NewsBits: The Intersection of Aliyah, Coalition Deals and Funding Birthright

from Haaretz:

Frankly, says ex-minister, Israel doesn’t give a damn about Aliyah

Israelis and their government couldn’t care less about fostering Jewish identity abroad and encouraging Jews to move here, despite broad support for programs strengthening Israel-Diaspora relations, former MK Rabbi Michael Melchior asserted this week in Jerusalem.

“Aliyah in this country is something that is only important for happy, ceremonial occasions,” Melchior said Wednesday at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem. “Aliyah is not on the agenda of anybody or any body that is significant for making choices and decision for the priority of this country.”

“All the big parties have decided – it’s an active decision – that they are willing to sacrifice Zionism on the altar of political power” Melchior said…

Some people are indeed involved in “very exciting and I would say even paradigm shifting projects, which could turn this country into something else,” he concluded, “but if it doesn’t come as a part of the decision-making here, then it’s not going to happen and the drift between Israel and the Diaspora is going to widen.”

[eJP note] for more on this panel, see Seth Cohen’s post, Good for the Jews?: A Few Thoughts on the Debate About Aliyah.