View Full Version : Arno Klarsfeld makes the Aliyah

09-27-2002, 04:18 AM
The topic of Aliyah has been already raised in many separate posts and threads, along with related issues, such as the definition of Jew vs. non-Jew in Israel, the impact on the outside world, etc.

I hope that this article will serve as a starting point for a specific discussion. I have put some interesting parts of it in bold.

Here are some main points in general:

1. What kind of olim is Israel really interested in (financial status, age, educational background, health condition, etc.)?

2. Does it make sense to become an Israeli citizen without residing in Israel?

3. What countries are currently considered the most interesting source of newcomers? (I.e. Western Europe rather than Central Asia and Ethiopia?) This, of course, taking in account the various political/religious/social groups in Israel. To put the question precisely: who expects what?

4. I have once written about my own encounters with Israelis of German/Western Europen background ( http://www.israelforum.com/board/showthread.php3?postid=14612#post14612 ). While I certainly do not claim that they are characteristic for the overall society, I'd be interested in your comments.The Reporter: French lawyer Klarsfeld becomes Israeli and heads to U.S. campuses

Nicholas Simon


High-profile French lawyer and pro-Israel activist Arno Klarsfeld has taken Israeli citizenship and is about to embark on a tour of U.S. college campuses to try and convince American students of the justice of Israel’s cause. “The time had come for me to become a part of the collective experience of the Jewish people,” Klarsfeld, 36, told The Report on his return to France from Jerusalem, where he was granted Israeli identity papers, although he will continue to reside in Paris. The fiery, flamboyant Arno, son of Nazi-hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, took Israeli nationality even though Interior Ministry officials refused to register him as a Jew since his mother, detained in the past in Syria, South America and her native Germany for pro-Jewish activities, is a nonpracticing Lutheran. “They wanted to register me as a Protestant but I refused. I am a member of the Jewish people,” said Klarsfeld, who once ended up black-and-blue after single handedly jumping on stage at a rally of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme-rightist National Front party to denounce it as anti- Semitic. (Klarsfeld gained fame as a lawyer for Holocaust victims in the trials of French collaborationists Maurice Papon and Paul Touvier and also campaigned for the creation of the international courts now trying the perpetrators of genocide-like massacres in Rwanda and Kosovo.)

He said officials in Jerusalem finally left blank the part of his ID card that asks for “nationality” but actually records the holder’s religion. “They also wanted me to change my first name to ‘David’ but I said no. Arno was the name of my paternal grandfather killed at Auschwitz and that’s good enough for me.” Klarsfeld said he will put his law practice on hold for about two months from October to embark on his tour of U.S. campuses, where Israel’s cause has taken a beating since the start of the intifada two years ago. “Many students don’t know the facts. I may not be able to explain any better than anyone else but I fervently believe what I say: The existence of the State of Israel is at stake, and we must make historical facts and Israel’s right to exist very clear,” he said.Klarsfeld said his tour was not organized by the Israeli government, though he was vague about who was behind it (“We’ll work it out with Jewish student groups”). But Klarsfeld — who is undeniably charismatic, and whose good looks and friendships with top models garner frequent appearances in local gossip magazines — could prove an attractive draw. “I just get along with people and like sports; I participate in triathlons,” he says of that gossip-column interest. Indeed, he adds, “I made the decision to become Israeli while running the Jerusalem marathon in April — I finished way before (Knesset Speaker) Avraham Burg and (Jerusalem mayor) Ehud Olmert!”

09-29-2002, 02:06 PM
I's love to know if he'll be coming to the SF Bay Area and when. Does anyone have his email address?"

Thanks .. Larry

10-21-2002, 07:48 PM
Since, it seems, no one is willing to tackle the topic, I'll try another go at it with this article:

Immigration from former Soviet Union ‘drawing to a close’

Eric Silver

Mass immigration from the former Soviet Union, which brought one million new citizens to Israel in the past 12 years, is petering out.

Sallai Meridor, chair of the Jewish Agency, told the Knesset absorption committee this week that the influx for this year has dropped below 20,000. This compared to 34,000 in 2001 and 185,000 in the peak year of 1990.

An agency spokesman, Yehuda Weinraub, told the JC: “Despite the decrease, our efforts in the former Soviet Union continue. They include Jewish identity-building, instruction in Hebrew, Jewish education, and fostering partnerships between Israeli and local businesspeople.”

