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Jul 31st 2007

Soviet-Jewish Migration to Israel: Why do the Arabs fear it and fight it?

This article is reprinted with permission from FLAME (Facts and Logic About the Middle East). Visit FLAME’s website,, to read every one of their excellent articles debunking common misconceptions about the history and current events of the Middle East. — Admin


There are 2 to 3 million Jews living in the former USSR. After Israel and the U.S., this is the third largest such group in the world today. Under the Soviet system, their culture and their religion have been ruthlessly suppressed for decades. Emigration was virtually impossible. Lately, under glasnost and the more enlightened leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, the gates of emigration have begun to open. Most of the emigrants choose Israel as their destination. All Arabs — and not just the “Palestinians” — are unanimous and strident in their opposition to this immigration. What motivates them? What is their concern?

What are the facts?

Why was Israel created? It is important to remember that Israel was created for a specific purpose. It is the ingathering of Jews from all over the world, especially those who had been subject for centuries to hostility, violence, oppression, ghettoization, expulsion and eventually, the unprecedented disaster of the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews perished. The yearning for the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland in what came to be called “Palestine” had been unremitting over the centuries. In 1917, the British were in control of Palestine and issued the Balfour Declaration, which called for the establishment of “… a national home for the Jewish people.” This Declaration was confirmed by the League of Nations. The concept of Palestine as a Jewish state was further confirmed by the United Nations, which recognized the newborn Jewish state in the month of May of 1948.

Jews could have been saved. During the Second World War, many of the millions of Jews who died in the gas chambers of the Nazis could have been saved if they had been allowed into Palestine. The British, however, under the unrelenting threats of the Arabs, buckled under that pressure and effectively throttled Jewish emigration to Israel, thus condemning many to horrible deaths. The situation today is comparable: Under “glasnost,” the virulent history-old anti-Semitism of the Russians and the newfound hatreds in the Islamic parts of the former Soviet Union subject the Jewish population to imminent great danger and possible pogroms. Emigration to Israel is the only solution.

Exodus regarded with hostility by the Arab world. The Arab world has regarded this exodus with undisguised hostility and has urged the former Soviet Union to restrict or even to stop emigration to Israel altogether. Pretext for this hostility and opposition is the alleged fear that the Soviet-Jewish immigrants will settle in the administered territories, thus threatening the Palestinian inhabitants and their future hopes for a homeland. But, this is a false charge, a “red herring.” The Israeli government gives no incentives to any of the immigrants to move to those areas. Fewer than 1% of all Soviet-Jewish immigrants have moved into the territories.

The concern of the Arab states, virtually all of which (with the notable exception of Egypt) consider themselves in a state of war with Israel and which have the destruction of Israel at the top of their agendas, is not with the “Palestinians.” In fact, the “Palestinians” and their aspiration for a homeland are a matter of some indifference to the Arab nations, a pretext and justification for the enmity to Israel. If they were truly concerned about the “Palestinians” and their well-being, they would not have suffered their staying in refugee camps for over forty years, in conditions of utter misery. The real reason is the basic Arab view that the existence of Israel on any land that the Arabs think of as “sacred Arab soil” is considered a Western and Christian plot against Islam and the Arab world and that the destruction of Israel is a sacred religious duty, which calls for “jihad” (holy war) against the “infidels.” Even if Israel could be induced to grant the “Palestinians” their mini-state, it would not change the hostility of the Arab nations one iota. Their aim would still be the destruction of Israel, except that, with a Palestinian state in Israel’s heartland, the Arab armies would only be minutes away from Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv, and from the military, industrial, and population centers of the country.

The mass immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel would strengthen Israel. Anything that strengthens Israel is perceived by the Arabs as weakening them and thus making more difficult the planned destruction and dismemberment of the Jewish state. The prospect of Jewish immigration strikes terror in Arab hearts. That explains the hysterical statements and saber rattlings at the recent Arab summit in Baghdad. It explains Arab pressure on the former Soviet Union to halt this emigration. It explains why the former Soviet Union did not, until very recently, allow direct flights from and to Israel; it explains threats to blow up commercial aircraft of those countries bordering the former Soviet Union that may permit transshipment of Soviet Jews to Israel. But the world must remember and keep in mind that Israel was created to be a refuge and homeland to persecuted Jews anywhere in the world. During World War II, the world stood idly by and did not allow Jews to enter Palestine, which could have saved millions. Nothing like it can be allowed to happen again. Soviet Jews are in imminent mortal danger. They want to leave the former Soviet Union and go to Israel. Despite Arab frenzied opposition, the world must see to it that nothing happens to slow this exodus.


5 Responses to “Soviet-Jewish Migration to Israel: Why do the Arabs fear it and fight it?”

  1. It is important to remember that Israel was created for a specific purpose.

    Note how even this article fails to note that it was created without the consent of the people who resided in the land! And you wonder why there is still such animosity towards both the Jews and the West from the Arabs.

  2. Mike


    Who cares? Why should the CEO of a company need consent from the underlings (and yes, to preempt your inevitable snide question–something along the lines of, “oh, so now the U.K./U.S./insert-your-own-hated-first-world-power-here is the CEO of the world?”–the most powerful country is the CEO of the world)?

    I don’t wonder why there is animosity. I know why there is animosity and don’t care. Israel is less insane, wants to kill us less, thus they are right. And since the U.S. has the power to ensure their existence, it doesn’t matter a lick who gave consent to what.

  3. chavez's idiot

    The American Indian lived in North America for a long time before we white people came here. The UN should create and Indian state along the most prosperous east coast states and allow the Indians to terrorize the white people who live there so they’ll move out. We don’t have any right to be upset with this in America since we are the underlings.

    This article is mistaken in its perception of the Arab world’s “hostility” towards Israel. The Arab Israeli peace initiative that most arab nations back and Iran backs as well, call for normalization of relations with Israel for certain concessions in land for palestinians. I think the people at FLAME are mistaken to believe that it is every arab nations desire to knock Israel out of the middle east.

  4. Mike

    Chavez’s Idiot:

    The UN can create away. The difference in such a situation would be that the U.S. is (would be, presumably) stronger than the Fantasy Indian State–so that if these ‘first people’ were to terrorize us, we would likely “erase them from the pages of history.”

    This is not a small difference. Since the Arab peoples have made a pastime of killing each other instead of developing any cohesive society, they are in no position to force Israel out. The U.S. on the other hand has a history of industry and strength.

    The closest parallel in your Indain homeland to the current situational reality, I suppose, would be if the U.K., China, Russia, Germany and whoever else decided to back Cherokee Nation 2.0. Then, yes, I suppose the U.S. would be forced to admit inferiority and draw a proverbial line in the sand somewhere. But even in such a bizarre situation, the best interest of all involved is to admit that the Indians have more influential friends, and live as Americans on whatever is left of the country–NOT KILL EVERYONE. This is somewhat similar to what Mexico was forced to do when the U.S. decided that part of Mexico was in fact part of the U.S. I assume you would vigorously defend suicide bombers in San Diego?

  5. Curtis

    You’re right about that difference. The Arab peoples were much weaker than the US would be in a similar situation. However, my point was that we would not stand for our land to be taken away from us without our consent period, and if it was somehow forced upon us, and the Indians continued to encroach further upon our land and take more than the UN gave them, and if they were somehow able to oppress us and create the kind of place that Palestine is now… you get the picture. There is good reason for animosity between Israelis and Arabs. As I stated, the Arab nations appear to desire peace as is put forth in the Arab-Israeli peace initiative where normalization of relations would be a result.

    The US history of industry and strength is, by the way, brought about by a pasttime of killing people as well.