Ukrainian Refugees in Israel

Israel will now deport Ukrainians seeking asylum in the country within a week. This decision is based on Israel’s resolution that Ukraine is a safe country.

I most wholeheartedly agree that Ukraine is safer than Israel and I’m pleasantly surprised that Israel finally recognized this. 

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45 thoughts on “Ukrainian Refugees in Israel”

  1. Israel has recognized no such thing.

    Israel claimed that Ukraine is not dangerous enough to let any asylum seekers stay, which is what “a safe country” means.

    Considering Israel’s policies regarding any non-Jews entering the country, the only surprise lies in Israel not doing it sooner.

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    1. In Ukraine,1% of the territory is at war. The rest is peaceful. There’s no terrorism. There’s no obligatory military service for all. It stands to reason that a country that makes all of its young serve is less safe that the one that doesn’t. There are no daily reports of terror acts.

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      1. I thought Ukraine had a draft, like Russia.

        People want to come to Israel because of economy, regardless of safety. And Israel is pretty safe.

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            1. My statement was “In Ukraine there’s no obligatory military service for all.” Since women are half of the population, you can’t have service “for all” without them.

              Once again, why are we arguing about self-evident things? You know perfectly well you’d never have had to serve in Ukraine. Irrespective of how you feel about having served, isn’t this an undisputable fact?

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  2. I disagree with the following logic:

    // It stands to reason that a country that makes all of its young serve is less safe that the one that doesn’t.

    FSU women weren’t drafted into the Soviet army even in WW2, when the situation there was much less safe than in Israel today.

    In other news,

    // Quebec’s lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would require public workers and citizens seeking government services to have their faces uncovered.

    Bill 62 would affect whether Muslim women could wear religious face covering such as a niqab or burqa on government jobs or when they receive government services.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/19/americas/quebec-face-covering-bill/index.html

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    1. You can’t compare things across history, though. We need to look at societies within their specific temporal framework.

      And I’m happy for Quebec. The situation was becoming quite untenable. I can’t wait for the barbarity to be outlawed in all public spaces.

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  3. Talking about a draft:

    // Ultra-Orthodox leadership declares ‘day of wrath’ following arrest of two draft dodgers; protesters block J’lem roads, burn garbage bins; traffic near Modi’in blocked earlier, with ‘Death before conscription’ chants; protest now in its fourth day, with Haredi leaders decrying police’s ‘disproportionate response.’

    “We’re demonstrating for just one thing: the State of Israel wants to desecrate us and for us to no longer be Haredi. We’ll fight with every fiber of our being; we’d accept death before transgression on this. We’ll fight to our last drop of blood. We will not give up. We’ll die before joining the army,” said Moshe Cohen, a yeshiva student from Hadera.

    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5030817,00.html

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    1. It feels like more of a battle over principles than over anything practical for the government. From what I’ve seen of these Haredi boys, they are of less use in the military than the inhabitants of a retirement home.

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      1. // It feels like more of a battle over principles than over anything practical for the government.

        Yes and no. It may not be super practical for IDF for now, but yes practical for Israeli economy since many supporters of the draft for Haredi hope Haredi would not only serve in IDF, but work after army too. Rapidly growing population of people living on welfare because they refuse to get a normal education and / or work is a real problem for Israel.

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        1. Israel shouldn’t have to pay welfare to able-bodied young men who simply refuse to work. That’s the problem with having a parliamentary government system where extremist parties have veto power over the laws.

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            1. \ These Haredi are the only thing that justifies anybody sticking around over there at all. That’s why the government subsidizes them.

              I passionately hate this explanation when I hear it in Israel.

              Justifies to whom? To Arab world, Palestinians, Europe or America? I do not think they would treat me differently whether I support Haredim or not.

              I do think I will be in a bad situation, if Israeli economy grows significantly weaker:

              // Israeli Economy Unsustainable if Haredim, Arabs Don’t Join Workforce, Experts Warn

              National Economic Council presents cabinet both internal and external threats that Israel’s economy is expected to face until 2050.

              https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-economy-unsustainable-if-haredim-arabs-don-t-join-workforce-experts-warn.premium-1.524651

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              1. To people who are asked to stay in Israel. There are two possibilities: keep them there through fear (the world outside hates you, prepare for another Holocaust, etc) or through the idea of keeping the faith alive.

                As for the economy, it’s not going to be kept alive by working Haredim but by the US taxpayers and by diaspora Jews exorcising their sense of guilt for staying away with money.

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      1. Texas is one of 20 states that have a law prohibiting state agencies from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel. The specific Texas law is “HB 89,” passed on 2 May 2017.