This weekend, he said, 35 Israeli businesswomen and 70 from the former USSR were gathering for a conference near Moscow to explore co-operative ventures. The agency has 71 emissaries in Russia, the Ukraine and the Central Asian republics.

Mr Meridor gave three reasons for the sharp decline: the pool of those eligible for immigration had gone down because so many had already made aliyah; remaining Jews were afraid to come to Israel because of economic and security crises; and many preferred Germany or the US.

However, the agency reported a 300-per-cent rise in immigrants from Argentina, which has faced a growing economic and political crisis. Mr Meridor predicted a total of 6,000 Argentine Jews would arrive by the end of this year, compared with 1,400 in 2001.

Aliyah from France, which has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents, has more than doubled. More than 1,800 French Jews have arrived this year, compared with 884 during the same period in 2001.


Jewish Chronicle

Matzoh Ball
12-25-2002, 08:58 PM
I'm seriously considering making aliyah myself. Why? #1 pending certain confirmation by a genealogist, I'm halachically Jewish. I grew up in Hawaii where it was CONTINUALLY drummed into me that I did not belong, I tried living in a part of the US that's majority "white" which I was derided for being, and yet nearly died of culture-shock. I finally realized my mom's use of mucho Yiddish slang and preference for Jewish type foods as well as coming from, I discovered, Jewish-sounding-named people, probably means my instinctive "homing in" on Jewish values is probably not coincidence. I think I'd probably fare MUCH better in Israel than in the USA. Why?? For one thing, Israel does not have a cultural tradition of thowing the old to the dogs, I'm 40 and only getting older, you're getting older too. In the USA you have to work your ass off to make a lot of money, to avoid being thrown into the street, but at least anything you achieve will be Anglicized and "sanitized" and made "100% Jew-Free" to conform to the USA White Ubermenschen myth. I don't want to say I'd rather be a begger on the street than a well-to-do capitalist in the US, but think about it peple! I feel it's a matter of some material confort for now, versus having some real "soul". If a number of us dedicated our lives/ careers to bringing out talents to, and trade into, Israel instead of slaving our lives away for the US, might that not help? Let's all meet at the airport....:-)

12-25-2002, 09:06 PM
If I wasn't such a coward about being blown up and thought I could control my rage.... I would consider it too... (im pushing 50). I don't think I could live surrounded by so many muslims, so much hate, so much lunacy, and so much danger.

But.... I better get there before I get too old because when I see news clips and shows... oh lala are there some gorgous Jewish men there. Whoo hoo!

12-25-2002, 09:12 PM
So Matzoh... your mom was Jewish and you dad not? You weren't raised Jewish and want to make up for lost time?

I live in the South and have come to find out that several of the people I know who are catholic had Jewish mothers. I have to assume these women did that to protect their children from how bad things were toward Jews back then. I just can't imagine a Jewish woman would give it up for any other reason... but to fit in, to avoid problems.

Before I knew that about these people, it struck me as very odd that they didn't display that subtle hostility I pick up from people down here. So, finding out their mother's were Jewish... it made so much sense.

Matzoh Ball
12-25-2002, 09:24 PM
OK my mom the product of a Frank-Levitt marriage, they may have converted or been written down at Catholic when they left Vilnius. My mom used tons of Yiddish slang, looked like Einstein's sister, and loved Yiddish type foods and inculcated in me a love for them also. My mom paid NO attention to TV unless Fiddler On The Roof, Exodus, etc on. We were told we're "tan" looking because we're "part Navajo", a ploy that falls apart under serious investigation. Me, I'm pissed off that history could be re-written this way, although from what I have seen personally, I honestly think my mom was trying to protect us. My dad was a good ivy-league educated gentile, who of course left us to go play with any female he could bed, what can you expect? Growing up, for some funny reason all the people I admired, considered heroes were JEWISH isn't that funny? I am too smart to succumb to any religion, until I discovered Judaism, wow it's not an insult to those with an IQ above room temperature! And, you're SUPPOSED to "wrestle with G-d" to QUESTION, I think the average xtian's head would explode at the mere concept. Yeah, let's call it making up for lost time, and Yeah, I bet living in a settlement in Israel is far safer than living in a lot of places in the US.

