In response to my expressions of disdain for Russian-speaking immigrants, my daughter brought up an interesting point: She believes that my aversion to Russians stems from my upbringing, wherein it was intimated to me that today’s Russians are the modern version of drunken, pillaging, Jew-hating cossacks. She also managed to convince me that my response to them is a reflexive one, largely based on appearances. In short, she got me to admit that I’m bigoted.
My daughter also pointed out that most immigrants throughout Israel’s history, starting with those that came during the Ottoman period, were not motivated by ideology, but rather by an intersection of events that brought them here.
Before this conversation with her, I’d watched (indulging in my daily vice) the TV show “Dog Whisperer”. That day’s episode featured John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, a book about his now-deceased, out-of-control Labrador retriever, Marley. The last thing Grogan said to the show’s host, canine expert Caesar Milan, was, “It’s a shame we didn’t have you on hand for Marley. On the other hand, if we’d had you, there wouldn’t have been a book”.
Quite wise on Grogan’s part to recognize that good can come out of what appears to be a bad situation.Therefore, I hereby vow to work on letting go of the anger I feel at the 21st-century Russian immigrants (which, as my daughter pointed out, should in any case be directed at the Shas-headed Interior Ministry that recruited them).
So chastened, I decided I need to look at the situation philosophically, following Grogan’s example: Assuming that it was indeed twisted reasoning (the “demographic threat”) that brought the Russians here, we can’t turn the clock back. They’re here, so let’s capitalize on what they have to offer, and in the process they’ll hopefully absorb what an open society has to offer.