Thursday, October 26

A Former Refusenik Speaks Out

A Former Refusenik's Disillusionment

I arrived in Israel exactly 19 years ago on the same date, in fact, that I write these words from the USSR, where Zionist life was thriving. I had come to the land of my dreams not as a refugee seeking a small place under the sun in whatever country was available, but as someone who knew why and for what purpose I had paved ? for over 17 years and often at risk to my life the road to Israel for myself and for many other Jews who shared my feelings and aspirations.

The word Zionism has acquired a negative connotation in Israel. The mass media, i.e., the country?s intellectual elite, inspire hatred between Jewish immigrants from different countries and obstruct the revival of a homogenous Jewish people after 2,000 years of dispersion.

The national bureaucracy hinders the integration of young people into Israel?s economic life and thus pushes them to leave the country. After 2001, when mention of national identity was removed from Israeli IDs, the word Jewish? virtually disappeared not only from official documents but also from the pages of newspapers. Even the anti-Semitic Soviet regime was never able to deliver such a blow to the national dignity of Jews.

In the last decades of the 20th century, the interests of Jewish national revival and those of Israel's national bureaucracy came into real conflict one that endangers the idea of the Jewish national home. We have witnessed how a persecuted and humiliated people?s glorious dream of a resurrected Israel has been reduced, by the national bureaucracy, to a venal vision of nurturing as many millionaires as possible.

The same individuals sit in the Knesset for decades. The intellectuals are concerned only with their personal success, while the mass media have turned into a mass brainwashing machine targeting poor, semi-literate and politically naïve citizens. New millionaires are appearing at a striking rate, while the reverse process of mass impoverishment is also accelerating. The middle class is gradually vanishing from the country?s economic life.

Ida Nudel
Karme Yosef, Israel

(Editor's Note: Ms. Nudel is a former Soviet Prisoner of Zion and a winner of the Jabotinsky Prize.)

Via: Jewish Press

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