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Israelis Want Out

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"The right and the left in present-day Israel are in dispute over one issue: where on our scale of identity we place Jewish identity." 

"The more of a humanist and liberal you are, the lower you situate your Jewish identity." 

"It's been like that ever since Benjamin Netanyahu whispered into the ear of (the late kabbalist) Rabbi Kaduri, "The leftists have forgotten what it is to be Jewish.' "

Perhaps they prefer being secular and human instead. Their values differ greatly from state-sponsored ones. They prioritize economic/financial considerations. No ideological tie binds them to Israel.

Foreign passports are considered insurance. Holders are mostly Ashkenazim (European) children and grandchildren.

Israeli strategic consultant/lecturer Noam Manella says they've "been transformed from being identified with the state into a segment of their own."

They're another "population center, like the ultra-Orthodox, the Arabs, and the Russians." Many call themselves "a negligible minority in Israel."

They then ask "What connects me to the country?" 

Alienated Israelis say it's "preferable to feel that way in a more comfortable location - one that also offers diverse and interesting possibilities for professional development." 

"A young Israeli start-up person can feel more of a kinship with an American counterpart in Silicon Valley than with the neighbor across the hall."

It's because Israel delinked from its people. It happened decades ago. Inequality defines Israeli society. 

It shows in military service, religious extremism, sweeping privatizations, prioritized wealth/power/and privilege, neoliberal harshness, and abandonment of ordinary Israelis as well as those most disadvantaged.

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar says efforts to link Israelis to state policies are wrongheaded.

"At one time, people were connected through large national symbols, but today the only thing that can create the connection is mutual commitment, and the state has to seize that - equality in bearing the burden."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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