Part 2 of 3
Part 1 of this article explored the pressures on Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and the necessity of Aliyah (the In-Gathering) to its security and identity. What follows is an assessment of the pool of the Diaspora that Israel will most likely look to in order to fill the ranks of citizen-soldiers.
The Situation of Jewry in the White Homeland
The international Jewish Community is deeply concerned with their own demography as befits a perennial minority. Section 1 made clear that Aliyah (immigration of the Jewish Diaspora to Israel) is the only reliable and realistic option to save Israel from its current demographic destiny. Mainstream opinion in Israel is well aware of this predicament. This following section draws upon their own studies to give an impression of the Diaspora in Europe’s Largest Jewish Communities. It is important to understand two technical terms: “Core Population” which refers to the self-identifying Jews and those who are ethnically Jewish (or half-Jewish) who do not associate with the religion or the community; whereas “extended population refers to non-identifying quarter-Jews and non-Jewish household members who technically fall under inclusion in the Right of Return. The section of France is the most developed and includes the author’s own personal and anecdotal knowledge of Jewish mores and opinions.
The Situation of Jewry in the White Homeland: Former Soviet Union
There are 95,000 Jews remaining in Moscow. Russia’s Jews have reached a Terminal state, demographically speaking, with a median age of 45 and only 10% of the population being under 15. The birth to death ratio is less than 1 to 10. There are 205,000 Jews in Russia, another 100,000 in other European FSU countries, and less than 20,000 in the Asian FSU. Recently, there are 4,000 to 6,000 Jews moving to Israel annually from the European FSU with about half that number coming from Russia. The Asian FSU’s Jewish population is hurtling toward extinction as the annual rate of Aliyah is over 1,000. While a large number of Russians also left for Germany, the preference is now clearly for Israel. The economics of moving makes this an easy and typically non-ideological decision. This is unique to the FSU.
The Situation of Jewry in the White Homeland: Germany
It has made the news recently the highest rate of growth in the Jewish community outside of Israel is in Germany. The data presented in this section should put to rest any concerns about a return to the Weimar days for Germany. Growth in the Jewish community is almost entirely from economic immigration from the FSU. The Jews who leave for Germany are older, less dynamic, and less ideological than their fellow Jews who leave for Israel. The birth to death ratio is 1 to 6 for Jews in Germany in 2009. The average age is 54, and the majority of Jews who marry, will marry someone outside of their community.
The immigration that began with the fall of the Soviet Union has been steadily declining and has been below 1,000 since 2008. There were only 119,000 in the “core population” of Jews in 2010 with an “enlarged community,” which includes non-Jewish relatives of Jews, reaching approximately 250,000. The relatively large disparity in these numbers reflects low identification and endogamy among FSU-born Jewry. Both numbers are surprisingly low since 200,000 Jews have arrived in Germany since the fall of communism.
Ironically, Germany was far more concerned with receiving only real Jews than Israel was. A potential immigrant to Germany had to be a member in good standing with a synagogue in Russia, speak German, have a German synagogue ready to “adopt” them into the Jewish Community of Germany, and prove they would not be net takers from the social welfare system. It seems that nearly all of those who fit these criteria have already left the FSU.
The Situation of Jewry in the White Homeland: the United Kingdom
Since the time of Cromwell, no country in Western Christendom has been more philo-Semitic than England. Today, with a “core population” of less than 300,000 and an “enlarged population” of 350,000, facing down a rapidly growing Islamist community, Jews feel less and less at home in the UK.
These numbers from the World Jewish Population Study are the least reliable, according to them, of any European country. They believe that there is significant under-reporting in areas known to have large orthodox populations, which should revise the numbers upwards. At the same time, the researchers feel that because the Jews of Britain are so geographically dispersed across the country there is difficulty in offering the usual community institutions and support . They are convinced, for example, that a high number of Jews fail to request a Jewish burial because of their secularization, immersion in the Gentile world, and the lack of services for the community. This results in an under-reporting of deaths and therefore gives an insufficiently pessimistic assessment of population decline. The average age is 41 with 1 in 4 British Jews beyond retirement.
The dividing lines explored above seem to be especially pronounced in the UK. While the Jewish Community is experiencing a steady, moderate decline due to fertility drops, the survey’s authors seems to believe that the growing rejection of religion and the need for community among British has taken root among the Left wing Jews. These Jews (difficult to quantify since they likely respond atheist on the census and don’t belong to synagogues) are undoubtedly of the Frankfurt School variety, identifying as endangered outsiders in their own society, and probably still maintaining informal networks among their fellow Leftist Jews. There has been a 30% drop in membership in denominations where these Leftists might feel welcome. Among right-wing Conservative denominations there has been an increase of 80% (though from a lower starting point). The Orthodox are also growing, both through conversion and through larger family size.
Aliyah has been fairly understated in recent years, well under a thousand per year. This is surprising considering Britain’s concentration of radicalized Muslims. This is in strong contrast with France.
The Situation of Jewry in the White Homeland: France
France has more Jews than any country in Europe or the FSU: half a million core population.
Unlike the rest of Europe, France contains a large number of Sephardic Jews (those of North African origin, unlike the Ashkenazim of Eastern Europe). They came to France primarily from Algeria to escape the FLN (Arab communists who were massacring Arabs who worked for the French State, Europeans, and Jews), but also from the former protectorates of Morocco and Tunisia. Sephardic Jews have a strong presence in the professions and the second generation has almost completely left behind the menial jobs many of their parents occupied.