        The U.S. Senate is considering a federal bill (“S.720, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act”) that was introduced in the Senate on 23 March 2017, and is currently in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

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  4. Relevant info from the article above:

    // The council presented the cabinet with a slide, showing that between 1997 and 2012, the poverty rate of the non-Haredi, non-Arab population remained unchanged at 12%, while the rate among Arabs and Haredim skyrocketed from 38% to 58%. As a result, Israel’s population consists of three separate countries: Arab Israelis, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and everyone else. And that last segment is actually contracting while the two weaker segments are growing.

    In 2009, 71% of those aged 25 to 29 entering the labor force belonged to the third, more highly skilled, group (i.e., the non-Haredi and non-Arab sector ). The council said, though, that this group will decline to just 59% of the newly employed by 2019, and 53% by 2029. Israel is, therefore, moving in the direction whereby if things are not changed, the non-Arab, non-Haredi working population with relatively high productivity will become just over half of the new members of the workforce – a situation that is not sustainable.

    the structural deficit will be 10.5% by 2050, if the current situation is not addressed.

    Israel needs to decide, the council says: It can continue down its current path of greater government outlays for the poor at the expense of increased taxes, and reduced government spending in other areas. This will perpetuate poverty among Haredim and Arabs and impose an impossible burden on the remaining working population.

    Alternatively, Israel can better integrate the Arabs and ultra-Orthodox into the general workforce, increasing their participation and substantially enhancing their skill levels through education.

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-economy-unsustainable-if-haredim-arabs-don-t-join-workforce-experts-warn.premium-1.524651

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  5. “These Haredi are the only thing that justifies anybody sticking around over there at all”

    Please elucidate. From what I know (admittedly not much) it seems like a nasty, anti-woman, parasite culture*. They’re first in line for any kind of handout and nowhere to be found when there’s work to be done.

    The high birthrate (from treating women like breeding stock) has helped prevent an Arab majority from forming, but that’s not going to be worth much if the economy collapses under the weight of their idleness.

    *they cannot maintain a society because there’s too many jobs that need to be done that they won’t do, they need a host society to feed on, in this case more secular Israelis.

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    1. As somebody actually living in Israel, I see no need to suffer (from laws pushing religion on me) and don’t want to weaken my country economically (and thus also from military aspect) because of such theoretical considerations.

      What justifies Israel for me is that it’s the only country always ready to accept every Jew. I love Israel, but it’s also the only place my family could immigrate to, succeed there and feel at home in, like I wouldn’t in Germany, for instance.

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      1. “What justifies Israel for me is that it’s the only country always ready to accept every Jew. I love Israel…[it’s] the only place my family could immigrate to, succeed there and feel at home in.”

        @el,
        In other words, you’re a Zionist whose earthly dream has become reality: You’ve found a terrestrial home where your people — and specifically your people — have forged a homeland where they have the unique advantage of not only being willing to defend their land to the death, but also have the CAPABILITY of doing so, without going down in vain as just another of history’s martyrs (the American Indians, the fighters for Scottish independence, the Armenians, etc.).

        No deity gave that land to you. You were fortunate that the Western colonial powers at the end of WWII felt sympathy for the horrible treatment of the Jews under the Nazis, and that your haters (the Arabs living in the involved territory, and the numerous powerful adjacent Arab countries like Egypt and Jordan) were so incompetent, and have remained so, at waging war against you.

        Your enemies (the “Palestinians”) can’t legitimately make the same claim for that tiny bit of land, because they’re surrounded by a vast pan-Arabian landmass. They could move ten miles in any direction — or a hundred miles in any direction — and still be at home in their own language, customs, and people. They already have a home, if only their own kind would accept them as citizens. The problem is that they doggedly want — YOUR home.

        The rabidly anti-Semetic BDS movement is the latest attempt by weak academic “intellectual” movements to accomplish through “political activism” what worldwide geopolitical realities can’t. Ignore it — it’s being rapidly outlawed in American states across the U.S., and its effect in Europe isn’t that important.

        Never mind whether the world thinks that Israel has the right to exist. Your country is here to stay, and the rest of the world will just have to get used to that reality.

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        1. // They already have a home, if only their own kind would accept them as citizens.

          Now had an idea:

          Israeli Leftist opinion columns talk about paying reparations to individual Palestinians, but I’ve never read about paying Arab countries where Palestinians reside if they agree to improve the situation of Palestinians as a community. For instance, by granting citizenship.

          Thank you mentioning the not PC “CAPABILITY of doing so, without going down in vain as just another of history’s martyrs.” Use of force is not seen as justified in today’s West, but it’s still the only way to survive in the Middle East. I am not talking about Israel only, but about all other countries here too.

