A growing backlash is currently occurring in Israel against foreigners who are now living in Israel. About 32,000 of these foreigners -- mostly Africans who sneaked into Israel from Egypt -- are in Israel illegally. Consequently, Israel is now building a high wall along its border with Egypt, in an effort to stop this flow of illegal immigrants.
Also, about a month ago, many Israeli rabbis signed an edict stating that -- according to true Judaism -- Israelis must not sell or rent their homes to Israeli Arabs.
The ramifications resulting from these two situations occurring in Israel today have led many people to believe that a large percentage of Israelis are now xenophobic and ethnocentric.
Israelis would be wise to rectify their current predicament by using the United States as an example, in an effort to alleviate their current dilemma and end these unnecessary fears. When the earliest European settlers came to the United States in the early 17th century, almost all of them were Protestants from England.
By the early 20th century, a plethora of various ethnic and religious groups from around the world had made the United States their permanent home.
There was no fear by the British Protestants and their heirs, who had settled in the United States, that these ethnic groups would be a threat to them. Rather, these new immigrants were welcome by the British pioneers, and eventually the United States became a "melting pot" comprised of residents from various countries throughout the world.
In fact, many historians and others believe that this "melting pot" -- with its assimilation of scores of ethnic groups -- is a primary reason that the United States became a world power.
Granted, Israel is a much smaller and younger nation than the United States; nonetheless, it would behoove Israelis to keep in mind how the acceptance and assimilation of various ethnic and religious groups in the United States served as critical factors for the United States to become a great nation.
Israelis, then, must welcome -- and not fear -- the legal entry of immigrants to Israel. Indeed, the acceptance and assimilation of these immigrants by Israelis could someday well result in an "Israeli melting pot" -- a melting pot that could help to make Israel a world leader, as it did for the United States.