However, the Jews one sees in positions of political and intellectual leadership are more often Ashkenazim. Daniel Cohn-Bendit (France’s Abbie Hoffman who wrote in favor of pedophilia after the May ’68 riots and led Europe-Ecologie to its strong victories in the last EU election), Dominique Strauss-Kahn (a serial rapist who may have been President had he not forgotten his blackberry at a New York hotel last year), Bernard-Henri Lévy/Dominique Moisi/Alain Finkielkraut (our “public intellectuals”), and many others are all Ashkenazim with strong racial memories of victimization at the hands of Europeans.
When one imagines Sephardic Jews in the public square the first who come to mind are Gad Elmaleh and Elie Sarfati (both comedians) or maybe Marianne James (a boisterous Opera singer/Nouvelle Star jurist who is a hero to women we would call Les Rondes). Eric Zemmour is the exception who proves the rule, and it is notable that he has gone further than any other editorialist in discussing the degenerative effect of Blacks and Arabs in France.
To this day, Ashkenazim and Sephardim attend different synagogues and marriages between these communities are considered “mixed.”
When Chirac became President he was the first Head of State to commemorate the deportations of Jews in WWII and announced that the French State bore partial responsibility for the Holocaust. Since then many Jews, particularly the Sephardic Jews, reliably vote for the Gaullist right. They loved Sarkozy. They were also a bedrock of support for France’s closest thing to America’s octogenarian Dixiecrat Senators, in the person of Georges Frêche. He was ousted from the Socialist Party for his comments to a crowd of supporters in favor of the West Bank settlers, “I have always supported them because I know the kind of people they have to deal with.” Despite running without a party to support him he was regularly re-elected with his list to be President of his region, Languedoc-Roussillon.
Sephardic Jews strongly identity with and are drawn to Israel, but they are also well aware that Sephardic Jews are treated as second class Israelis by the Ashkenazi elite there. In this author’s personal experience, while these Jews are firmly in the “populist wing” of the UMP (Chirac and Sarkozy’s party), they are hotly divided between those who think the FN may be the only answer but have a hard time voting for them for historical reasons and those who will leave for Israel if either Marine Le Pen of the Front National or Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Front de Gauche become President. (In the Ashkenazi community many would leave because of Le Pen, but this does not apply to a Mélenchon victory.)
The population is steady in France, apart from the pressures of intermarriage and emigration. The intermarriage rate is similar to the UK, above 1 in 3. It is the opinion of the author that most mixed marriages are drawn from the Ashkenazi community. The children of these marriages, apart from the most privileged, do not identify as Jewish since French society, particularly in high school and college, is strongly sympathetic to Palestine. In a couple generations, Parisians may be something like the Americans who all seem to be 1/32 Amerindian. Their Jewish heritage will be an interesting conversation piece, but it will have no impact on their identity and politics.
A study by the State of Israel showed that 1 in 4 French Jews visits Israel each year. Of those, 1 in 4 expressed a desire to move to Israel in the “near future.” This would translate into about 29,000. They apparently act on this because the annual immigration is always above 1,500 annually and often above 2,000.
French Aliyah rates are particularly correlated to anti-Semitic incidents which in turn are correlated to violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ironically, when Israel’s security is “most threatened” the Jews of France see Israel as the safest place for a Jew. This view was held by more than 3 in 4 participants in a survey and focus group carried out by Stanley Greenberg in the fall of 2011. Similar proportions saw that anti-Semitism rising, that this is focused among the Muslim youth in France, and that it is partly the fault of Israel’s policies. A quarter of those surveyed want to leave France (86% and 60% were considering Israel and the US, respectively). But still only 13% are “seriously” considering leaving (twice the number implicated in the survey of tourists in Israel). Only 4% see the situation getting better in France.
It is hard to imagine a time since Léon Blum’s Cartel de Gauche (Leftist Front) when Jews had it better here, and the only thing to complain about is the immigration their community leaders have helped force down the throat of France. It is notable that Greenberg’s study finds these attitudes and the desire to leave stronger amongst the Sephardic and Orthodox Jews and weaker amongst Ashkenazi.
These studies were conducted before the strong showing of the Front National in the last elections, the election of François Hollande as President (and the Arab victory party at the Bastille), and before the attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse by Mohammed Merah. If Israel were to attack Iran, emigration might rise to 5,000 a year or even higher. If domestic terror of the Mohammed Merah variety increases one might envisage over 100,000 leaving within a few years.
1. “If a million American Jews moved to Israel there’d be Peace: If a million North American Jews had come to live in Israel 20 years ago, or even 5, this would be a better country” http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/if-a-million-american-jews-moved-to-israel-there-d-be-peace.premium-1.450732
2. World Jewish Population 2010, edited by Sergio Della Pergola, et al.; http://www.jewishdatabank.org/Reports/World_Jewish_Population_2010.pdf
3. Zemmour was raised in the banlieue of Paris and is the son of an ambulance driver. He created a 5-month-long (!) controversy in the media by flippantly responding to a pundit who complained that Blacks and Arabs are stopped more often by the police. Zemmour responded by saying that “of course they are stopped more often since most drug dealers are Black or Arab.” In a country with true free speech this can be easily ignored the moment after it is said and the issue dropped down the memory hole. In France this story dragged on because the entire media apparatus felt obliged to denounce him. Then Zemmour faced protests by MRAP (France’s version of the SPLC) to have him fired which were countered by demonstrations and online petitions of his own supporters. Then came the court case for “Inciting Racial Hatred” and further commentary. While the media didn’t bother to wonder about the facts of the statement (it is in fact illegal for the government to gather the data that would prove or disprove this statement), they could not help but unveil to the masses of sheep that the Emperor Has No Clothes in our system of Diversity and Multi-Culturalism.