Sunday, March 08, 2009

Brace yourself...

As difficult as it was during the last years to 'sell' Israel's side of the story about all that is going on over here, it will be even more difficult in the coming years, I am afraid. I often said that even a bad policy is better than no policy at all, but today I am not so sure anymore. We might be pleasantly surprised by Avigdor Lieberman as Foreign Minister - after all, Tzipi Livni was one of the positive surprises of Kadimah, I never really liked her as a Likudnik -, but I would not bet on it. We do not have to worry about anything unfamiliar hitting us. Disgraceful scandals and corruption - which damage this country more than Qassam, Grad or Katyusha rockets - will continue to be a part of our political reality. The deals between Likud and its more extremist coalition partners will result in stupid, dangerous and anti-Zionist plans such as this one. One of the reasons why I made aliyah is that I wanted to take responsibility for the fact that I call myself a Zionist, and that I wanted to put my house and family where my Zionist mouth is. I think that Israel should cherish its relationship with the Diaspora. That means listening to what Jews abroad believe and want, and making sure that Israel remains a focus point and possible safe haven for Jews all over the world. I very much respect any Jew who thinks that his future and that of his family is in the country where he was born, not here. I also understand that circumstances sometimes force Israelis to build their homes abroad. But why should my children one day risk their lives as soldiers if the politicians who - eventually - direct the army are partly chosen by feedbackers and other pseudo-Zionist fanatics who prefer the fleshpots of Moscow, Paris and New York to the harsh reality over here? In my opinion, 'disloyal' Arab Israelis - Lieberman's party gained many votes with the slogan "Without loyalty there is no citizenship" - are more Zionist than many of the Israelis who choose to permanently live abroad. To give but one example of the latter: I remember too well the stories of several Russian immigrants who worked with me in a factory ( in the first year after I immigrated ) or served with me in the army and who told me that after they had used all their (financial) rights and privileges as new immigrants, they planned to go back to Russia, Ukraine etc., or try their luck in the US, Canada, Australia. I can assure you that none of them gave up their Israeli passport, wherever they are today.

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