The Young Israeli Exodus

Peter Beinart measures the fallout from various nations recognizing Palestinian statehood:

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the number of Israelis applying annually for permanent residence in the United States doubled between 2000 and 2009. Former Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak both have adult children living here. And it's not just the U.S. An Israeli friend recently told me that there are so many young Israelis in Berlin (Berlin!) that when he goes there and runs into acquaintances from Tel Aviv, they don't even act surprised.

These young, cosmopolitan, educated Israelis are exactly the ones you can't afford to lose. They're leaving for graduate school, and jobs in finance and high-tech and a thousand other things, but they're also leaving because they want to be connected to the world, not only economically, but politically and culturally as well. And they're not thrilled about spending a month a year as army reservists manning checkpoints in the West Bank. Offer them a future of mounting international isolation and no prospect for peace, and watch them flood into Williamsburg and West L.A.

Maybe you can console yourselves that their ultra-Orthodox counterpartswho don't work, don't serve in the army, have an average of seven children per family, and drain the government coffers dryaren't going anywhere. Luckily for you, one of their parties, Shas, controls the ministry charged with fighting the fires that last week ravaged Israel. Shas' spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, helpfully volunteered that the fires were God's punishment for Israelis who didn't keep the Sabbath.