"The “community aliyah programme” shown in the pamphlet calls on UK Jews to “start a new life in a vibrant Israeli city” but of these, only three – Haifa, Modiin and Yad Binyamin – are within Israel proper.The other five are Jerusalem (evidently including the illegally annexed eastern part); Ariel, “located in the centre of Israel” (sic); Maaleh Adumim; Efrat (the capital of Gush Etzion); and the Gush Etzion bloc as a whole, which spreads south of Jerusalem into the heart of the West Bank. On YouTube, a Jewish Agency video shows a British family leaving their house in the suburbs, piling into their car and setting the sat-nav to “Home”, eventually being raucously welcomed to Israel.
This drive to increase Jewish emigration has accelerated in recent years. One organisations, Nefesh B’Nefesh (“Soul by Soul”), says its core mission “is to revitalise aliyah [migration to Israel] and to substantially increase the number of future olim by removing the financial, professional and logistical obstacles that prevent many individuals from actualising their dreams”. It adds: “We aim to educate and inspire the Jews of the diaspora as to the centrality of the Jewish state to the Jewish people and its desirability as a Jewish home.”
*Abe Hayeem is an architect, peace activist and founder member of Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine.