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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Olmert--The Higher He Goes, The Harder He'll Fall

Each time Olmert gets away with something, whether a statement or crime, he feels stronger and more invulnerable to the laws the rest of us have to watch out for.

His latest outburst is just causing me to shrug.

Olmert: Era of mass Aliya is at an end
Olmert outlines to Jewish Agency Board of Governors his vision of a new Israel-Diaspora relationship.

We've gone beyond anything normal or expected. They is so much Teflon on him. Nothing has stuck so far. But you know about cooking with Teflon, don't you? Once it starts "to go" it can't be fixed or polished. It's not like stainless steel; some bleach and scrubbing will make it look like new. If you put Teflon in a moist closet it will go moldy. Bleach and scrubbing will only make it worse.

Ol' Teflon Olmert will soon be in the trash.

Shavua Tov--Have a Great Week!

7 comments:

shlomo said...

Unfortunately it seems that the article's title misrepresents what Olmert said.

Deep in the article it says that the actual quote was "The era of mass Aliya from countries of distress may have come to a close."

Phrased that way, it is undoubtedly true. He then suggested that increased funds be given to programs like Birthright, Masa, Jewish schools in Russia etc. The Jews targeted by those programs are not in "countries of distress" and won't automatically make aliyah because of persecution or poverty, they need some other motivation.

Olmert is wrong about many, many things, and you're justified in presuming the worst about him. But in these particular comments, it seems he was 100% correct, even if JPost spinned it otherwise.

Batya said...

If this article, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/995071.html explains it better, what he said is much worse. He proposes "my house is mine, and yours is yours." He starts off saying that we shouldn't take diaspora money, but he doesn't say, "make aliya instead." The visits can't be compared with an emphasis on aliya.

Uri DeYoung said...

Olmert stressed that we must bolster Jewish education in the Diaspora. What's he up to? Since when has Olmert been concerned with Jewish education? What kind of education does he really mean? Is he trying to keep religious Jews out of Israel? I think that that jibes with what he said at a conference in New York sometime within the last year, telling American Jews that they were needed more in the Diaspora.
Shlomo, are you sure that Olmert said "countries of distress"? I read the quote somewhere and I don't remember the distress part.
Hadassa

Batya said...

And he doesn't want olim chadashim, since they don't vote Kadima.

shlomo said...

I am sure the JPost article said "countries of distress". The sentence I quoted was copy-and-pasted right from the article. I checked again, it's still there (though much of the article has been changed since then. Funny how they modify their articles without telling anyone.)

Given that non-religious American Jews are intermarrying and assimilating quickly while the religious ones are doing neither and are also making aliyah at a steady pace (of course, it could be higher), it makes a lot of sense to focus on keeping the non-religious connected to Israel and Judaism. In any case, Masa, Heftziba and so on are not totally secular programs. About half the institutions affiliated with Masa are yeshivas and seminaries, and the Russian schools despite serving a secular population include substantial study of Bible and Jewish holidays.

Uri DeYoung said...

Thanks for the clarification Shlomo. I have an idea that Olmert said similar phrases a few times and journalists quoted whatever suited them.
I still can't figure out why Olmert cares or says he cares about Jewish education. Assimilation doesn't bother him much.
Hadassa

Batya said...

I haven't read every report, but I don't find it all that benign.