« Up late on a school night (for a good cause) | Main | Photo Friday (vol. LXXXII) [ceremonial edition] »

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Can I get a 'Amen'?

Think for a minute about what would be almost as exciting as more Jews moving to Israel?

Yes, that's right.

Seriously, I feel bad that human lives are being disrupted and even destroyed by the violence in 'the territories'.  But you reap what you sow.



Posted by David Bogner on November 1, 2006 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Can I get a 'Amen'?:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


This is the true right of return -- the right to return to one of the dozen other Arab contries. The previously announced Palestinian State has been postponed due to lack of interest.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Nov 1, 2006 4:20:19 PM

Hmmm, Arabs emigrating out huh? Not to mention the birthrate of Arab women has been falling steadily while the Jewish one has stayed the same. What was that about the demographic time bomb?

Posted by: westbankmama | Nov 1, 2006 5:36:14 PM

Uhhhh, it actually worries me just a little. Maybe it's part of a bigger plot? Could it be everyone's leaving so Iran, et al. is free to blast Israel to bits?

Uh oh, my husband's consipiracy theorist leanings are spreading.

I should just read the comments instead of making them, but this WAS my first reaction to the article.

Posted by: Tracey | Nov 1, 2006 6:06:35 PM

Can someone enlighten me - I understood that Palestinians could only get citizenship in Jordan, among the Arab countries. What is the status of the Palis who are emigrating to other Arab lands - will they be refugees or something else?

And doesn't this mean no more UN money for the emigrants?

Posted by: Lisa | Nov 1, 2006 6:56:25 PM

Tracey: You think Iran would be deterred from blasting Israel by the possibility of the "collateral" killing of thousands of Palestinians? Puhleez.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Nov 1, 2006 7:33:27 PM


Think how much cheaper IN EVERY WAY it would have been for the world, Israel, Israelis, everybody .... if we had started offering each and every pali $100k that would leave.

Posted by: Scott | Nov 1, 2006 7:33:45 PM

Amen. But I wonder what would happen if Palestinian statehood ever looked like it might be a reality. Are these Palestinians making permenant homes elsewhere, or are they just temporarily escaping all the crap Hamas is putting them through?

Scott--I don't think it would even take 100K. If Saddam was able to convince people to blow themselves up for 10K, surely for 20K they'll be willing to move. Don't you think?

Posted by: Fern | Nov 1, 2006 8:52:19 PM

It's about time.

Posted by: Seth | Nov 1, 2006 11:20:40 PM

A little self promotion on the subject at hand:


Posted by: JoeSettler | Nov 1, 2006 11:52:38 PM

The first thing that popped into my head was one of Martha Stewart's catch-phrases: It's a good thing.

Posted by: RR | Nov 2, 2006 12:09:42 AM

Sorry, David, I'm not sure you can... Especially as there are still more Jews leaving Israel each year than arriving, our birthrate is pitiful in comparison to theirs, and- as some of your other commenters have said- they've got the refugee culture down: they, and their children's children, will still wear keys, write poems about Palestine and campaign for the right of return. Even if it is their own infighting which has driven them out, it will still be the Jews' fault...

Posted by: PP | Nov 2, 2006 12:19:31 AM

Eh, I've heard this before. The Pal. birthrate on the WB is still enormous, Gaza is eye-popping. (The Israeli-ARab birthrate is dropping, yes, but it's still something like twice the I-Jewish rate.)

Also, when they leave, they don't exactly vanish into thin air. They move to Western countries and form irredentist, violent colonies in their host countries. If they come to the US, that's really bad, because eventually they will learn to deploy political power, and form a bloc, as American Jews have.

The real problem is that Israel's economy isn't big enough to absorb all the Jews who would want to live there, including yordim. Also, the huge infrastructure of international and UN-affiliated "aid" agencies that have created an economy of welfare sponges in the "Palestinian" territories.

Sorry, I can't get too worked up over this.

