In a classic case of outmaneuvering those uppity Jews, Germany has just dealt a glancing blow to Israel in the aliyah department, and the Israelis are celebrating their loss as a victory.
Germany has quietly been trying to rebuild its Jewish population since the ’80s. To do this, they offered refugee status and extraspecialyummysauce benefits to Jews who emigrated from the former Soviet Union. For years, Israel has been complaining about this problem, but the complaints have become very loud as the economic situation in Israel, in combination with the war they’re fighting, has taken a toll on the numbers of Russian Jews making aliyah. This year, Germany was able to entice 20,000 FSU Jews to come over, while Israel was only able to muster a paltry 10,000 FSU Jews (they’re having record breaking year with French Jews, though).
Anyway, Germany is going to change its rules next year so that only immigrants under 45 who speak some German can emigrate. For some reason, the Israeli press and government see this as a small victory and are hopeful about the growth of the future stream of Jews from the FSU making aliyah.
Of course, in reality, they’ve just been hoodwinked by the much smarter Germans who will now reap the benefit of keeping only the youthful and somewhat educated FSU escapees, while Israel will end up getting a disproportionate share of the older folks with fewer options and fewer years of productive work ahead of them.
Be careful that you might get what you wish for…