Lately I've been hearing a whole bunch of horror stories about American families who've been forced to go through foreclosure and stand helplessly by as their homes were repossessed and their posessions thrown out on the streets by the banks. According to USA Today, "Foreclosure filings surpassed 3 million in 2008." Watching this happen is like watching the grim 1930s dust bowl foreclosures happen all over again. As Woodie Guthrie once said, "Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen."
But not to worry. Help is on the way.
In these hard times of trouble, our government is spending billions of dollars on financial programs and bailouts designed to strengthen our banks. And our government is also spending billions of dollars on manufacturing weapons far above and beyond even Dr. Strangelove's wildest defense needs. But does our government spend billions of dollars on programs that will also help out the approximately six million ordinary salt-of-the-earth Americans who have lost their homes in the last three years?
Our American government is currently financing and maintaining a fabulous all-comprehensive housing program that can provide you with modern newly-constructed state-of-the-art housing at either subsidized prices -- or free! And talk about location location location. This wonderful model housing program isn't located in undesirable places like the grungy old Boston inner city or shabby run-down parts of L.A. And, unlike those tacky bankrupt schools in California and Mississippi, this place has outstanding schools too. And its healthcare services, shopping centers and freeways are also top-of-the-line.
These fabulous new housing programs are located in a place that is sunny, modern, upscale and family-friendly -- Israel!
According to USA Today, "Nefesh B'Nefesh, a non-profit organization, provides grants of $3,000 to $10,000 as an incentive for Jews to move [to Israel]. Nefesh B'Nefesh, which means 'Soul to Soul,' also helps arrange housing, jobs and schools for immigrants' children."
"But what do I have to do to be eligible for all this wonderful subsidized housing?" you might ask. That's easy. Just become Jewish. And apply. It's your birthright. You're in!
"But America doesn't actually pay for any housing programs there, do they?" No, not exactly. But they do give Israeli neo-cons seven million dollars per DAY to spend on weapons. Do I think that all that money goes into just "defending" Israel from a few skraggly Palestinians? Maybe. We may never know. But it sounds like a scam to me.
"But if America is financing -- directly or indirectly -- a housing program that is available to only one religious group, isn't that against our Constitution and civil rights? Doesn't this program have to be available to ALL Americans to be legal? And doesn't it go against the separation of church and state?" Nah. Not a problem. No churches are involved.
"But I heard that it was hard to convert to Judaism and that it takes years of study and that you've got to learn Hebrew and get circumcised..." Surprisingly, that's not an obstacle either.
I recently talked with a visiting Israeli citizen and asked him just exactly what kind of bureaucratic hoops an American who had just been foreclosed upon would have to jump through in order to prove he or she was Jewish so that he or she could take advantage of all this free American-subsidized housing in Israel.
"You don't need to do anything," the visiting Israeli replied. "There are Russians and Ethiopians and indigenous peoples from the remote Andes of Peru who have been accepted into this program -- people who are no more Jewish than, say, Madonna or Brad Pitt. All they had to do was to SAY that they're Jewish. That alone got them in -- with full access to assisted housing, pre-arranged employment opportunities and even free single-payer healthcare! They got the whole schmear. And so will you."
I was shocked.
Apparently Israel is no longer just a safe haven for European Jews who survived the camps like it used to be. Sadly, most of that whole generation is pretty much gone. The new face of Israel is different. Israel is now home for Russian mafia oligarch wannabees who couldn't make it in Moscow or poor Ethiopians or Peruvians just trying to get a leg up -- and who aren't even Jewish. Apparently, according to my Israel friend, all you gotta do to be eligible to live in Israel with beaucoups benefits is to be able to produce a yarmulke and some bobby-pins and you're in! And American taxpayers will support you for the rest of your life.
Does anybody but me find that weird?
PS: Apparently I'm not the only American concerned about about out-of-control foreclosure issues who has thought of this solution. In an article entitled, "Thousands of Jews to immigrate to Israel this summer," Israel News states that, "The Jewish Agency is expecting an increase of about 15% in the number of immigrants to Israel in 2009 in comparison with last year." And if Washington keeps funding all those high-rise condos in East Jerusalem and the West Bank instead of funding badly-needed new housing back in the USA -- Katrina victims are STILL living in FEMA trailers for instance -- then hundreds of thousands more Americans will also be immigrating soon.
If you build it, they will come.
PPS: This essay just got banned on the Daily Kos for being anti-semitic. I didn't mean it that way, honest. It was just meant to be a satirical comment on how our government is spending our money on things that benefit anyone but the American taxpayer -- like occupying Palestine or looking the other way when there are military coups in Honduras. And that's just wrong.