- Oct 2011
Why is diversity an end in itself, such that Israel having "much more diversity" is a desirable outcome? It is one thing to say, "This potential immigrant does not share our broad societal identity, but they are willing to comply with our norms, not challenge our prevailing culture, and work to enrich and improve our country," but quite another to say, "We actively want people who differ from our prevailing norms." What does Israel stand to gain from the presence of Hindus, for example? What can Hindus provide for their society that Israeli Jews cannot, such that one ought to actively desire a meaningful Hindu presence?Yeah, I mean, I would certainly enjoy seeing Israel have much more diversity.
I want to stress that I'm not suggesting people whose identities differ from the broad norm cannot meaningfully contribute to a society. Rather, it's unclear to me why they should be actively desired in most cases. After all, even if one argues there is enough space in Israel today to accommodate immigration, today is not tomorrow, and Israeli Jews have fertility rates which exceed replenishment levels. Any space one gives away today to foreigners is space which cannot be filled by one's own descendants tomorrow, and the same is doubly true for political space, since the children of those immigrants will be voting, and will feel no less entitled to shape their home society than would anyone else.
I still do not understand why westerners seem to believe diversity is an unmitigated "good." It seems that sometimes it can be beneficial, and sometimes it can be toxic, so surely one must evaluate both on an individual and systematic basis?