Eye on the Middle East Sep/Oct 2009

In what, under the circumstances, some would think incredible, 100 people deplaned in June in Tel Aviv as new immigrants to Israel. They were the vanguard for thousands more scheduled to make aliyah before the summer of 2009 was out.

What made their arrival newsworthy is the fact that they did not come from the Third World where deprivation drives people to Israel despite the potential dangers. These new arrivals came from the United States. And according to a report by Israel National News, they were to be followed by 3,000 others from Great Britain, Canada, and France. According to current records, immigration from English-speaking countries has risen in recent years, and aliyah from Britain alone “has jumped by more than 50 percent.”

While many subplots could be written about why Jewish people would leave the most affluent nations in the world for life in a country awash in a sea of uncertainty, the prime subplot must be rising anti-Semitism. A British editor of The Church of England Newspaper complained that whenever he prints anything sympathetic to Israel, he is deluged with complaints of his being a Zionist as well as a racist.

Another expert on Palestinian-Israeli relations said he is acutely disturbed by the deeply rooted anti-Semitism growing in Britain and the West. Anti-Semites in the United Kingdom now say the September 11, 2001, attacks on America are Israel’s fault because the Jewish state supposedly created a level of anger that provoked the Muslims.

Unfortunately, recent events in the United States contribute to the conclusion that it might be a good time for some Jewish people to consider a move. In June anti-Semites plastered two Jewish synagogues in New York with swastikas and hurled smoke bombs and eggs against the buildings merely days after eight Jewish children were injured in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn by a bottle of dangerous chemicals thrown at them.

People with a solid grip on history recognize such incidents as symptomatic of a greater evil. James Wenneker von Brunn’s June attack on the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, is a glaring example. A certified racist who blames the Jewish people for virtually every ill of humanity, von Brunn is among a growing number of revisionists who claim the Holocaust is a Zionist invention designed to advance a so-called Jewish agenda of world domination.

The 88-year-old American took his hatred so far that he gladly attacked and killed at the American institution that exposes the lies of such mindless Holocaust denial.

It is impossible to overlook the growing Western trend to tolerate and even submit to Muslim factions and Islamic organizations that funnel support to terrorist groups from the majority of Western countries, including the United States.

Under the circumstances, can we expect increased Jewish emigration?Without a doubt. Especially if things continue to degenerate in countries that have been havens for the Jewish people in past days.

It is a thrill to learn the testimonies of the early immigrants to the United States who wept at the sight of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and flowed through Ellis Island to find a new beginning in a land where welcome and opportunity awaited them. Today the question is, Are we beginning to see the departure of those who have come to believe that the welcome no longer extends to them? If that’s the case, we are nearing the end of our Golden Era.

In her storied poem The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus called to the huddled masses, homeless, and tempest tossed to find a haven “beside the golden door.” Sad it will be if that door is closing behind what has been a treasured, invaluable asset to our lives and societies.

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