Beyond the Cusp

April 21, 2014

Safest Place for Jews is in Israel?

Where the most honest answer to the question of where is the safest country for Jews to live in could be argued, there is ample evidence to answer that that nation is Israel. For much of the world the Jewish population is not significant enough to be considered a place where a sufficient Jewish culture exists that it is unlikely such places would ever be considered as a desirable location for Jews to take refuge from any country where oppression or even subjugation and persecution of the Jews is a real problem. So, initially we can narrow the choices down to nations which have a sufficient Jewish population and infrastructure placing the bar to be cleared at fifty-thousand which leaves those listed in the table below.


Country Core Jewish Population Proportion of Country Population Enlarged Jewish Population Proportion of Country Population
Israel 6,014,300 75.4% 6,332,900 79.394%
United States 5,425,000 1.728% 8,300,000 2.644%
France 478,000 0.751% 600,000 0.943%
Canada 380,000 1.089% 500,000 1.433%
United Kingdom 290,000 0.459% 360,000 0.570%
Russia 190,000 0.133% 380,000 0.266%
Argentina 181,500 0.445% 330,000 0.809%
Germany 118,000 0.144% 250,000 0.305%
Brazil 107,329 0.049% 125,000 0.064%
Australia 97,335 0.3% 135,000 0.613%
South Africa 70,000 0.137% 80,000 0.157%
Ukraine 65,000 0.143% 130,000 0.286%
Hungary 48,000 0.485% 95,000 0.960%
Mexico 40,000 0.034% 50,000 0.043%



The first thing that becomes obvious from the table is that Israel is the sole nation with a majority Jewish population and that even the United States having a comparable total Jewish population has less than three percent Jewish population even using the most generous of figures which includes all citizens who would technically be considered to be Jewish whether or not they practice the faith or even consider themselves to be a member of the Jewish community. There are not even fifteen nations which can be considered to have a Jewish population equal or above fifty-thousand people and the percentage of Jews as figured against the World’s total population is barely one-quarter of one percent, virtually an insignificant percentage of the whole.


So, narrowing the selections to these nations and a quick purview reveals that many of these nations have situations which would make them far less than ideal places for Jews to seek refuge. Nations which have had sufficiently notable anti-Semitic incidents or attitudes would include Hungary with the Jobbik Party gaining in strength and representation in their parliament, the Ukraine with the general levels of violence and the issuance this past week of a notice demanding that Jews register with the government and pay a fee or be deported (though the authenticity of this legal notice has been challenged and denied by all parties in the region), Russia which has a long history of anti-Semitism and from where a steady stream of Jews have emigrated since being permitted to leave starting in the 1970’s, United Kingdom and France which have had increasingly violent and frequent incidents of anti-Semitism leading to significant increase in Jewish emigration with many leaving for Israel or the United States and with the murder of a Rabbi and three young school children at a Jewish institution in the French city of Toulouse being the most publicized incident. Then there are those nations which have other problematic situations which would render them less desirable and less viable which remove from the list Mexico as well as likely Argentina, South Africa and Brazil. To be completely honest, the only likely destination outside of Israel would very likely be restricted to the United States and Canada, so let us consider them next.


The comparisons between the United States and Canada are very similar with the main difference is that any overt anti-Semitic event is far more likely to be reported worldwide if it occurs in the United States than if it occurs in Canada. The latest of such examples occurred immediately before the Passover holiday in Kansas City where Frazier Glenn Cross (aka Frazier Glenn Miller), 73, has been described as being a “raging anti-Semite” who has posted online on different white supremacist and new-Nazi forums that state “No Jews, Just Right” along with calls to “exterminate the Jews.” He was also reported to have been a senior member of the KKK. Additionally, in numerous major cities including New York, Philadelphia and others there have been reports of what has been called the “knockout game” where youths and young adults will one-punch a complete stranger as they, often as part of a group, are simply passing on the street. It has become obvious that the favored target of these assaults has been those who by appearance appear to be Jewish. These acts are simply the most publicized though hardly a week goes by where a synagogue or Jewish Community Center or other Jewish facility is defaced with hate slogans and swastikas emblazoned on them. The frequencies of these anti-Semitic acts are likely equal proportionally to the population between the United States and Canada. Despite the obvious slow but steady increase in such acts of hatred against the Jews has been documented, the level is probably within what many Jews would find as tolerable, though no level can be considered acceptable, and thus would not rule out either Canada or the United States as a place of relative safety where those Jews who feel threatened could take up residence and begin a new life feeling more secure. That leaves a comparison on how these two nations compare with Israel as offering a safe haven for Jews seeking to escape intolerable anti-Semitism in their home nation.


There is quite a bit to say in recommending Israel as the best place for any Jew to take refuge when the threats in their native country have grown unbearable and portend extreme danger. There is no feeling of self-conscience wearing religious objects which in too many other places has the potential to instigate acts of violence against the wearer of Jewish symbols such as a Yarmulke. Most of the restaurants and food stores sell kosher foods. The majority of the members of the military, police and other security organizations are Jewish and the percentage of religious Jews is steadily rising. All the Jewish holidays are recognized and appropriately celebrated. Almost the entire of pre 1967 Six Day War Israel is very safe and secure with crime being almost completely unheard of. The sole threat is from terrorism, especially in regard to the Temple Mount where Palestinian Arabs riot frequently as they have realized that when they riot they are seldom arrested and any Jews on the Temple Mount are escorted immediately to safety and Jews are often banned for the remainder of the day in a response to these riots. With the Israeli police aiding the rioters in achieving their goal of preventing any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, it is no wonder they continuously riot there. Still, all things considered, a Jew is far safer living in Israel than anywhere else on the planet. Adding the feeling of being in your true homeland and it becomes difficult to believe that anywhere else could be thought of as home for a Jew other than Israel. Perhaps that day is coming and doing so far faster than anybody could have foreseen.


Beyond the Cusp



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