12-26-2002, 04:08 AM

12-26-2002, 04:17 AM
Originally posted by Mediocrates
http://www.alyah.info/english/index.htm Yes, it's Jeremie's site :)

Matzoh Ball
12-26-2002, 12:17 PM
Teacake - I believe the crime rate is HALF what you're used to in the USA, in Israel and yes I do think they count in atrocities by Muslims in that. I remember in college we had a Sabra there, a guy who was amazed and astounded by the things in the American news, he'd say in shock, "we just don't do these things to each other." Not too long ago I saw a thing on TV about the beaches of Israel, and they talked with a number of people, like a little old guy working at a hot dog stand there, saying there's no way he'd EVER consider living in the US, "TOO DANGEROUS." Remember it's the US, Christian-dominated news broadcasting all this stuff about Israel, well, if all the crime were reported in the little town of Prescott Arizona, fairly and openly, there's be more blood and gore than you could shake a stick at. I know my life was in constant, real danger, and that was where I was living when I found out the truth about my mother's side of the family, and started meeting other Jews as a Jew, and they told me some real stories! My experiences were not unique at all. In fact, I was "getting off light" because I'm rather Aryan looking to all but the most discerning, a thing which enabled me to do a little something for the ADL just before leaving town heh-heh. I think if one looks up the hard facts and figures, one would find life is safer in Israel than in the US. Even in nice, safe, Beverly Hills where Laura Schlesinger's mother lived.

12-26-2002, 01:14 PM
I would really like to see all the Jews in Israel move here to the US while the muslims kill themselves off in that seething sea of hate... and the world can see that islamic violence has nothing to do with JEws.

If G-d exists, and if all that stuff is true that one day Israel is known as the Jewish homeland without a shred of doubt... then the Jews can return. Until then, to be surrounded by a billion arabs who are doing everything to destory Israel... I am too much of a coward.

I live in New Orleans. The pace of life here is very low stress.... its a very different city for the US and after being here about 13 years on and off... I know not of any other US city I feel somewhat at home at. I"ve lived all over and never liked US cities all that much, not even my home town of Los Angeles. People here like to have fun. Competivness barely exists and there is no age-ism either.

Matzoh... I am a fairly easy going person in general, but bull raises my blood pressure and I have a feeling I might go on a rampage seeing all those palestinains raging all over the place. I don't see how Jews can keep their cool like they do and not go berzurk. I fear I would! I really hate those people. IF I came face to face with arafat or any of his henchmen I would go balistic and I would inflict real violence.... and I have NEVER hit or yelled at a person all these years. So, I'm ready to explode at this point.

12-26-2002, 05:04 PM
Matza Ball..you ARE..thats it..its in your heart and soul and seems it always was. If you havent been to Israel..GO..You will love it. It IS home and you know it the minute..the second..you put your foot down.

Teacake knows that I want to go home also. I should have. It was right for me. A bit late now..but I still might.

Wait..till you put your foot down..and breathe the air. I swear you will never be the same. ALL that time that has gone by..and WE STILL are here...So if it isnt the actual religion..ITS the VALUES of that Religion that we keep and pass on..even the humor..that is in us..Its there..

Cuse the mush...I do get all mushy sometimes about this. Wouldnt you be a Plus to Israel??? Wouldnt it soothe your heart and soul in return?

This is the second time Ive heard that Hawaii isnt a welcoming place for Jews. Go figure..What did we ever do to THEM? I like them...SOOO???????

12-26-2002, 05:08 PM
If Klausfeld ISNT a Jew..and a person with every right to return to Israel with FULL Citizenship..no one is...His mother is my HERO...LOVE HER...My Beate..and the SMACK HEARD ROUND THE WORLD...She smacked a Nazi across the face...in the German Parliment....They had BETTER let him in....Ill scream and yell if he isnt given the MOST respect and the BEST welcome.

