Three months ago, the Israeli government voted for permanent funding for independent aliyah organisations, chiefly Nefesh b’Nefesh, which encourages potential immigrants from North America and Britain, with financial inducements and assistance in housing and job placements. The decision was seen as a blow to the Jewish Agency, which previously enjoyed a monopoly on aliyah activity.Now here's a Ha'aretz article that suggests that the Jewish Chronicle may have been putting a brave face on what Israel is seeing as a bit of a problem:
“The fact that, with all their hype, Nefesh b’Nefesh haven’t succeeded in raising the aliyah numbers proves that it takes much more than a money to encourage people to make aliyah,” adds the Agency official. “It’s something much deeper, starting with education.”
A Nefesh b’Nefesh spokesman replied: “We have been working in Britain for two years. In 2006, two-hundred olim came from Britain with our programmes and that number has doubled in 2007.”
they're going to be down again. The January to November figures paint a very clear picture, and if there wasn't a sudden wave this month (and there wasn't), then immigration will have been down 7 or 8 percent this year. Only about 18,000 Jews came from around the world this year to live in the Jewish state. And what makes the statistics even more grim reading is the country-by-country numbers; there are no signs of hope for the future.See that line tucked away in there. Ok, let's have it again:
Last year, when immigration was also down, there was, at least, an upward trend coming from the English-speaking countries, primarily the U.S. and Britain. This year, Anglo immigration is also down. There is an increase in immigrants coming from Latin America, but those numbers are negligible in the overall picture. And immigration from Ethiopia is also slightly up, but since 2007 was probably the very last year of mass immigration from that country, and the government has decided that from June no more Falashmura will be allowed in; their immigration numbers will have dwindled in the coming year. But are these numbers necessarily a bad thing? Arik Sharon used to speak of bringing a million immigrants over the next decade. Now, it doesn't look as if we'll be getting even a quarter of that sum.
the government has decided that from June no more Falashmura will be allowed inWhile parts of Palestine, the West Bank, Jerusalem, Galilee, the Negev, are being Judaised, the Ethiopian Jews are being de-Judaised. Now there's a policy reversal that doesn't seem to have got half the publicity that the policy itself achieved when Israel, short of labourers, decided that Ethiopian Jews were Jewish enough for this thoroughly racist state. But that wasn't the point. Israel is suffering a "going up" shortage and it's worried.
Here's more from the same Ha'aretz article:
The great waves of immigration are a thing of the past. The Ethiopian operation is being wrapped up, the Jews in the former Soviet Union who haven't come so far seem intent on having their share of whatever economic miracles are going on in their home countries and even the "threatened" Jews of Iran and Venezuela don't seem to be taking advantage of the easily available escape routes. For the great majority of them, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez seem less-daunting prospects to the option of uprooting their families and giving up their businesses. Immigration from France is still relatively healthy, but the mass exodus, predicted in the wake of the Muslim rioting, has so far failed to materialize; meanwhile, the rise of Sarkozy has set many troubled minds at rest. There are those who still believe that anti-Semitism will inevitably arise again in the West, and hundreds of thousands of once-confident American, British, Australian and French Jews will be forced to seek refuge in Zion. But that doesn't seem to be happening quite yet.Aha, "good human material." Zionism in all its disgusting glory, on display in a Ha'aretz article. And for all the worry the article expresses about Israel's "demographic" nightmare, see this concluding paragraph:
There are of course those who believe that it's all a matter of changing the established attitude toward immigration, and that the way to bring more Western Jews is the more personalized, customer-orientated methods of private organizations like Nefesh B'Nefesh in North America and Britain and AMI in France. But if the 2007 figures are anything to go by, the much-publicized efforts by these two organizations haven't succeeded in boosting overall immigration numbers from these countries. That doesn't mean the new attitude toward immigrants shared by the private organizations and a growing number of senior officials within the old guard of the Jewish Agency and Absorption Ministry is necessarily wrong.
Perhaps no one is to blame for the low numbers of immigrants; perhaps the numbers are no longer a reliable measure of success in this field. The numbers don't tell us how many of the new immigrants are young couples and singles, with useful professions and bright prospects of absorption, nor how many of them are disillusioned and alienated teenagers, soon to lead lives of delinquency and generate headlines for scrawling swastikas on synagogue walls in Petah Tikva, how many of them are 80-year-old pensioners from eastern Europe arriving simply to enjoy the much more favorable health services?
Zionism is not dead. There are always those who will come for purely ideological reasons, but for the rest of potential immigrants, it has become increasingly a matter of convenience and lifestyle. The numbers game is obsolete, and those hoping the Jews of the world will arrive in droves and save Israel from demographic catastrophe are deluding themselves.Zionism is not dead? But is it dying perhaps? New settlers are not going to solve the "demographic problem." But then wasn't that the case right in the beginning? Wasn't it the case that there were never as many Jews up for the zionist project as the zionists had hoped when they decided to set up their state for the world's Jews and against Palestine's Arabs? What did they do when the settlement of Jews failed to outnumber the native Arabs? Why they expelled most of the Arabs of course. This of course is all without getting into the murky business of zionist terrorism against Jews in Arab countries and their collusion with antisemitic regimes since the inception of the zionist movement and continuing today with the bizarre alliance of Jewish and Christian zionists.