Losing My Religion?

There’s nothing the press likes more than an inter-communal Jewish spat, particularly when it involves Israel and the Diaspora. So it was no surprise that a protest by US Jewish organizations against an Israeli advertising campaign aimed at persuading expat-Israelis to return home from the US, got into the papers.

The issues of Jewish identity and Israel-Diaspora relations are for another discussion. But the coverage in the UK’s Daily Mail really caught my eye:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been sponsoring adverts that warn his people that they can ‘lose their national identities’ if they tie the knot with foreigners with the same faith. …

But it has also been claimed that the right-wing Likud party want to prevent liberal Americans moving to Israel and making the country’s electorate more left-wing.

Firstly, if PM Netanyahu was even aware of the contents of a few videos promoted by the Absorption Ministry, I’d be impressed that he had such an oversight over the minutiae of what is regarded as a minor ministry. To attribute the campaign to Netanyahu himself is probably pushing it.

Worse, however, is the disgustingly conspiratorial accusation that the Absorption Ministry’s campaign is part of a grand plan to manipulate voter demographics. Considering that under 4000 North American Jews immigrated to Israel in the whole of 2010, a figure similar to that of 2009, it’s absolutely ludicrous to suggest that such a tiny proportion of Israel’s immigrants are in any numerical position to politically influence elections.

How has the Daily Mail managed to turn a cultural misunderstanding into a ridiculous conspiracy theory?

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