Mar 21, 2012

Proposed Law; Israel For the Jews, Not Israelis

In the wake of the Toulouse shooting, an interesting law has been proposed to the Knesset.

The Toulouse murders nearly led to another Israeli PR disaster. The Israeli politicians were quick to raise the issue in Knesset and talk about anti-semitism, but when it was time to decide to bury the bodies of the victims in Israel, the idea was initially met with problems.

An Israeli citizen who dies, is entitled to free burial by Bituach Leumi. This comes with limitations, such as not being able to choose one's desired burial plot, not being able to guarantee being buried next to any specific person, etc. For free, you basically take what you are given. If you want to guarantee a specific plot, a specific cemetery, two (or however many) plots together, or anything else, you have to pay.

Someone who is not Israeli is not entitled to the free burial. People who send their beloved deceased to be buried in Israel must pay for the process on their own. Victims of terror that has targeted Jews has been a case-by-case exemption. There is no law allowing them to be buried n Israel on the State coffers, but each time it happens the Knesset or whatever committee is in charge, has the power to make the decision to pay for the burial, and that is what actually happens.

When it was decided to bury the victims of Toulouse in Israel, the bureaucracy stepped forward saying the State would not pay for it. Fortunately, before a PR disaster exploded, arrangements were made, the exception was granted and the bodies are on the way, "on the house", so to speak.

Because of this mess, MK Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz has proposed a law to solve this problem. Katz's proposal would make the State of Israel pay for the burial of Jewish victims of terror - people who were killed because they are Jewish.

Katz said in his proposal "attacks against Jews due to anti-semitism has been part of our lot since our exile from our land about 1900 years ago. Even after the Godly vision began to be realized and the Jewish dream throughout the ages began to actualize: the establishment of a Jewish state, not for a moment has anti-semitism around the world ended. 
The State of Israel was established through the grace of God via the Jewish people for the jewish people and it is connected to all the Jewish people. Because of this, Israel expects and wishes for the ascent of all Jews from the Diaspora...
In the recent attacks against Jews, the problem has risen again in which victims are brought from abroad for burial in Eretz Yisrael and because they are not citizens of Israel, they do not merit burial paid for by the State, as befits kedoshei yisrael. Each time specific instructions must be given in each instance and the issue becomes the cause of unnecessary national embarrassment. 
This proposal would arrange by law that the standing of the burial of a Jew attacked around the world because he is a Jew and is brought to Israel for burial will be equal to the standing of an Israeli citizen."
(source: INN)

Basically, Israel is for the Jews, and not just for the Israelis.

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  1. As much as it may be unpleasant to discuss, burial services don't magically come into existence. Land must be allocated and prepared appropriately, that requires construction workers. A building which provides burial preparation must be build. Workers must dig plots, and they expect to be paid like everyone else. Etc, etc, etc.

    Bituach Leumi PAYS for the burial services. And I don't know about you but my salary has a heavy Bituach Leumi tax.

    For reference, Bituach Leumi last year paid out 58 BILLION shekel. That includes kitzvat yeladim (child payments), nichut (disability payments - 4% of the population receives this), child support payments (when a couple divorces and the husband doesn't pay, Bituach Leumi picks up the bill), zichna (old age pension), and burial payments. For reference, Bituach Leumi collected 45 BILLION shekel in taxes.

    The rest magically appeared out of thin air!

  2. Considering that the shooter in this case wasn't arrested until after the bodies left France, and that the shooting was linked to other shootings in which Muslims were killed, it's not entirely clear that the proposed law would have even covered the victims of the Toulouse shootings.

    There's a tendency to have a knee-jerk reaction that any terror-like attack on Jews, no matter where in the world, is due to antisemitism, and usually there's no (immediate) practical difference if it's true or not. However, if this law would pass, it may make make it harder for non-Israeli terror victims to have their burial expenses covered, since their relatives will have to prove, within a very short amount of time (when they are occupied with other things) that their loved ones were, in fact, killed because of antisemitism.

  3. Why go through this lengthy process of formalizing this? Just invent "Posthumous Aliyah." Upon entry into the country they become citizens. Now you have no issue.

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