Jews, Immigration, Syria and Israel
By Gilad Atzmon
The Israeli press reports this morning that “Israel transferred aid to Syrians seeking refuge near border in overnight mission.”
On first glimpse it seems that Israel has made a crucial and timely humanitarian effort. The IDF says it provided tons of food, medicine and clothing to Syrians living in makeshift encampments on the Golan border. But the IDF also made it clear that it “won’t allow Syrians fleeing the country into Israel and will continue to defend Israel's national security interests.” We are entitled to presume that the Israel humanitarian aid was given to discourage Syrian refugees from approaching the Israeli border. The Israelis were in effect telling the Syrian evacuees, ‘we will give you water and food, just make sure you don’t seek refuge in our Jews only State.’
This attitude is in stark contradiction to the message we hear from Diaspora Jews. Just a week ago American Jewish organisations, “alarmed by the U.S. government’s zero tolerance policy to immigration,” submitted a letter to the American administration. "As Jews, we understand the plight of being an immigrant fleeing violence and oppression,” the letter said, “We believe that the United States is a nation of immigrants and how we treat the stranger reflects on the moral values and ideals of this nation."
It seems that this understanding of alleged ‘Jewish values’ does not apply to the Jewish State. We have yet to hear a single American Jewish organisation calling on Israel to open its gates to Syrian refugees. While American Jewish organisations claim to understand the “plight of being an immigrant fleeing violence and oppression” we have not heard that any of those Jewish organisations called on Israel to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their land.
In the eyes of the American Jewish organisations “the USA is a nation of immigrants,” but Israel is a Jews only State. The Indigenous people of Palestine are either expelled, living in open air prisons or endure the reality of being seventh class citizens. When it comes to immigration, no country in the world can compete with Israel’s anti immigration attitude. As we learn today, loving your (Syrian) neighbours and inviting them in is not even an option.
This raises the question of whether the Jewish Diaspora institutional approach to immigration is hypocritical. There is a clear expectation that the Goyim ought to support immigration. This is understandable. Diaspora Jews would love to see themselves as one ethnic minority amongst many. However, when it comes to the Jewish State, this attitude changes radically. Israel sees itself as the Jews only State. This vision is approved by Jewish organisations around the world. From a Jewish political perspective, multiculturalism is the goyim’s affair, the Jewish State prefers to see itself as a mono-ethnic planet.
Maybe the Jewish organisations that allegedly care so much about the way Trump’s immigration policy reflects on American values might bear in mind that the way Israel ‘treats the stranger reflects on the moral values and ideals’ of their own nation.