by Barry Weisleder
Sofa Landver, Israel's minister of immigrant absorption, is trying to lure at least 15,000 former citizens of Israel from around the world to go back home. She spoke in Toronto on November 24, after campaign stops in New York and Boston.
Why? To stop the 'brain drain' from the 'Jewish state', said Landver, a speech pathologist who moved with her dentist husband from the former Soviet Union to Israel in 1979. But why are so many Israelis, especially the scientists and professionals now being targeted to return, leaving in the first place? Toronto, alone, has some 50,000 Israeli expatriates.
Opposition parties in the Knesset say it is due to low wages, with doctors earning as little as the equivalent of $6 an hour, said one politician to The Jerusalem Post this month. To counter that, Landver is pitching tax breaks, health insurance and free tuition for higher education to win them back.
But the problem may not be only economic. Physical insecurity is real in a state that was founded on ethnic cleansing, buttressed by racist laws. While that state continues to expand by means of physical displacement of an indigenous population, and is surrounded by nations composed of hundreds of millions people hostile to its apartheid and expansionist practices, the prospects for peace are slim to none.
Instead of a haven for historically persecuted world Jewry, Israel is more and more evidently a death trap for the Jews there, millions of whom would rather be somewhere else. Zionism produces wave upon wave of refugees, and not all of them are Palestinian.