one of the striking phenomena that characterizes Israeli communities abroad is their separation from veteran Jewish communities. Paradoxically, even Israelis who have chosen to leave Israel regard "Diaspora Jews" with reservations and sometimes even scorn.This really demonstrates the cleft stick the zionism has led some Jews into. They want to be a nation with a territory, they don't like diaspora Jewish culture or languages and when it doesn't work out in Palestine back into the real world they go. But the zionist myth of everyone hating Jews everywhere is just that, a myth, so they don't have the enemy to help them maintain their Israeli identity. So, having abandoned their Jewishness in favour of Israeli Jewishness they now lose their Israeli identity. Perhaps they'll start to learn that the hatred of those you have dispossessed isn't enough to build an identity on.
"The young Israelis are very put off by the Jewish communities," says Lev-Ari. "They find the community's customs odd."
A 26-year-old student told her: "'In our age group, we do everything to avoid them. It exposes us to Diaspora Jewish traits that threaten me.'" The other Jews are perceived as too religious. Their clothing is out-of-date, and the young Israelis also feel their attitude toward Israeli is obsolete. "People have told me: 'They like old Israeli music - Yehoram Gaon, Yaffa Yarkoni. I am not part of that,'" says Lev-Ari.
"The connection to the Jewish community is far from perfect," agrees Spielman. "I feel close to the Jews, but the difference is clear, the mentality is different and this sometimes leads the Israelis to hold negative attitudes. There are Jewish behaviors that Israelis consider ridiculous, and some refer to them as 'Yids' among themselves."
A parallel study among Israelis in the United States last year found similar tendencies.
"The longer Israelis stay in the United States, the weaker their connection to Israel," says Dr. Uzi Ravhon, of the Institute for Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University, who conducted the study. "This is manifested in less familiarity with the social and political situation in Israel and less connection with relatives and friends in Israel," says Ravhon.
"For the second generation that was born in the United States, or moved there at an early age, the connection is much weaker. They are much more fluent in English, and a larger percentage have American citizenship."
"Israeli identity is very much based on defining yourself vis-a-vis an enemy," says Sarit, an Israeli who has been living in London for 10 years. "It could be that when Israelis move abroad they don't really have an enemy to face, so their identity also begins to disappear."
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