          // you’re a Zionist whose earthly dream has become reality

          Now I feel bad to disappoint you: I knew nothing about Israel before immigrating in my early teens, nothing. My father was Russian, and I was brought up as Russian by my Jewish relatives, without any Jewish consciousness. (My parents divorced soon after my birth.) Only after living in Israel, I started caring, and even now I can imagine immigrating to USA or England and being happy there. However, even if I do this suddenly, I will still care for Israel and support it (in my heart, at least).

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      2. Once again, that’s precisely what I said worded slightly differently. The only alternative to Israel as a home to a religion that needs to be preserved is Israel as a refuge from fear. Religion or fear. That’s the choice.

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    2. How do you explain to people that they should remain in a dangerous place like that instead of going to join family and friends in a peaceful, prosperous Canada, US, or anywhere else? An enormous number of people who come to Israel end up leaving. There needs to be something to keep them around because the nature of Jewish experience is such that they all have a place to go and people to welcome them. Other than “let’s preserve our religious identity”, there’s very little less.

      It’s a fluid world and keeping people in place – especially if they have better places to be – requires work.

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      1. \ How do you explain to people that they should remain in a dangerous place like that instead of going to join family and friends in a peaceful, prosperous Canada, US, or anywhere else?

        You are basing this on a skewed sample of FSU Jews you know. I don’t have any friends, let alone family, in Canada. Most Israeli Jews don’t, and most Jews in Israel aren’t recent FSU immigrants.

        Why are some Ethiopian Jews and relatives of Jews, who are still in Ethiopia, begging Israel to take them, instead of immigrating to Canada?

        Would Canada accept around 6.5 million Israeli Jews if they suddenly decided to move? Really?

        Is it so easy to immigrate to America? I thought your and N’s experience showed the opposite.

        In general, I unfortunately read your comments while taking a walk and immediately felt bad. Imagine how you would feel reading Putinoid “Ukraine is a cesspool” kind of post. According to your analysis, Israel is a horribly dangerous (probably more than Donbass area), failed state populated either by religious fanatics or by fearful nationalist fanatical fools (like me?). Our economy will be “kept alive” by the US taxpayers and by diaspora Jews who are smart enough to stay away.

        What I see in Israel is a first-world country and the only Jewish nation state in the world. I know several Israeli Jews who worked for a while abroad and then returned home from America and Australia. In a new world more people move, but most French still live in France, most Austrians – in Austria, and most Israeli Jews – in Israel. People enjoy living in their own culture, regardless of having “religious identity.”

        And US taxpayers aren’t going to finance IDF sufficiently to preserve our superiority and won’t arrive to volunteer to serve in IDF, if Haredi don’t start working and serving too.

        I know USA helps us, but you present it as if we don’t have to do anything at all since America and diaspora Jews will do everything instead of us. I think this is an untrue, simplistic picture.

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        1. Yes, Ethiopians would stay.

          Canada is planning to accept 90,000,000 immigrants within the next 50 years.

          N and I have nothing to do with Jewish immigration because we never tried that way of emigrating for obvious reasons. My parents did, and it was beyond easy as compared to my way of emigrating.

          “In general, I unfortunately read your comments while taking a walk and immediately felt bad. Imagine how you would feel reading Putinoid “Ukraine is a cesspool” kind of post. According to your analysis, Israel is a horribly dangerous (probably more than Donbass area), failed state populated either by religious fanatics or by fearful nationalist fanatical fools (like me?). Our economy will be “kept alive” by the US taxpayers and by diaspora Jews who are smart enough to stay away.”

          • I’m sorry you felt bad but I said none of this.

          “People enjoy living in their own culture, regardless of having “religious identity.””

          • What culture do you personally have in common with Ethiopians that lies beyond religion and beyond fear? It’s a serious question. What shared culture can people have when they come from such different places? It was possible to give them cohesion back in the 19th century but in the liquid world of today, there’s got to be something enormously powerful to keep them together. Haredim are creating that something powerful. They can only do what they do at this scale in Israel. If their mission is substituted with getting jobs, why wouldn’t they go get those jobs elsewhere? Why would they stick around if better conditions present themselves?

          “What I see in Israel is a first-world country and the only Jewish nation state in the world.”

          • Here is the crux of the issue. If “Jewish” is not religion, then what’s left, genes? With the spread of cheap DNA testing this becomes a very dangerous way to form a national identity.

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          1. “Canada is planning to accept 90,000,000 immigrants within the next 50 years.”

            “What shared culture can people have when they come from such different places?”

            Do you see the contradiciton?

            I’m a language and culture person and for me “Israeli” refers to a particular langauge (Modern Hebrew) and the unique culture that it represents (which is very different from general “jewish” identity). The problem is that Israeli policy lets the Haredis maintain their primitive medieval culture and doesn’t make them contribute and lets in too many people who can’t/won’t assimilate to the mainstream (like many/most FSU folks)

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            1. Canada has fully embraced the liquid stateform with a floating population. If Israel doesn’t want that model, it’ll have to do something about it. All I’m saying is that the Haredim can provide that something. Otherwise, good luck getting the young people to stay in a place that’s dangerous and not that competitive.

