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"Netanyahu Urges ‘Mass Immigration’ of Jews from Europe"
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February 16, 2015, 07:20 AM
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This story is interesting for its unmentioned implication, which in turn has implications for the politics of American immigration policy.

From the New York Times:

Netanyahu Urges ‘Mass Immigration’ of Jews From Europe By ISABEL KERSHNER FEB. 15, 2015

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on Sunday that his government was encouraging a “mass immigration” of Jews from Europe, reopening a contentious debate about Israel’s role at a challenging time for European Jews and a month before Israel’s national elections.

Speaking the morning after a Jewish guard was fatally shot outside a synagogue in Copenhagen in one of two attacks there, the remarks echoed a similar call by the prime minister inviting France’s Jews to move to Israel after last month’s attacks in Paris. Critics said then that the expression of such sentiments so soon after the Paris shootings was insensitive and divisive. Such sentiments also go to the heart of the complexity of Israel’s identity and its relationship with the Jewish communities of the diaspora, whose support has been vital.

“Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews,” Mr. Netanyahu said Sunday in Jerusalem. “Of course, Jews deserve protection in every country, but we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters: Israel is your home,” he added.

But expressing the unease felt by many Jews abroad over such comments, Jair Melchior, Denmark’s chief rabbi, said he was “disappointed” by Mr. Netanyahu’s call.

“People from Denmark move to Israel because they love Israel, because of Zionism, but not because of terrorism,” Mr. Melchior told The Associated Press on Sunday. “If the way we deal with terror is to run somewhere else, we should all run to a deserted island.”

And then the article runs along the track of this debate for some time.

What’s interesting, however, is what doesn’t get debated: Netanyahu’s implication that Jews are safe in Israel. Apparently, in the leader of Israel’s judgment, Jews shouldn’t worry all that much about the Iranian nuclear program, Gaza tunnels, Hezbollah rockets, or all the Arabs in the world ganging up on Israel and driving them into the sea.

That seems reasonable to me, although I’m not an expert on Israel’s security like Netanyahu is.

The implication for American immigration politics is, of course, a triple bankshot, but here it is. As usual, I’m interested in addressing American Jews who are liberal on immigration policy for conservative reasons (e.g., is it good for the Jews?).

One major reason for widespread Jewish support of a loose immigration policy for the United States would be to accommodate immigration of Israeli Jews in case of the military destruction of Israel. That was not unreasonable a half century ago.

But today, it’s an obsolete reason because Jews in Israel are safe, as Bibi Netanyahu has implied.

(And fears for Israel’s safety can be accommodated through special immigration legislation applying just to Israel.)