Sunday, August 18, 2002

Another update on Israel Shamir
IB writes that "Israel Shamir's books are popular enough in Russia and he's a correspondent of "Pravda" in Israel."

About my claim that "the Russian community in Israel is mostly extremely right wing" he comments:

"The "Russian" community is extremely right-wing only in comparison with secular peace loving Israeli born Jews, and a lot of members of "Russian" community are ethnic Slavs (up to 20%) who simply have bought documents and hate Jews and Israel." Two good points.

I would like to thank IB for this information about Israel Shamir (I had been meaning to ask a Russian-born friend but hadn't got round to it) and about the "Russian" community (the inverted commas are in order because these people are now Israelis. I stand corrected).

I would also like to point out that I think the very large "Aliyah" (immigration) from the countries of the former Soviet Union has for the most part brought into Israel an influx of educated, hard-working, cultured people, and Israeli society is the better for it. When I point out their tendency to being right-wing it is in comparison to Israeli-born intellectuals, who have a strong tendency towards the left.

As is the way of the world, the "Russian" Aliyah has brought its share of problems, such as a certain amount of (particularly violent) criminals and a relatively large percentage of non-Jews. I am optimistic that, with the help of the community of Russian-born Israelis, we will be able to deal with these challenges.

I think it's rather scary that Israel Shamir's books are popular in Russia.

Update update: IB has requested to correct his former message. "I think I've exaggerated : there are up to 20%-30% non-Jews in the last aliya, but of course, not everybody of them has bought documents: Most of them have repatriated under the Law of Return, as grandchildren of Jews, children of Jewish fathers, or as spouses of lawful repatriants".

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