Matzoh Ball
12-26-2002, 05:22 PM
I grew up in Hawaii. I was harassed, yelled at while walking down the street or across a college campus, college papers "lost" many times, was POINTEDLY told over and over and OVER again I'd not get college aid, and later on, much of a raise at work, because of my skin color. There were places I could not go, jobs (most of the good ones!) I could not DREAM of getting, basically imagine the first simmerings in Germany say in the 1920s or so, before the really bad stuff started happening but you could tell there was an undercurrent that would build into a main current. I still have sisters there, two of them, and it's always in the back of my mind, When is Kritallnacht there, when will I need to get them the hell out and will I be able to provide a place for them? I'd love to move back to Hawaii, I know places there SO well they're a part of me, but when I see a Hawaiian looking guy ahead of me at the post office here and find myself recovering from a wave of fear that nearly knocks me over, I have to say that may not be as workable as I'd like to think. I'd say, the USA is the best and safest home for "us" right now, but go to any small town in the US and you'll find that if Hitler were to crawl out of their local sewer, they'd follow him like little ducks. I love the idea of moving all Jews to someplace in the US, buy a TON of land out in the middle of nowhere and call is Zion or something, but we'd have every Tim McVeigh in the place, a lot of 'em, ready to bomb us out of existance "just because". If I can find a way to be useful to Israel, then I really think it's the best place, and Teacakes you'll always be welcome at my place, if I can hold off psycho white supremecists in rural AZ, the Arabs will be pretty soft.

12-26-2002, 08:16 PM
Matza Ball..Bette Midler was brought up in Hawaii..and once in a while she talks about it..And her story, tho not stated the way you just did sounds the same. What in the heck is going on there with these people.? Was it that you were LIGHTER???than they were? Whats going on with them?

Oh ma G---d..almighty..Our Mormon friend is all of a sudden NOT a supporter of Israel..and HE blames this on US.. Hes all of a sudden going to speak with our MURDERERS....We didnt give him such a nice welcome..We stood up for ourselves..we refused to let our very Identity be taken over..by the true inheritors of Israel..one of the lost tribes..and all...And cause we didnt..WE are Nazis....Yes...DONT fall for that... We arent that stupid. Civility is fine..but not worth our very souls..

12-26-2002, 08:26 PM
Raven... one of my neighbors is Hawaiian. Her mother Hawaiian her father white. She got hell her whole life for being a half and half from the Hawaiians and family members.

The rest of her story is even sadder than that. Apparently her father raped her mother, had her, and she was raped by him for years as a child and was blamed for that too.

Matzoh Ball
12-26-2002, 08:29 PM
Raven that's exactly it, although I am olive-skinned, I am too light to live safely in the islands. I can get just about dark enough if I spend a lot of time in the sun like surf everyday, but that interferes with working for a living and then there are skin cancer concerns. It's hilarious, because I'm obviously brown compared to the caucasians in my area, and if I stop using "touch of sun" in my hair for that blonde look, I get noticeably WORSE service and treatment because of that.

Yes, I could go back to Hawaii and live pretty happily, but you have to be very very cautious, not go certain places, not make eye contact with many of the people, regain the habit of sneaking around, if someone says "Hey" you look at the ground and keep on shuffling........ It's a beautiful area, and I miss the nice weather and water so much, but frankly I can understand PERFECTLY the struggles of the first settlers to Israel, who had to fight their way IN, to have a place that's their own.

Matzoh Ball
12-26-2002, 08:32 PM
Teacake that kind of thing happens a LOT over there. Last day of school is "Kill Haole Day" if you're white ("haole") you don't go, meanwhile all the other more fortunately-colored students and the teachers, who endorse this whole thing, bring cakes, candy, fruit etc and each class has its own little "party". Great fun and fellowship for the ubermenschen you know.

12-26-2002, 08:49 PM
I am sooo shocked...to hear this. I thought maybe..it was a different time Bette was talking about..or that the problem was that the Hawaiins (shoot my spelling please) didnt know what to do with Jews...etc. I thought they were nice happy accepting people..and what you are describing is H*ll...Youre talking NOT SAFE??? Good ness,,,,

So thats three independent stories..Tea and You and Bette Midler. Such a gorgeous place...and you cant feel at home AT ALL there...

I am sooo shocked.

You have to find a way to just visit...Israel...Just visit..And when you go..know that you are home..Know too...that you must be realistic..This is a REAL..ACTUAL...Country..with real actual people (remember Tea..I said this to Pat)..And soo even with Jews, we have to put our fairy stories away..and know that we will meet people there that we like..and dont like..just as in any real country. I saw my Dads heart broken for a day..cause he found an Israeli..that he didnt LOVE... It was a big Drama for Daddy...Aww..poor Daddy. He carried his heart on his sleave and reality hit even him..BUT..we were HOME..HOME...I swear..it is HOME.

