The Tebbit Test And Why Israel Passes

Brian of London filling in for Dave again. In 1990 Norman Tebbit, who had been a prominent member of Margret Thatcher’s cabinet at times in the ’80s, proposed what came to be called the “Tebbit test”. Which side do immigrants support in a cricket match?

“A large proportion of Britain’s Asian population fail to pass the cricket test. Which side do they cheer for? It’s an interesting test. Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

He was largely referring to the Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslims and especially those in the Birmingham area. When teams from those two countries come to the UK they are always given a very warm welcome when playing matches against England in Birmingham and other times with high proportions of immigrants and their decendants.

Recently Pamela Geller posted the following story on Atlas Shrugs:


“Obviously … the support that Mexico has on the night like tonight makes it a home game for them,” said U.S. Coach Bob Bradley, choosing his words carefully. “It’s part of something we have to deal with on the night.”

The US soccer team booed, its players on the receiving end of vile obscenities in LA’s Rose Bowl, and the left-wing media calls this a marvelous moment for America. Yes, the LA Times is at it again (where’s the Rashid Khalidi tape, traitors?).

Obviously, as I showed above, this isn’t a uniquely American problem.

In 2009 I went to see Israel play Russia in the Davis Cup Tennis. Davis Cup is the international World Cup of Tennis: it’s played by individuals representing countries against countries. It’s no Wimbledon I can tell you and the crowd is always noisy between points. I had supported Israel in the UK a couple of years earlier where, obviously, the Israeli team support had been greatly in the minority. On that occasion I failed the Tebbit test, loudly cheering for Israel, while sitting in the UK!

As I’ve written about before on Israellycool, after the fall of the old Soviet empire, Israel took in and absorbed one million or more Russian Jews. They represented an immigration wave of 20% of the existing population of Israel in just 10 years.

If Israel were like the UK with it’s Asian Muslims or L.A. and it’s Mexicans you would expect an Israeli tennis match against Russia to raise a bit of noise for the foreign side.

Not a bit of it! There were a few travelling Russians for sure but I can assure you that the very great majority of the Israelis in the audience for that match (which Israel won!)

Russian Jews came to Israel to be Jews and Israelis. In another generation they won’t even remember they were ever Russians. That is a melting pot and that is the success story of immigration in Israel today.

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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  • JimfromIowa

    I suspect part of the difference here is that the Russian immigrants were not only embracing their Jewish and Israeli identities, but also abandoning the idea of being Russians because of their mistreatment in the old country. Mexicans come to America for economic opportunity, not because of political or religious persecution at home. And so what if new immigrants root on a soccer team from their native country. In a few years their kids will be playing real football, American football.

  • Chayma100

    >Russian Jews came to Israel to be Jews and Israelis. In another generation they won’t even remember they were ever Russians.

    Why are the Russians Leaving Israel? Last Updated: 11/2/2010
    Every Second Person Leaving Israel Is a FSU ImmigrantFailed integration of the Russian aliyah is not a natural, predictable process but a painful failure for Israel as a host society

    Emigration from Israel – The Overlooked or Hidden Facts Last Updated: 9/8/2009
    Among the youth who had immigrated from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), there has been a significant decrease in the rates of those committed to remaining in Israel since 2006: from 63% in February 2006 to 46% in 2008. It was noted that this finding should be correlated to the fact that the immigrants left the Soviet Union because of an intense sense of insecurity and instability and with the desire to find a stable and secure environment in Israel. However, the unwillingness of many of the immigrants to remain in Israel is also due to other reasons, which were expounded at length in another article.

    These findings correspond with the data presented by the Knesset Research and Information Center based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics: “The rate of emigration among those who immigrated to Israel after 1989 is much higher than the rate among the veteran immigrants and native-born Israelis. Many of the educated youth among the immigrants from the FSU have emigrated from Israel to western countries. Currently, the phenomenon of emigration to Russia is far too widespread …” Among the groups that tend to emigrate from Israel is a distinct group of “new immigrants who could not be integrated in Israel because of the unsuitability of their professions to the Israeli work force. According to research conducted by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, there is a noticeable group of young people among these emigrants who are more highly educated than the average among new immigrants.” [1]

    The phenomenon is seemingly clear-cut: More young, educated “Russians” are emigrating from Israel in search of a better future in western countries and in Russia than native-born Israelis. In a well-functioning country, such a phenomenon and its ramifications would concern the decision makers and would oblige them to immediately treat the problem at its source. But not in Israel.

    • z303

      Since you are just posting issues about Israel, regardless, one must question your good faith in posting on this blog.

