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Israeli analyst warns European Jews not to migrate to Israel

February 19, 2015 at 10:47 am

Israeli analyst Zvi Bar’el has criticised Benjamin Netanyahu’s suggestion that European Jews should migrate to Israel to escape what the prime minister claims is a “growing wave of anti-Semitism” and the “Islamic State threat”. Bar’el pointed out that Israel is unable to fulfil Netanyahu’s promises to new immigrants.

“Fear in Israel is greater, the crime level is higher and the terrorism threat is more real,” wrote Bar’el in an article published by Haaretz newspaper. He pointed out that the real problem is not only that the Jews of Europe aren’t safe. “The Jews of Israel have a hard time being convinced that their haven can face up to the threats in the region that Netanyahu warns them of daily,” he claimed. “Let’s assume that thousands of Jews do decide to abandon their businesses, studies, homes and livelihoods and board rescue flights to Ben-Gurion International Airport. What will they find here?”

Bar’el described a list of negative realities that Europe’s Jews would face if they migrated to Israel: “They will see right-wing videos portraying the Israeli left as Nazi collaborators out to destroy the country. They’ll learn how fortunate they are not to have come here as refugees from Eritrea or Sudan, or even as Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia. Jews who have suffered European anti-Semitism will trade it in for Israeli racism. They’ll discover they’ve become citizens of an occupying country, the occupation that has contributed to that same anti-Semitism that made them pack their bags in the first place.”

Israel’s murder rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people, he noted, while in France it’s 1 per 100,000 and in Denmark 0.8. “Last year, 27 people were killed in terror attacks here. In France and Denmark not a single person was,” Bar’el added, although he stressed that the data indicates that the situation in Europe could worsen, but in Israel the risk that the situation could worsen is far greater.

According to Bar’el, immigrants to Israel would, within a very short time, discover that their safety isn’t subject to the whims of the Islamic State or Al-Qaida, and they won’t suffer murderous manifestations of anti-Semitism. But to be real Israelis, they’ll have to adapt to Israeli depression and the constant fear of war or mass destruction — “or both”.

The Middle East affairs analyst compared Israel with Europe and said that Jews in Europe are taught to demand a high quality of life but, in Israel, anyone seeking a quality of life like that in Berlin is considered to be a traitor.

“Please don’t confuse ‘Israeliness’ with Jewishness,” he advised European Jews. “Israelis don’t go crazy for foreigners even if they’re Jewish. Just ask the Russians. About 150,000 of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union have left; ask the Ethiopians, the Bukharans and the Kurds, who decades after arriving are still identified by where they came from.”

He concluded by saying that, of course, Jews are welcome to migrate to Israel and, of course, they will receive a warm welcome at the airport. “But remember that Israel swallows its immigrants hastily. It doesn’t digest them.”