PEACE with Penny SEASON 3: Penny S. Tee Interviews Israel Piekrash, Co-founder and CEO of the Anahnu Movement, January 25, 2022

Penny S. Tee Podcast, Uncategorized

Interested in Peace between Israelis and Palestinians? Why is it taking so long, and does anyone have the right answer? Establishing Israel was the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland. But along the way, displacement of Palestinians occurred as well, and they’ve all been trying to contend with the situation ever since.

Israel is a home where most of the inhabitants are people who are immigrants from varied cultures. Imagine what issues that can cause…it gives a whole new meaning to Rodney King’s “Can’t we all just get along?” comment, although with the immigration of Ethiopian Jews as well, racial issues aren’t escaped either.

Beyond the historical imperative of going home, finding a place for the remaining Jews who escaped the Nazis were some of the first immigrants. In 1948, 113K Jews immigrated to Israel from Muslim countries, 307K came from communist countries, 34K came from Western states like Africa, Germany, other Latin Countries, the U.S. and Canadian citizens comprised 1.8K, and nearly 19K came from who knows where?1

Then there has also been various rescues to Israel through the years. Operation Ezra & Nehemiah, also known as Operation Ali Baba, was the airlift of more than 120,000 Jews from Iraq.2 I remember the “Save Soviet Jewry” fundraising campaigns as a kid. Since 1948, 1.326 million have come from the Soviet Union.3

Operations Moses, Joshua, and Solomon, mid-eighties to early 1990s, resulted in over 20K Ethiopian Jews going to Israel.4

A total of 27,050 new immigrants arrived in Israel during 2021, representing a 30 percent increase over the previous year’s particularly low figures, the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh announced Wednesday.5

The new arrivals included 4,000 immigrants from the United States, the highest figure since 1973 and a 30 percent rise over last year. Another 400 immigrants arrived from Canada, bringing the total number of immigrants from North America in 2021 to over 4,400, the figures showed.6

France saw a 40% leap, with 3,500 arriving, the highest number in four years. There were 7,500 immigrants from Russia, a 10% increase from 2020, and 3,000 from Ukraine this year, up 5%.7

Over the last few days, with Russia amassing troops at Ukraine’s border, Israel is preparing for still another potential emergency immigration from the Ukraine of as much as 48,000 Jews who live in Ukraine, with another partial of Jewish heritage who may also be eligible for Israeli citizenship, that totals about 140,000. And then there are also the Ukrainians who already live in Israel.8 At least they won’t be alone. Oy.

One must assume that at least in part, the rise of anti-Semitism is driving this increase in numbers. But look at the myriad countries from which the young country, Israel, has had to absorb new folks from the tribe, which gets us back to our story. All of these Jewish immigrants from all of these countries and varied cultures now living together in this tiny country Israel. With Muslims, Christians, and other religions as well, as Palestinians, Arabs and Druze were thrown into the mix. No wonder there are problems!

At PEACE with Penny we tackled a very complicated subject AND did something we haven’t done before. First, let me stress that we are not a political vodcast and we are not supporting these particular ideas, nor any other political Peace proposal, but as always, we are willing to listen. We’re always interested in people working on Peace, and the Anahnu or (Together) Movement for New Israeli Unity’s proposal is trying to put an end to this conflict.

It was very thought-provoking to speak with Israel Piekarsh, the Co-Founder and CEO of this dedicated organization. The group is filled with educated and experienced leaders who believe they have solved this complex puzzle that ultimately can lead to a Peaceful resolution between Israelis and Palestinians and the rest of the inhabitants of Israel, no matter how they categorize themselves. They are like a think tank, who researched all of the issues, compared them against other proven Peace models, looked at Israel’s unique disputes, and then came up with these ideas of how to resolve them.

They acknowledge this plan of theirs will take time, perhaps a decade, along with dedication, others who believe, and of course money to support their ideas.

I’ll give you a hint of what they’re thinking. Their ideas fit into a 100-page report. They call their proposal: the Equal Partners program, and say it is based on a win-win principle: all political groups within Israel will be strengthened together, as well as the State of Israel and the Palestinians, without any side leaving its fate in the hands of the other. They call for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with a safe Jewish minority, alongside the establishment of a federal Jewish and democratic constitution in Israel with an enlarged and equal Palestinian minority. Their federal approach recommends the forming of non-territorial civic communities which would provide religious and cultural services in Israel.

Sounds complicated, right? Well of course it is, we’re talking about Israel, and they’ve struggled to give Peace a chance for years. We had Israel, (the person, not the country : ), take us through what they would like to institute in detail. We were able to touch on their important plans and hopefully we’ll have Israel back for an encore in the near future. As we said, it’s complicated. We hope you join us and enjoy it.  And we’d love to hear what you think about their plan. For now, sit back, get a cup of coffee and relax. There is hope. You didn’t have to figure this all out : )These people are working as hard as possible to bring about a brighter future for Israelis and Palestinians. May You May You All Live in Peace, שלום and سلام

Footnotes

1 Jewish Virtual Library, Immigrants to Israel: 1948-1952 (jewishvirtuallibrary.org), accessed January 27, 2022

2 Wikipedia, “Operation Ezra and Nehemia, accessed January 27, 2022 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ezra_and_Nehemiah

3 Jewish Virtual Library, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/total-immigration-to-israel-by-country-per-year  accessed January 27, 2022    

4 ADAM ROZEN-WHEELER, ”Operation Moses, Joshua and Solman, (1984-1991), Blackpast, July 22, 2017,  https://www.blackpast.org/global-african-history/operations-moses-joshua-and-solomon-1984-1991/ accessed January 27, 2022

  • TOI Staff, “4,000 US immigrants moved to Israel in 2021, the highest annual figure since 1973,” Times of Israel, December 22, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/4000-us-immigrants-moved-to-israel-in-2021-the-highest-annual-figure-since-1973/ January 27, 2022
  • TOI Staff, “4,000 US immigrants moved to Israel in 2021, the highest annual figure since 1973,” Times of Israel, December 22, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/4000-us-immigrants-moved-to-israel-in-2021-the-highest-annual-figure-since-1973/ January 27, 2022
  • TOI Staff, “4,000 US immigrants moved to Israel in 2021, the highest annual figure since 1973,” Times of Israel, December 22, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/4000-us-immigrants-moved-to-israel-in-2021-the-highest-annual-figure-since-1973/ January 27, 2022
  • The Media Line, “Israel Prepares for Possible Immigration Wave as Russian Troops Mass on Ukraine Border, Israel Prepares for Possible Immigration Wave as Russian Troops Mass on Ukraine Border – The Media Line, accessed January 27, 2022

 

 

 

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