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aliyah

  • Border agents tell Jewish American 'the IDF doesn't want you in Israel'

    Julie Weinberg-Connors, who is in the process of making 'aliya,' or immigrating to Israel as a Jew under the Law of Return, was told that they were being deported because of the army's objections over their visits to the West Bank. They were eventually let in. Jewish-American Julie Weinberg-Connors was denied entry to Israel Wednesday night and told that "the [IDF] does not want you in Israel," where Weinberg-Connors holds residency and is in the process of immigrating under Israel's Law of Return. Border Control agents eventually reversed course and allowed Weinberg-Connors, 23, into the country after media outlets, including…

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  • Anti-Semitism in the U.S. doesn’t make me want to move to Israel

    Why would American Jews be any less repulsed by the ultra-nationalist tendencies rampant in Israel than they are by those taking hold in America? By Sarah Stern The Jewish day school in Rockville, MD where I spent six years as a student received a bomb threat this week. There have been over 100 threats like this at Jewish institutions across the United States since January. When I was nudged and shown an article during a conference panel this weekend, however, the news hardly made me flinch. It had not jarred me, I realized, because I recently moved back from Jerusalem,…

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  • Why do LGBT Israelis leave the country?

    Whether because of growing homophobia or their criticism of the occupation, some queer Israelis are leaving and say they're not coming back. By Hila Amit Most academic literature on the issue of emigration from Israel is written from a Zionist perspective, thus telling a one-sided story. According to the story, Israeli emigrants feel a strong connection to Israel; they left the country mainly for economic reasons; they are sad to have left; and they wish to return to their homeland. The literature on the topic addresses a very narrow group of participants, who seem to pop up in most studies.…

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  • Yemenite Children Affair: Families of the kidnapped speak out

    Between the years 1948 and 1952, thousands of babies, children of mostly Yemenite immigrants to the newly-founded State of Israel, were allegedly taken away from their parents and given up for adoption to Ashkenazi families. Now a group of activists is telling the stories of the traumatized families who vow never to forget. (Translated from Hebrew by Maayan Goldman) The baby in the photo is younger than my Abigail. His name is Rafael - a tiny baby, seen here in his mother's arms. She wandered from Damascus to Beirut and onto the shores of the promised land, before being placed…

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  • Autoxenophobia: The 'demographic threat' goes worldwide

    The real demographic balance that should worry liberal, humanist, open and progressive people is the number of xenophobes in our society, rather than the number of people with beards, skullcaps or hijabs. By Dubi Kanengisser When I lived in Toronto, I used to jokingly exclaim "man, I hate those immigrants." Like all jokes, this had a grain of truth in it. It is easy to latch onto the obvious differences of "visible minorities" and extrapolate from one member to the entire group. We all have a little racist inside that we must overcome. But there are Israelis living abroad whose xenophobia…

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  • WATCH: Israelis mock gov't ads to bring nationals back home

    Much attention in the last few days has been devoted to the public relations campaign led by the Israeli Ministry of Immigration ... that backfired. (Read about it here.) The plug was pulled on a series of controversial commercials that were viewed by many diaspora Jews (and in particular North American Jews) as offensive. +972 contributors weighed in on the debate. Among them was Mairav Zonszein, who noted that a connection to Israel is not something that one can switch on or off: The ones who feel rooted here (in Israel) cannot afford to refuse to call Israel home until…

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  • Israel cancels marriage ad after angry response from US Jews

    The Israeli government on Friday announced that it would cancel immediately a group of television commercials introduced and paid for by the Ministry of Immigration, after the Embassy in Washington received a number of angry comments from American Jews. Speaking on CNN, Israel's American-born Ambassador to Washington, noted: The Ministry of Immigration has been charged, in its mandate, to bring Israelis home, and has various funds to do so. And in this case, the campaign did not take into account sufficiently American Jewish sensitivities. We regret that. But still, we are committed to trying to bring Israelis back home and…

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  • Has Jewish immigration to Israel lost its significance?

    Having immigrated to Israel a month ago, A. Daniel Roth contemplates the concept of 'aliya' -- Jewish immigration to Israel -- and how to make it significant. By A. Daniel Roth About a month ago I attended a lecture by one of my undergraduate professors from the Jewish studies department at the University of Toronto about the current situation in Israel. In his lectures, he always mentions early on that he holds views that are politically moderate. After the lecture I mentioned to him that I was planning to move to Israel in the near future and I was wondering…

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  • Confessions of a reborn non-Zionist

    The son of a Zionist family, Ari Miller immigrated to Israel dreaming of combat tours in the IDF, followed by a political or diplomatic career in the service of his new homeland. Today, his life couldn't be farther away from those fantasies. A personal journey By Ari Miller | Photos from the author's personal album I stood there, with my unit, all of us with an M-16 in hand. A man in green with one red shoulder barked at us that, in a few weeks, we would have the opportunity to kill or be killed. We were about a month…

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  • Top ten myths about Israeli policy

    In the next few weeks, I will write a separate post about each of the top ten myths about Israeli policy, tackling the obfuscation and confusion that often characterize discussions of official Israeli positions and actions, at home and abroad. My top ten list appears below Inspired by the fascinating series on constitutional myths in the United States (well, fascinating for American politics junkies like myself), by Garret Epps in the Atlantic, I have decided to create my own list of myths. This list refers to myths about current government policy in Israel. It therefore excludes the variety of cultural,…

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  • Has Aliyah from North American peaked- or is it stalling? (Jerry Haber)

    The following was originally posted on The Magnes Zionist. Here's something that caught my eye. In today's Haaretz there was an article about the "sharp rise" in aliyah since last calendar year (the calendar in question is the Jewish one), in fact, 18%. This is the second year in a row that there was such a rise. Jewish Agency's Natan Sharansky put the good news succinctly: "After 10 years during which we saw less and less immigrants, now we see an increase," said Sharansky yesterday at a press conference at the Jewish Agency's Jerusalem headquarters. "This year there were more immigrants from…

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