12-26-2002, 08:59 PM
I want to know something..WHy arent we allowed to talk about the truth of what happened to us in the past and who was involved and why we cant discuss what happens when we move out of our area of familiarity and comfort..in significant numbers, (a few of us are tolerated sometimes) even in the US? Its like if we dont talk about it..it didnt happen..

I could tell you a story about immigrants that moved to a small towns in Md...and what happened to them. Kathy Lee Gifford is the Granddaughter of one of those Jewish immigrants that came to one of those small towns in Md. Look what happened.

Matzoh Ball
12-26-2002, 09:02 PM
Bette's just being white would have been enough, but one whisper of her being Jewish would have spread all over the island, and that would have been a real death sentence. I could go back there, I could go back to my old favorite places, and experience the same old horrible (and rational!) fear if a "moke" comes my way. To really replicate the experience, I could rent a tiny place from an Asian landlady who dictates everything I do, go find a job at a workplace where every 6 months at review time I'm told to expect less because I'm white, (if I told them I was jewish I'd not get hired at all, this is what my mother was protecting us from) and so on. Now, I'm self-employed now, could afford a better place, better workplace, can have a car now and so don't have to be anyone's punching bag at the bus stop. Once I avoided, I think, death, by jumping into some tourists' car. I was lucky that day!! Do the old memories ever go away? Not just the good ones but the bad ones? How many ralatives of posters here perhaps spent their golden years of childhood in some certain parks and forests and platzes in Germany or Poland, but later acquired bad memories overlaying and effectively wiping out many of the good ones? Although I came close to dire harm a few times, I did get along OK and got out of there, and am here to write this now. The people I kind of try to draw a parallel with in many cases didn't. Noam Chomsky (I know! I know, ugh!! but bear with me here, sometimes he makes sense.) says something about "You know, all this romanticising of Eastern Europe and of life in the schtetl is kind of silly, to my reletives, Eastern Europe was a place they were grad to get out of, no remorse. That's what Eastern Europe is: it's a place you flee in horror."

Matzoh Ball
12-26-2002, 09:09 PM
Oh, and in looking up stuff on Bette Midler, I found some wonderful pages all about Hawaii the Asian- American dream, where whites are a tiny minority etc etc etc what a great place to live .......

I see Israel, ideally, as a place with climate closer to what I grew up with, with beaches and shells and maybe me out there on a board in the waves laughing at the "riptide" and teaching a bunch of clumsy macho Sabra guys how it's done, and a place where I'm not the "wrong" race, and where you can say "Hi" or the Hebrew equivalent anyway to people and where, although I've got an occupation how and don't need to, I COULD go to college there and get the same support as anyone else, and where, when I get old, instead of hoping to die, old and friendless, before I find myself living in the street old and friendless. That's how things are done in the US, it's individualism taken to a rediculous point, where families are some people who just happen to grow up together and they split apart once they're able to get out of the whole clumsy arrangement. A place where I can do something for my country and it would actually be appreciated. I hope you all know what I mean.

12-26-2002, 09:21 PM

I too don't look forward to getting old in this country. We have really gone overboard on idolizing children to the extent that old people are now hated and seen as useless burdens on the economy.

Very sad. Each man for himself here. People were nice after 911 for about a month or two... and still, far too many used that to scheme and exploit.

I guess I would like my old bones to rest in Israel, because there is no where in the US I want to have my remains. (YUK of a thought). As much as I love the city I live in, I don't want my bones here.

12-28-2002, 12:19 PM
Stats on Israel (compliments of The Economist's World in Figures 2002)

world in economic creativity and research:
Israel 6 US 1

Divorce rate:

Israel 2 per 1,000 pop. U.S. 5 per 1,000

Quality of Life:

Israel ranked 23 in the world. US. ranked 3

Highest Education spending:

Israel 11 US doesn't even make the top 26 list

Highest Life Expecatncy:

Israel 5 United States 27

Highest Health Spending:

Israel 9 US 1

Serious Assault:

Israel 5 US Surprisingly, doesn't make the list (but US has the highest number of prisoners in the world.)