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Desperate scare tactics suggest that the Zionist dream has become a nightmare

Image of Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel [lleewu/Flickr]
Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, 30 March 2017 [lleewu/Flickr]

The future of Israel is hanging in the balance as the number of immigrants has dropped by more than a third, according to the latest statistics. While the coronavirus pandemic is being blamed for this, stories of a broken economy and general decline in living standards are thought to be behind the decrease.

Figures released by the Jewish Agency between January and April show that 6,368 immigrants arrived in Israel, which represents a drop of 36 per cent on the same period last year. April alone saw a record low influx of immigrants for any month, just 350 people, down a staggering 86 per cent from April 2019.

Popular British-born blogger Yoni Leviatan, who moved to Israel in 2009 after spending most of his life in America, believes that Israel could be in decline and is urging "a million American Jews" to follow him and move in order to salvage the Zionist dream. "Israel is teetering," he says in his latest blog. "The societal walls are crumbling along with the economy."

Leviatan describes himself as an American-Israeli musician, producer and marketer. He is also critical of what he describes as a US obsession with the Palestinian conflict.

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"What American Jews seem most interested in when discussing Israel is the Palestinians, the Palestinians and the Palestinians. Few seem aware that Israelis rarely see the occupation unless they're doing army service or actually live in the West Bank. Even the topic of annexation, which captivated American Jews to the point they wrote Op-Eds in Israeli news sites begging for it not to happen, polled at only 4 per cent in importance to Israelis."

The image below is a screen grab from Israeli TV showing concerns of voters in Israel - the annexation of the West Bank registered with only 4 per cent according to this.

The image below is a screen grab from Israeli TV showing concerns of voters in Israel – the annexation of the West Bank registered with only 4 per cent according to this.

His blog urges US Jews to join him in the face of the plight of the Zionist State and save it. "If 20 per cent of American Jewry, just over a million American Jews, would give up trying to fix a country with 330 million citizens and choose to move to Israel with all their political and economic might, they could tip the coalition any way they wanted." This was a reference to the fact that all recent Israeli governments have depended on coalitions, which are easier to influence by their very nature.

"If you convinced a big group of your fellow American Jews to make Aliyah [the migration to Israel], you could separate all matters of religion from state. You could bring equality to the [Western/Buraq Wall], recognise every type of marriage, and give whatever you wanted to the Palestinians you can't stop talking about."

While concrete statistics show that the desire to move to Israel is diminishing, there was actually a flurry of American Jews expressing an interest in moving there earlier this month when US President Donald Trump echoed previous comments that Jews in America think of themselves as Israelis first when he invoked the "loyalty trope".

Of course, such scare tactics have been used before by the Zionist lobby which is desperate to impose a Jewish population on stolen Palestinian land. This was exposed in the historic book by Naeim Giladi called Ben-Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Jews.

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It is shocking that Leviatan and his Zionist mates can not only dismiss the presence of the Palestinians in their own land so easily, but also the ongoing conflict. Perhaps if they tried to engage positively with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank they might begin to understand why their Zionist project is failing.

Using scare tactics against the Jewish people, whether you are Donald Trump using anti-Semitic tropes and rhetoric or a fanatic drawing parallels with 1930s Germany, is simply wrong. Fuelling fear and violence in Jewish communities simply to populate Israel, a state which enforces a brutal occupation using fear and violence, is bound to fail and the Jewish Agency's statistics support that.

If the Israeli government and its Zionist institutions — including the Jewish Agency, by the way — are really genuine about wanting to populate the land, there is a very simple, guaranteed solution to the problem: allow the millions of Palestinian refugees to exercise their legitimate right to return to their land from which they and their families have been driven by Zionist militias and the Israel Defence Forces since 1948.

If allowing Palestinians to go back to their land is seen as a threat to the Zionist character of the state of Israel, then doesn't that tell us in no uncertain terms what a pernicious and racist ideology Zionism is? Perhaps that's the real reason why so many American Jews are ignoring the pleas of Leviatan and his ilk. Their scare tactics suggest that the Zionist dream has become a nightmare.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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