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Opinion Those who leave the country are not connected to reality - and to Zionism Israel today


Which legal system would you like? The French, who covered up the murder of Sara Halimi? The Swedish, who did not deport a Palestinian who threw a baton at a synagogue? The American, who did not discuss the violation of human rights by the army?

I spent the last Saturday in one of the Jewish communities in South Africa.

On the way to a Shabbat night meal with a senior member of the community, I talked to his 17-year-old daughter, and asked her what her plans were after graduating from high school.

"Army and Aliya," she answered.

Of the four families sitting around the Shabbat table, one has a concrete aliyah plan, and the others have theoretical plans.

Each of the graduates around the table spent at least a year in Israel.

On Saturday morning after the prayer, the rabbi came up to bless the four boys and girls who will travel to Israel in the coming week, "to fulfill the values ​​of our community".

The wishes received loud applause.

The South African community numbers more than 50 thousand Jews.

There is no anti-Semitism in South Africa, but the country is in a continuous economic crisis, faces immigration problems and sees an increase in cases of violence and homelessness.

The South African rand lost about half of its value in the last decade.

Throughout the stay in the place, the dual picture gradually became clear: on the one hand, a strong and warm community, whose people have beautiful houses and a peaceful life;

And on the other hand - the education, the culture and the discourse in the place lead the gaze towards one place - the Land of Israel.

"Our biggest problem," the head of the community told me, "is that too many members fulfill our values ​​and immigrate to Israel. Every year some of the strongest and most active families leave."

They define it as a problem, but know very well that it is a problem of the rich.

When desperate Israelis announce that they will leave the country or advise their children to "save themselves" and find another place for themselves - one must enter into proportion.

Israel is still a great place to live, and South African Jewry is just a reminder of the truth that most of us have become accustomed to: we have no other place.

Those who fear that the Israeli legal system will become powerless in the face of a predatory government that harms minorities - and without arguing with the perception of reality or discussing the desired status of the judiciary - which legal system do you prefer?

The French, who covered up the murder of the Jewish woman Sara Halimi and claimed that the killer was not responsible for his actions?

The Swedish, which determined that an illegal Palestinian resident who threw a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue will not be deported from Sweden because in Israel "his human rights will be violated"?

Or maybe the American system, which is not at all ready to discuss claims of human rights violations by the military?

"Have you checked that your luggage does not exceed the weight?", asked us the kind man who drove us to the airport.

The local airline is very careful.

"Can't you bribe them?"

I laugh, and he answers seriously: "The only people who can be bribed here are the government. Life here is beautiful, but I already have a home in Israel, and I am calm because I know that my children and grandchildren have a place they can go. The other people who live here - white, black, colored - Much more difficult. They have nowhere to go."

Contrary to what we may want to think, as citizens of a prosperous country, the State of Israel is not a gift we received, and we only have to decide if we love it or if it is worth turning up our noses at.

Israel is a mission we took upon ourselves, and this mission continues to exist for better or for worse: after wars, after Rabin's murder, after secession, after an economic crisis, and also after a change of government and legal reform.

The tens of thousands of people who educate their children to form a strong and sustainable connection with the state of the Jewish people are a mirror image of those who seek to escape, and understand more than anyone that there is only one home.

And it is still appropriate to ask: why is the stream of immigrants so thin?

What prevents the masses of world Jews from coming to live in Israel?

Why do tens of thousands of Jews come to Israel for a year and then return home?

Beyond the branching issue of the difficulties of absorption and transition, the answer is clear: it is expensive.

Legal reform in Israel is necessary and very necessary, but the future of the Zionist enterprise depends on reforming the cost of living.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-02-04

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