Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Escape Plan from Israel? Or A Filtering Out?

י״ד לחודש השנים עשר תשע״ד

My father, an experienced traveler, and who is fluent in five languages, keeps harping on me about “having an escape plan.” If it gets to hot, he says, then I should have a trip by boat to Italy on my list of contingency plans. I have repeatedly told him that I am “here for the long haul.” I have no intention of leaving, but that he should come here to Israel, and consider staying.

“I don’t speak Hebrew,” he tries to use as an excuse. I counter this easily with, “You are an English and Yiddish speaker. You will have no problem getting around Jerusalem.” (…or Beth Shemesh, or any number of other places)

I reassure him that I do have a “go bag,” with ID, cash, documents, an address book, matches, pencil and paper, etc. But, that if I were ever actually to leave Jerusalem, it would be north or south to friends with land. In order to grow food, one needs land. Even if there is enough food during a crisis, there is still the issue of getting it to the people who need it, and who even have money to buy it.
My father is either in deep denial about my “insane” ideology, or is in deep denial about my “insane” ideology.

He also has yet to opine on my 99% certainty that I will renounce my U. S. citizenship this spring. I think it was just too for much for him to handle in one e-mail. My mother, on the other hand, has said quite clearly that I am a “dope,” if I go through with it.

Meanwhile, my father is apparently not the only one to be concerned about having an escape plan for leaving Israel. The recent news out of Spain regarding a freshly passed piece of legislation has apparently given Israelis a new, personal project to work on, in order to increase their lifestyle choices.

YNET: The pursuit of European passports: ‘There’s somewhere to escape to’The Spanish law allowing Jews to claim Spanish citizenship gives many Israelis a chance to dream, have a backup plan
Michal Margalit, February 10, 2014 
For years, Israelis have been searching for the Ashkenazi connection that would allow them to receive the sought-after European passport. Thousands of them discovered over the weekend that the path to obtaining the passport is shorter than ever – and will actually be acquired through a Sephardic connection…. 
…what are the reasons for the pursuit for the European passport? 
Professor Yossi Shain, head of the Political Science Department at Tel Aviv University, believes that the main goal is to “open up options”. “Some will say that these options are in case of times of emergency, and that it is part of the history of the Jewish people, but we live in a global world in which many people have multiple citizenships. This is not a matter of lack of patriotism, but an economic opportunity and a chance to be a citizen of the world. 
However, the security aspect is also part of the considerations. “Because of the reality in the Middle East and our geographical location, Israelis are always traveling,” said Shain. “People who apply for Polish passports are taking advantage of opportunities. On the other hand, for many Israelis these options are not appealing. Others do not want to start a family abroad. Israelis are very connected to Israeli culture and to some extent can’t manage without Israel, and so in many cases people are only utilizing their options.” 
The never-ending pursuit for the European passport does not surprise Zeev Tzahor, Professor of History at Ben-Gurion University and former President of Sapir College.
“The Zionist assumption that the establishment of a Jewish state would give them a ‘safe haven’, as stated in the Zionist Congress in Basel, seems very distant today. If there’s a place that’s the least safe for Jews, it’s the Jewish state. Even if not everyone admits it, some Israelis who are aware of the Jewish history, prepare a shelter for themselves, like every generation tends to do, to be on the safe side. That’s the main reason for the attraction of the foreign passport.
Here are some of the reasons mentioned in the article by those desiring a passport in addition to their Israeli one:
… was happy to have the French passport not because he was thinking of emigrating from Israel, but so he could have the option to live in Europe for several years.did not look at his foreign passport as an “insurance policy” in case something forces him to escape the Jewish State, but rather as “a tool in the global village, making my life comfortable. I have no interest in leaving the country; only an interest to live abroad, see the world. …we see ourselves as part of the world. 
despite the fact that it was easier on the pocket to stay in Germany, they decided to return to Israel – “because of the weather, the distance from our families and friends… but anyway,” he stressed, “in case there’s an economic and security apocalypse, we have somewhere to run away to.” 
In case there’s a security threat, the passport will give an alternative. At the moment, we’re not considering moving there, but it opens up some possibilities for when the kids grow older.”
Esser Agaroth (2¢)
Since the fall, 2012, Spain has been seriously mulling over this proposal to extend citizenship to those Jews able to demonstrate that they are descendants of Jews, which Spain expelled in 1492. A bill was finally submitted at the end of 2013, by Spain’s ruling party, and subsequently passed into the law mentioned above.

Before the Spanish made their offer to Jews, even a former Speaker of the K’nesseth Avraham Burg (Labor) suggested that Israelis obtain a foreign passport. Burg even wore a kippah on his head, albeit a relatively small one. Burg now has French (ie. EU) citizenship. Why he chose France, of all places, with its well-publicized Jew-targeted violence, I have no idea. I would wish him luck, because he will certainly need it.

But, I think former Speaker of the K’nesseth Avraham Burg needs to sleep in his own personal bed which he has made for himself, if for no other reason, as an example to others, who will hopefully think twice before making his same mistake.

According to the above news report, there are at least some Israeli citizens who are excited about the prospect of a second passport. Some simply want “more options” in life or to be “part of the world.” Not all appear to want some sort of escape plan, if things get bad here.

Well, let me tell you, countless prophecies already tells us that things WILL get much worse, that is if we do not do teshuvah (repentance) to a sufficient degree. (See Ezeqiel, Zekhariah 12-14, Joel, Obadiah, etc.)

And so, I ask you to consider the possibility that although such “escape plans” seem reasonable, even prudent, this may simply be another test. When an increasing number of governments are showing their true colors of hatred toward the Jewish People, vis-à-vis “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian” stances, and the Spanish [and the Canadian, and a few other] governments open up their hearts and borders to Jews, our recent historical pattern predicts massive slobbering over those expressing a perceived love for us.

However, just as it does not matter who hates us, it also does not matter who loves us.
The only opinion which should matter to us it that of The Holy One, Blessed Be He.

We need to stand on our proverbial, “own two feet,” and hold firm, and consider the possibility that those who believe that they are leaving or escaping Israel, may actually be HaShem’s way of beginning a filtering out from Israel.

This may sound harsh. But, do not forget that according to many, only 20% made is out of the Egyptian Exile (Rashi on “חמושים” Par. Beshalah).

Ask yourselves, how many will make it out of the current Exile of Edom? So many have forgotten that Exile is, in fact, a punishment; returning to Israel is the Divinely-promised gift. How can any Jew give that up so easily, even just for the sake of being “part of the world?”

I don’t know about you, but as I continually try to tell my father, I’ am here for the long haul. I recommend that you all get on the plane, so as not be left behind, not to Spain, France, or any land besides Israel.

3 comments:

Orfan said...

Like you I fail to see the benefit in a passport to any other country. My birthplace has turned into a muslim stronghold. Our best bet, as you say is right here in the land Hashem gave us. On a visit to the synagogue ruins in Jericho a fellow traveler stated: We don't need to be afraid, Hashem already told us how it would end...

Esser Agaroth said...

Very nice way of putting it.

:-)

Devash said...

Amen! Excellent! You are absolutely right!!

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