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            2. \ lets in too many people who can’t/won’t assimilate to the mainstream (like many/most FSU folks)

              cliff, I am one of FSU folks who won’t completely assimilate. 🙂

              For instance, I am an atheist and am against Haredis (or anybody else) not teaching math at their schools beyond elementary school level. I am for not kosher food shops being permitted to be opened too. And so on.

              That’s why I treasure living in Tel Aviv area, in one of most secular places in Israel. By “coincidence” it’s also a place where many FSU immigrants choose to live. 🙂

              Your mistake lies in thinking that prior to FSU immigration wave there was some wonderful Israeli mainstream that shouldn’t have been changed. Israel is a relatively new society; each new wave of immigrants (f.e. from Muslim countries, from Africa, etc.) added something.

              I honestly think FSU immigrants – both the first ones who founded the state and the last ones like my family – have been the best immigrants Israel has ever got.

              We were more educated than Jews from Muslim countries, let alone Ethiopia, and much more secular than the supposed mainstream we should’ve assimilated into. Do you think Israel needs more religious fundamentalism and becoming the light version of Jewish Iran?

              Yet, my family feels part of the Israeli mainstream, including my mother who immigrated at the age of 40+ – unlike my 10+.

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          2. \ Here is the crux of the issue. If “Jewish” is not religion, then what’s left, genes?

            If “Ukrainian” is not religion, then what’s left, genes?

            🙂

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            1. You are asking me? I left. And never even went back for a visit.

              It’s the liquid capitalism, remember? There are people on the move and people who are stuck and angry at those who are in the move. The only alternative is to come up with positive reasons to stay.

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          3. // What culture do you personally have in common with Ethiopians that lies beyond religion and beyond fear? It’s a serious question. What shared culture can people have when they come from such different places?

            Israeli mainstream culture which was created together. If you visit one day, may be you will see it in action. I am serious. 🙂

            Btw, IDF has historically played a central role in culturally uniting everybody and in providing educational-career opportunities for new immigrants from third-world countries ( NOT talking about FSU here).

            // If their mission is substituted with getting jobs, why wouldn’t they go get those jobs elsewhere?

            Somehow American and European Haredi Jews manage to work and to stay Haredi at the same time.

            One Israeli newspaper several years ago even had a big article with photos (!) about those miraculous working Haredi … who live in America.

            To be completely serious, many Haredi work – women more than men – but it still isn’t enough. I found the latest article explaining what happened:

            // In the 1980s, 63 percent of ultra-Orthodox Israeli men worked, but as the community grew it decided to rebuild the world of yeshivas that was destroyed in Europe in the Holocaust. The policy of paying yeshiva students a stipend solidified this trend, taking the workforce level down to 51 percent now.

            According to the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs, which researches ultra-Orthodox society, the government won’t achieve its 2020 target of getting the proportion of working men back to 63 percent.

            The government sponsors special segregated courses to prepare religious men for continuing their secular education. It also offers courses to Haredi women — many of whom have low-paying teaching jobs — to enable them to work in computers, graphics and occupational therapy.

            In the sizable U.S. Haredi community, a quarter of adults get a university degree, compared with just 12.1 percent in Israel, Ben-David says.

            While nearly 22 percent of the Israeli population lives under the poverty line, that figure is 52 percent for the ultra-Orthodox, although their expenses are modest for a community where wives are the main family breadwinners.


            Nearly three-quarters of ultra-Orthodox women work, identical to the general population, but their average monthly salary of 6,170 shekels ($1,736) is below the 9,309 average of other Jewish women. Many work only part time.

            https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/1.802604

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            1. North American Judaism is being wiped out by consumerism. Just like North American Christianity. I am one of those who chose consumerism but I’m all for people who make another choice. I like the idea of there being spaces that are not all about Consumerism.

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  6. Vitriolic protest erupts against Israel at Russian conference

    During youth conference in resort city of Sochi, Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese participants burn Israeli flag, chant ‘death to Israel, death to Jews’ while refusing to speak to Israeli delegation; ‘When the Arabs saw the Israelis, they simply left the room. They said it was a war crime to sit with Israelis.’

    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5031224,00.html

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  7. “Canada has fully embraced the liquid stateform with a floating population”

    Then you really shouldn’t complain about burkas and other less pleasant manifestations of liquidity. Standards in a liquid state come from outside the state.

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    1. Exactly, and that’s why most Canadians have completely accepted the inane explanation that burqas are a consumerist choice that has to be valued like the highest priority.

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