Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Zionism is like sitting in a movie seat instead of hoping someone saves it for you.
September 22, 2009, 4:44 am
Filed under: Identity, Preaching

row of seats

Hello from America !

I know I haven’t posted in a while, and I’m kinda truly sorry about that.  But I’m on my first visit to America since making Aliyah from here in March, and I’m using every minute to see people and buy shit, and I just haven’t had the time or energy for it.  But I am definitely getting loads of great material for G-Fish, and I think you will love the posts that eventually result from the experiences I’m having now.

Peeps I’m seeing over here are always asking me So, how is it over there? and Do you think you’ll stay there forever? and Why did you move there?  This post is about my answer to that third question.

I was explaining to someone my decision behind making Aliyah for probably the thousandth time, and an analogy spontaneously came to me, so I went with it:  You know how it can be really uncomfortable trying to save too many seats for your friends on opening night of a really hot movie, when the theater is packed?  Four friends are off getting popcorn, or still en route to the theater, or peeing, and you’re stuck all alone defending these four seats with only sets of keys or matchbooks on them, saving them for your friends.  Every five seconds, another person enters your row and tries to sit there, and you have to say No, I’m sorry – these are saved.  And it keeps getting harder and harder to do the closer it gets to showtime and the more filled up the theater gets.  Maybe saving one seat wouldn’t be so hard.  Or maybe if you had 2 or 3 people with you helping to save them, it would also be a lot easier.  But one person saving four empty seats on opening night, Friday 8pm show of like “Lord of the Rings” – it’s practically impossible.

This is why I made Aliyah.

There are approximately 5.4 million Jews living in Israel, out of a population of around 7.1 million.  The rest of Israel’s citizens are Arabs, and though it’s hard to find consensus on the specifics, it is believed they have a higher birthrate than Israel’s Jews do.  An op-ed by Benny Morris I read in the New York Times, Why Israel Feels Threatened, says that if the discrepancy in Jewish vs. Arab Israelis’ birthrates persists, Israel could no longer be a majority Jewish state by 2050.

So that’s what I’m doing in Israel, quite frankly.  I moved there to fill up another seat and to help save the country seats so that Israel remains a Jewish state.  The worlds 8.5 million (approx) diaspora Jews can’t remain far away just expecting Israel’s Jews to keep Israel a Jewish state for them.

Yo! World’s Jews:

If you want Israel to remain your homeland, ya gotta be there.  ‘Cause if you’re not, or unless at least some of you move here, it’s gonna be harder to for those of us that are here to “save all the seats” and keep it a Jewish state.

Dig?  Just sayin’.



11 Comments so far
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Yeah, well, what about the non-Jews like me who are in love with Israeli Jews? We’re sorta shit out of luck, eh? Ain’t no seats for an educated Christian girl in Israel.

And then people say “oh, we’re not really talking about the Christians”.

Then all of a sudden the arguement sounds really racist when it focuses only on the Arabs.

This is exactly why I’ve struggled so much living in Israel. If that’s the reason it makes you feel better having made Aliya, then kudos but I find massive faults in the argument.

Don’t mean to be all “rough and tumble” with you on this blog post but it’s a big issue with me lately.

Comment by Jami

Rough & tumble your heart out, Jami. Controversy drives traffic! And I love free expression of ideas practically more than anything else.

I don’t know a lot about immigration policies to Israel for non-Jews. Actually, I don’t know anything about them, except I think I heard one or two people tell me it is really difficult to get a “green card” (or whatever Israel calls it) if you aren’t Jewish. Is that true?

In my analogy, the crowded theater isn’t filling up with Christians, but Arabs. Realpolitik says Christians aren’t as passionate about claiming that land as their own in the way Arabs are. I don’t see them as having engaged Israel in a fight for the land.

P.S. Zionism is a big reason I made Aliyah, but not the only one. Getting laid off in NYC and receving a job offer in TLV…not having travelled the world…seeking adventure – these were all factors.

Comment by skatp

Also, the “ghostbusters sign over Islam” in my image will probably be misinterpreted a lot from my intention. It’s not intended as a “no Muslims in Israel” message; it’s meant as a critique against diaspora Jews who are vocal from afar about Israel remaining a Jewish state rather than choosing to live there. The critique is that they’d rather “hang a no-Muslims sign on the movie seat rather than sit in it themselves.”

Comment by skatp

I guess my point is that I don’t see anything wrong with there being more Arabs or Christians or fucking Buddhists in Israel. I believe there should be a homeland for Jews, yes, but the fact of the matter is that the land (Israel) wasn’t empty to begin with. Zionism had good intentions in its most basic form but is becoming increasingly dark and sinister when promotes to do to others what the Jews have historically had to endure (exclusion, racism, hatred, etc.)

A lot of the experiences that I’ve had personally and a lot of the propaganda and news I’ve been reading from Israel is becoming increasingly difficult for me to swallow. Such as a government supported push to convince Jews not to marry non-Jews, the propoganda to convince Jews living in the Diaspora to live only in Israel, and an organized effort to watchdog Jewish women from interacting with Arabs inside Israel for fear of creating “mixed” non-Jewish children.

Comment by Jami

You have given me some good points to think about, Jami. I guess I am afraid that if Jews don’t dominate Israel, then the Arabs wouldn’t allow them to play in the sandbox at all.

Comment by skatp

Also, in regards to obtaining a visa as a non-Jew…

I had to declare my relationship with an Israeli and every year I have to return to get approved again. After 7 years of this, I will have residency status but still won’t have the right to vote.

It was difficult mostly because they require all sorts of apostile stamps on my birth certificate, police background check, unmarried affidavit, etc, which all needed to be done inside the United States and not at the U.S. embassy. The process took a year to complete. Persistence with them is the key.

But the fact that I’m a United States citizen (and WHITE) worked in my favor. The Israeli ministry of the interior (Misrad Hapnin) racially profiles applicants. So if I was a non-Jew from Russia or a non-Jew from China, I most likely would not have been approved.

Comment by Jami

meanwhile, are you in NY right now? I forget where your US digs are.

Comment by skatp

Chicago. If I was closer, we’d totally go get a coffee right now. 😉

Comment by Jami

Yes, totes. Out for a jog now. Have to check out your recent post and comment back there.

Comment by skatp

Ooooh, NY. Shoot me an email if you have free time while you’re here.

Comment by Lauren

It is a great thing to make aliyah, but with Arabs constituting 34% among Israel’s young, population exchange is the only solution.

Comment by Alex - Israeli Uncensored News

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