you, davidmh, and felt I suggested as much in my article. But I did not set out to provide a critique of the inequities in Israel which have existed for decades and are growing ever more class-intolerable and corrosive to social unity necessary to protect the very survival of Israel. These are issues demanding attention no less than Iran and ISIL and the “special relationship” with the United States.
“There is a case to made for the Milky children. Economy does drive immigration, a universal. But what these self-appointed “young generation of Israel” are doing is promoting yerida, not merely seeking education and employment benefits, a follow-the-economy-out-of-necessity model: Theirs is simple-minded hedonism: “ain’t life grand outside Israel?”.
“Does Israel have its failing, without a doubt. From the ideology of these “young generation” we needs begin with an education system that produces generations without capacity to appreciate the terminal dangers of life in the Diaspora, who have little or no understanding of Jews as perpetual victim in Christendom past, present (eg present-day Europe, US, etc) and future.
“The Holocaust did not inspire Zionism to create Israel-as-refuge. That need was crystal clear days after our so-called “emancipation” and was described clearly in Pinsker’s 1860’s Autoemancipation!
“The Holocaust is just the evidence of the accuracy and relevance of the basic tenets of the Zionist analysis!”