Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yerida (leaving Israel) without guilt

Israelis who leave Israel for abroad often feel guilty at having left, especially if they were born here, but sometimes even if they tried to immigrate here from abroad and failed. One man has become a symbol for many of those guilt-ridden Israelis: Avram Burg.

Burg is a former speaker of the Knesset, a former chairman of the Jewish Agency (ironically, the organization whose main function in life is helping people to make aliya - immigrate to Israel), and the son of longtime Knesset Member and cabinet minister Dr. Yosef Burg of blessed memory. Burg grew up in the religious school system here (he was a classmate of a former law colleague of mine at a prominent Jerusalem Yeshiva High School), and as far as I know he still wears the knitted skullcap that is emblematic of the national religious community here in Israel. In a word, Burg is a token kippa-wearer among the branja (more on the branja here). But he has become a citizen of France, where he lives and is a 'businessman,' and has written a book in which he compares Israel to Nazi Germany. He claims that making Israel a Jewish state is the key to its end, and that all Israelis who can do so should obtain a foreign passport. Unfortunately, his views are not atypical of Israel's moonbat left.

Burg's constant attacks on Israel, and his assertions that living abroad is as good Jewishly and culturally as living in Israel, have made him a hero for the yordim (emigrants) seeking to salve their guilt over having left Israel. While they may not all go so far as to agree with his comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, they are all willing to listen because he makes them feel good about themselves and assuages that old-fashioned Jewish guilt. In the meantime, Burg, as the former holder of high ranking positions in the Israeli government, does incalculable damage to Israel's image overseas.

Red Tulips reports at Culture for All that the very same Avram Burg has been invited to speak in New York next Tuesday night (see the notice below), and I'd like to urge those of you who are in the New York area to make sure that this vinegary son of wine gets an appropriately sour reception. Burg's appearance is being sponsored by an organization called Dor Chadash, a member of the United Jewish Communities (which, as I understand American Jewish organizations these days, means that a substantial part of their budget is funded by your federation contributions if you live in the New York area). None of my friends whom I contacted knew anything about the organization, but from reading the directors' biographies, I can only gather that most of them are yordim (see above), whether born in Israel or elsewhere, and that a disproportionate number of them are lawyers. Culture for All reports that Burg is the sole speaker for the evening (it's characterized on the poster below as a 'discussion' with David Kaufman of the New York Times; as far as I can tell, Kaufman is a travel reporter), although there is apparently a 'moderator' from the Forward, which is a leftist Jewish paper. I suspect that moderator is former Forward editor J.J. Goldberg (Hat Tip: Soccer Dad).

I urge those of you who are in the New York area to show up next Tuesday night to defend Israel and give Burg a real Bronx cheer. Sorry about the steep price. But maybe you'll meet Shaul Olmert there.

Read the whole thing.


At 9:19 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yordim seem to be clustered among professionals. They don't find enough opportunity to get ahead in Israel so they find richer pickings abroad. There's quite a substantial Israeli emigre community abroad. And as one can imagine from Avraham Burg's appearance here, they are by no means all supportive of Israel.

For a lot of yordim - the Jewish State is quite simply not good enough for them to call it their home.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

As for Avram Burg - his renunciation of Israeli goes to show that for the Israeli Left - the real evil isn't Arab terror and the Arab drive to destroy Israel.

Its Israel's existence and on a more existential level, the persistence of religious national Zionism in Israel. They basically want Israel stripped off its Jewishness and from Burg's perspective, if there's nothing special about Israel, there's really no difference between living in Tel Aviv or living in Paris or living in New York or living in Los Angeles.

If you believe Israel is a special country, than there's something apostate about the yored phenomenon. On the other hand, if Israel ought to be like every other nation in the world, then there's no reason for Jews to feel an attachment to it and remain there.

The real battle is not about peace or even territory. The real battle is over the soul - and future of the world's only Jewish State.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...


I want this to be clear...

Dor Chadash is a secular, supposedly pro-Israel organization. Yes, most of the board members are Yardim. But this organization claims to believe in the Zionist dream.

Just as a point of clarification.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

If Dor Chadash believes in the Zionist dream - why would they invite as their only speaker a yored who has only renounced Israel but has disavowed Zionism and compared Israel to Nazi Germany? If you agree with Avram Burg you're not subscribing to Zionism. That they chose a man who passionately hates the Jewish State to his very marrow, who gave up his Israeli nationality for French citizenship, that tells us all we need to know about them.

Zionism has to be a practical as well as a philosophical commitment. You can't be a true Zionist without having lived in Israel and Yored already tell us why they have turned their backs on the Jewish State by leaving it.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...


I do not disagree that Dor Chadash shows it is not *truly* a Zionist organization by inviting Burg to speak. That said, they also invited Alan Dershowitz to speak. (not a right winger, but more of a liberal 'realist') Anyway, they claim to be Zionists and are promoting Israeli-Jewish American friendship. To what ends? 99% of Dor Chadash are completely secular and support a two state solution. You will see advertisements of their events with pictures of scantily clad women.

So they support a left wing version of Israel, and that is their vision of Zionism.

For what it's worth.

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

One more thing I would like to add...

I think it is very important to have left wing support for Israel. So organizations like Dor Chadash are valuable.

But not when they invite Avrum Burg and his ilk.

At 11:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Israeli Left does not believe in Zionism. It targets Zionism. There was a time when Israeli leftists were as patriotic as other Israelis.

Those days are now long gone.

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are post Zionists and nothing more.

American Jews, stop funding these promoters. They're only helping to destroy Israel.

Want to help Israel? Fund your favorite Israeli causes directly. Schools, universities, hospitals, social and welfare institutions, they can all be donated to directly, without your money going to some New Yorker's $300K+ salary to disburse your money to lord knows where.

It's your money. Be selective.


Post a Comment

<< Home