Posted by: Sophia | Nov 2, 2006 1:34:17 AM

Sorry, only a half-hearted 'amen'. I can't really get excited by the fate of the Palestinians. Good, bad, or otherwise.

Other than Arafat dying of venereal disease, that is. That was a very good day. Second anniversary coming up.

Posted by: The Back of the Hill | Nov 2, 2006 1:39:15 AM

If you want more Jews to come to Israel, how about transforming the Jewish religion into a missionary one? Not by force of course.

Posted by: Chris | Nov 2, 2006 3:01:42 AM

Sadly, the people leaving are likely to be those who would be most supportive of reconciliation with Israel-- the potentially economically successful and the most resistant to the dream propaganda of terrorism. Even 40,000 or more leaving is a tiny fraction of the total population of the territories. The most recent opinion polls by the Palestinians shows that the proportion who think Hizbollah defeated israel is 70+%. The proportion of those who support the end of any accommodation with Israel has risen to over 50%. I suspect the emigrants are amongst the minority.

Posted by: Judy | Nov 2, 2006 4:05:31 AM

Just, please, don't send them to the USA! We have enough trouble-makers now!

Posted by: benning | Nov 2, 2006 5:21:28 AM

Chris, I think transforming Judaism into a missionary religion is a terrible idea. We have definite rules against that.

Posted by: Irina | Nov 2, 2006 7:31:17 AM

During the Israeli "occupation" the combined legal/illegal immigration from Jordan and Egypt topped out at 30,000 per year.

That was back when we were "oppressing" them with running water, electricity, telephone and medical services.

From the currently quoted study:

Birzeit University pollster Nader Said, who has monitored emigration attitudes for 12 years, says the percentage of Palestinians willing to relocate once hovered just below 20 percent. When that figure jumped to 32 percent in a September survey, Mr. Said says he was shocked.

Even more telling, adds Said, is that the percentage surges to 44 percent among Palestinians in their 20s and 30s. Among young men, it surges beyond 50 percent.

Malik Shawwa, a consultant specializing in obtaining Canadian visas, says his workload has jumped by two-thirds over the past seven months as more Palestinians ask about leaving. "This is the most important subject in the Palestinian territories," he says. "It's not just a matter of a lack of jobs. It's the situation. They're not secure. They don't trust the government."

Here is the source.

So this is following the established pattern - the young and mobile go elsewhere, or are sent out of harm's way by their parents.

We are looking at an aging - and hopefully less violent - Pali population in the future.

Judy: I think the response to polls about Nasrallah's "victory" stems more from the culture of pride than from actual opinion. Read the article I've linked to - the Palestinian pollsters indicate the there is real knowledge that Israel won, and isn't going anywhere.

Irina: Judaism has no laws against missionary work - we just stopped doing it when we became a powerless minority.

Jewish missionaries were active during the Roman empire, and were a contributing factor to the creation of Christianity.

Posted by: Ben-David | Nov 2, 2006 12:25:08 PM

Irina, many people seem to be neither happy with Christianity nor with Atheism. Judaism and Jewish traditions might have to offer something for them.
But especially it might involve them personally into the fate of Israel. What do Europeans know about Israel? What could make them care for Israel?
I only get negative news from down there. Or from the past of course. But where is the positive strategy for the future? I think the religion could be one. Perhaps.

My post is not meant to be offensive in any way.

Posted by: Chris | Nov 2, 2006 4:24:40 PM

Chris -- I guess you didn't get the word. Transforming Judaism into an evangelical religion has been done (now almost 2000 years ago). Personally, I think it was an excellent idea.