      Anyone who lives here knows this is silly. I have to wait an the lunch table until someone starts speaking Hebrew instead on Russian. You are only reporting one side of the question. Nor, if there is an issue, would it be ignored, given the importance of the Russian-based YB in the coalition.

      Now, if a lot of those leaving are non-Jews who got in through a loophole in the Law of Return, they would at the end not fit in here, being neither Jews nor Arabs, so this is good for both of us.

      Do you think the U.S. would care if a bunch of immigrants started to leave?

  • Chayma100

    There is a video here by RT, can't seem to embed it though,

    Instability in Israel sparks growing exodus from Promised Land 25 June, 2011
    Israel was a state created for Jewish people from all over the world to call their home. But due to security fears, growing numbers of Israelis want to leave, opting for EU or American citizenship to meet their expectations of a promised land.

    In the last decade, some 50,000 Israelis have applied for EU citizenship. A quarter of a million already have a second passport. It is unlikely that any other country in the world has such a large percentage of new immigrants preparing to leave.

    • z303

      Russian TV? That's reliable?

      I have a second passport. My cousin has three citizenships. That's meaningless.

      I do know of some people who are looking for a just-in-case, since your co-religionists in the "religion of peace" are so anxious to rape, torture, and murder us all". They have no intention of actually leaving.

      People come here in many cases out of idealism. It sometimes does not work out – it may not fo us – but that is no negative relcetion on Israel. To how many countries t opeople moveto in large numbers even though they know they were better off materially where they came from? Jordan, maybe? Egype? Lebanon?

      • JimfromIowa

        This is why you have been sorely missed, Michael. You express yourself with such great passion and such poor typing skills. This endears you to me.

        • z303

          I have to work for a living, thank you.

        • z303

          The point, I hope, is the content.

    • BrianOfLondon

      Every Israeli and specifically every Jew, will always try to have as many passports as they can. It's (now) in our DNA. There was a large act of un-natural selection 60 years ago and we're now bred for paranoia.

      When the Eastern European countries became full members of the EU it led to an avalanche of Israelis digging up connections to old Europe and taking out passports. In many cases this also makes travel to the US and other countries easier by removing some visa restrictions.

      So the number of people applying for EU citizenship doesn't mean they're about to leave, except on holiday. And seeing as how the Shekel ₪ has been so strong against the Euro and the Dollar over the last couple of years, its become much cheaper to travel.

      • ziontruth

        “Every Israeli and specifically every Jew, will always try to have as many passports as they can. It’s (now) in our DNA. There was a large act of un-natural selection 60 years ago and we’re now bred for paranoia.”

        On the one hand, I can’t condemn what is clearly an act of human (generally, not even specifically Jewish) prudence.

        On the other hand, I see no reason to believe in any sanctuary in our day and age. The dangers such as Israel is grappling with—foremost Islamic imperialist aggression, aided and abetted by Marxist treason—are present everywhere else. So there is no gain in going elsewhere, and in fact there is only loss, in Jews no longer being in the one nation-state that’s truly theirs to defend.

        Paranoia is not always misplaced, but even the paranoid need to evaluate their situation rationally.

    • juvanya

      "Most Israelis in the capital have a second passport."

      Tel Aviv is the capital?

      • z303

        Tel Aviv IS a foreign passport (like New York). :-)

        Maybe all of the Anglos and French in Jerusalem?

    • walt kovacs

      at least they have the right to leave

      your bros in syria are getting shot at the border

      and rt is a rabid anti israel propaganda source and you know it

  • JimfromIowa

    Intense Debate is notoriously buggy. Employ patience in dealing with the software and with z303 and you'll be home free.

  • walt kovacs

    keep dreaming

    while israel's economy continues to boom, the rest of the world remains in decline

    so emigration is stabilizing

    not that it matters

    israel and israelis are going nowhere

    go pound sand

  • walt kovacs

    go away and hang out with your homophobic pal dickie

    Now on to Omer Gershon’s next unbelievable adventure. He and his video pal, Elad Magdasi produced this entirely degernate video on behalf of Puma shoes which, in addition to selling shoes, posits the questionable theory that jumping on a mattress while wearing Puma shoes leads inexorably to lesbian sex, twosomes, threesomes and God knows what else. I feature the video here solely for sociological research purposes to witness the depravity of the Tel Aviv club scene, or at least some of its less palatable figures. And you don’t need to know any Hebrew to watch it because there is none. This is sheer naked merchandising in the most perverse, disgusting manner.

    no wonder that piece of filth supports hamas and hezbollah…he likes how they treat the gay

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