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Opinion Israel is losing European Jewry Israel today

2023-01-24T07:56:42.160Z


More than they wanted to hear about the current and future informational goals, the Jewish leaders wanted to sound a warning about the reality being created in the Jewish communities throughout Europe


For the first time in a decade, the Israeli Foreign Ministry invited the heads of dozens of Jewish communities from around Europe to a "Leadership Conference", designed to discuss the challenges facing the triangle of Israel-Jewish communities-Europe relations.

The event was planned even before the establishment of the new government, whose composition raises concerns and suspicions even among European Jews, and automatic antagonism in the European Union and among certain European governments.

The traditional European political establishment and most of the media in the "old continent" do not like right-wing Israeli governments, and the current government's judgment was decidedly mandatory even before it was officially established and began its work.

It is not for nothing that too many European hands are involved in financing activities against right-wing Israeli governments, and in the deliberate thwarting of their policies in many areas.

The right-wing governments sinned by allowing this foreign interference in Israel's internal affairs.

More than they wanted to hear about Israel's current and future propaganda goals in Europe, the Jewish leaders wanted to sound a clear warning about the reality that is emerging among the Jewish communities throughout Europe.

This was not a warning against the rising anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism from the left, from Muslim immigrant communities and from the right.

The clear message from many of the leaders is that Israel is losing European Jewry, especially the younger generations - who are increasingly renouncing their Judaism and distancing themselves from Israel.

Between one and a half million and two million Jews still live in Europe, most of them in large communities such as those of France, Russia, Hungary, Great Britain, Ukraine and Germany, the others in small and shrinking communities.

In the last 50 years - after the Holocaust - the European Jewish population has decreased by about 60%.

The expectation for the next 30 years is a further shrinkage of about 50%.

The Ukraine war accelerated the process, at least in the short term, although it is important to note that quite a few of the Jews who left Ukraine and Russia settled - at least temporarily - in other European countries.

The long-term causes of the slow disappearance of European Jewry are increasing assimilation, a lack of means to preserve Jewish identity - such as teachers in Jewish schools, cumulative financial difficulties, a growing sense of alienation of young people from ties to Jewish communities, and of course the growing and extroverted anti-Semitism.

There are, of course, certain communities in Central and Eastern Europe where there is a phenomenon of rejoining Jewish communities by people who discover their Jewish roots (mainly in former communist countries), but in Western Europe, the Balkan countries and the Baltic countries, the trend is one-way, of a decrease in the number of community members .

Added to this is the phenomenon of disengagement from Israel, especially among the younger generations who are exposed every day to an environment hostile to Israel, and are looking for ways to remove from themselves the "yell" of automatic association with Israel.

Some do this by renouncing their Judaism, and some do this by joining anti-Israel activities, which are organized in part by left-wing Jewish organizations.

In several European countries, this disengagement is encouraged by the political establishments, which seek to reduce the identification of the Jews with Israel, and as a result the possibility that Israel will use them as a means of political pressure on the governments in those countries, as well as to ensure Jewish existence in their territory by eliminating the "threat" of Aliyah.

The heads of the European Jewish communities have previously appealed to the governments of Israel and asked for assistance in dealing with the difficulties.

According to them, the many promises given were not accompanied by any actions, except in the field of security.

If in the past Jewish communities in Europe used to send aid to Israel, now they are urgently asking to help them - by pouring in money, providing content and providing personnel to strengthen the Jewish identity.

The European Jewish leaders want to see an Israeli strategy to preserve European Jewry.

This request conflicts, of course, with the Zionist concept that wants to see the Jews of the world immigrate to Israel.

Israel must choose between clinging to utopia and losing an important part of Diaspora Jewry, which can be used in the present and in the future as a lever of significant influence on shaping pro-Israel policy in Europe, as it usually is today.

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Source: israelhayom

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