What is the catalyst for a Jew in the Diaspora making aliyah to Israel? Safety? The 218 North American immigrants arriving in Israel this past Tuesday proved the contrary. The El Al plane chartered by Nefesh Benefesh is the first to kick off a campaign to see 2000 new emigres come to Israel before summer’s out. “The immigrants arriving from the US and Canada are coming not out distress but rather out of excitement to take part in the largest national project of the Jewish people” said Nathan Sharansky, Chairman of the Jewish Agency.
Today, French Jews joined their North American counterparts. Some 200 olim arrived on Israeli soil embracing it as their own. The group, organized by the Jewish Agency and its affiliates, is expected to be the largest group of immigrants to make aliya from France this season. Full of emotion, Nathan Sharansky welcomed the immigrants to Israel: “French Jews who immigrate to Israel are coming out of choice: they have a whole world of opportunities before them, and they are choosing to come to Israel: their choice demonstrates that Israel affords a sense of Jewish identity and attachment to those Jews who wish to take an active part in the Jewish story.”
Israel is a country approximately the size of New Jersey; half of it is desert and another 20% is inhabited by Palistinians. Israel claims they desperately need more Jewish immigrants from the Diaspora. But how is it logistically feasible to find place for these new participants in “the largest national project of the Jewish people”? In his welcoming overture for the new immigrants, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder of Nefesh B’Nefesh, puts forth an answer to our question. “We are celebrating today the aliya of hundreds of new olim who will begin their lives in the Jewish state, many of whom are modern day pioneers moving to Israel’s North and South.”
Translation: these ‘modern day pioneers’, citizens of stable democratic countries, are to be used to develop extremely volatile settlements which border and liberally dot the territories of Israel’s enemies, serving as a buffer.
Israel, with its constant calls for emigration, has in mind not the wellbeing of Jews, but the promotion of the Zionist ideal. According to the erronous views of Zionism, a Jew needs to live in Israel, his ‘rights’ are in Israel and they are waiting for him with open arms. What does Israel ask for in return? Only that he be ready to sacrifice his and his family’s safety.
Nathan Sharansky claims that Israel is a fortress for Jewry in uncertain times, and that “we must ensure that the State of Israel remains a place in which every Jew feels at home, a place that ignites Jews’ imagination and strengthens their identity and security.”
Tragically, many of these new immigrants didn’t know they would be manning the ramparts of the ‘fortress for Jewry’, fending off would be attackers. ‘Modern day pioneers’ is simply a euphemism for ‘civilians placed on the front lines’.