Daily Israel Report

'Emigration From Israel: A Betrayal of Zionism'

Former Major General Uzi Dayan attacks those who leave the country for economic reasons, defining it as a betrayal of Zionism.
By Kochava Rozenbaum
First Publish: 10/6/2013, 4:38 PM

Uzi Dayan
Uzi Dayan
Flash 90

Uzi Dayan, former Chief of General Staff in the Israel Defense Forces, has harsh words for people who emigrate from Israel, in light of the recent television series, "The New Emigrants," which aired on Channel 10.

"Those who emigrate from Israel will forever be seen as a betrayal to the Zionist idea," wrote Dayan on his Facebook page. "Let us bring the Jewish nation back to their birthplace," he pleaded. 

Dayan continued in his statement: "Those who leave to go to Germany disgust me. To the Israelis who justify their emigration because of material reasons, I must remind you of anti-Semitic contention, that the Jews' homeland is wherever they feel good. Zionism contends that the only good place for the Jews is their homeland."

After complaining about those who leave Israel, Dayan admitted that there are "plenty of things to fix in our country, but it should be corrected in our country."

"Every person has the right to choose where he wants to live, just as I have the right to speak my mind about it," Dayan added.

The public castigation of Israelis who choose to leave Israel was much more common in Israel's early decades than at present.

The Talmud and Jewish sages including Maimonides (Rambam) issued numerous rulings forbidding Jews who live in Israel from leaving it, and condemning those who did, but it was the the non-religious socialist governments that ruled Israel until the 1970s that efficiently instilled Zionist ideology in the new state's citizens. This included looking down on the "yordim," or "descenders," as those who leave the country for good are known, as opposed to "olim," or ascenders, who make aliyah. 

In recent decades it has become less common to publicly castigate Israelis who emigrate.