Posted by: Bob | Nov 2, 2006 6:33:52 PM

Chris, Bob - while I can clearly see the advantages of making Judaism a missionary religion, I think one significant problem with it is that it can draw in too many people who are not serious about it. One thing is to try to get non-observant Jews to become observant. Encouraging non-Jews to convert is something else entirely. Judaism, while being a wonderful religion, if taken serious, is not all rainbows and sunshine. It does not offer easy answer to anything. And in many ways, it's much more about the work you put in, than what you actually believe. In many ways, practicing Judaism is a struggle - struggle to understand, at the same time, allowing for that leap of faith. I'm not sure many people are prepared to do that. I don't want to see Judaism converted into the latest trend only to be discarded as soon as people see the difficulties or another, more appealing religion appears.

Posted by: Irina | Nov 3, 2006 7:23:18 AM

OK, forget about the whole thing. ;)
I was just looking for a way to involve foreign people in the fate of Israel for other than material reasons.

Bob, I did get the word - and while left cheek/right cheek might have been an appropriate solution against the Romans I am not sure it will work with fanatics, too.

Posted by: Chris | Nov 3, 2006 10:12:28 AM

Irina, I know what you mean. But even if you would count the non-observant Jews in, I think it's still not many people and a very fragile country.

I wonder where you see the principal difference between a non-observant Jew and a non-Jew. The mother? :D

Posted by: Chris | Nov 3, 2006 10:55:07 AM

Chris - are you serious about a non-observant Jew and a Non-Jew?

That's quite insulting and yes, there are millions of us non observant Jews who are very proud and hold the same beliefs as a Jew who tries to observe as many Jewish laws as possible. My practice of Judiasm may not match one who is frum, but it doesn't mean that I accepting Jesus as my savior.

Posted by: jaime | Nov 4, 2006 9:45:17 PM

Hi Jaime,

thank you for speaking your mind.

Concerning Jesus as your savior (*gg*), there are millions of Christians who think that they have to do the saving themselves by following his words and not just by waiting for him. So, if you are nice to other people, that should do. : )

Concerning my question: In Germany it is only p.c. to refer to Jews as people of Jewish religion. You would be stoned if for example you said "Jews and Germans" in public. Thus, making a difference between non-Jews and non-observant Jews is a no-no. To express this paradoxon I used irony, which is inappropriate on the internet - my fault. I am sorry for that. : (

And to solve this puzzle for myself, I asked a friend from Israel if he would call himself "Israeli" or "Jew" and (obviously surprised) he answered "Jew, of course". But there was no principal difference between our way of thinking. So what was the major difference between me and him? His parents are Jewish and mine are German, while the education is obviously similar. In religious terms you might argue that he applies "love your neighbour" also to non-Jews. But that doesn't make him a Christian, or does it? That was what I meant.
Being aware of the past I would especially like to concentrate on similarities or on learning from each other and in my humble opinion Israel and the rest of Europe would profit from it.

Kind regards, Chris

Posted by: Chris | Nov 5, 2006 7:46:52 AM

Sing it, brother!

But, yeah, can't get too excited until it starts happening on a mass scale, and I fear that Judy may be correct in her assessment of who is leaving...

Posted by: mcaryeh | Nov 5, 2006 9:16:06 AM

Hmm. As I see it. there is no difference between non-Jews and non-observant Jews.

I remember growing up and asking that question, "Why Jewish?" What does that mean? My father thought it over and replied, "Really, it means nothing. Some people take it very seriously, but that's a story they impose on reality because they feel like they have to." Realistically, non-Jews could call themselves Jews and, literally, they would be 'non-observant' Jews.
Hey, not every 'non-observant Jew' has a ketubah. Jew is a word, but it doesn't hold any real content without actually doing or thinking something, and you don't get that from the nonsense of matrilineal descent. Being a 'non-observant Jew' is for people who want the benefit of the Jewish community without having to actually be Jewish. Not to mention the idea that 'Jewishness' can be passed down families is utter nonsense. Also, on the not being a Christian remark, Jewishness is not defined in terms of not-being Christian. Dividing the world into Jew and non-Jew, and saying you are a Jew by virtue of not being a non-Jew, is utter nonsense.

Posted by: John | Mar 15, 2007 1:52:39 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.