This comedian has a different take on Israel than most others. In general, comedians like to point out the differences between the gruff population and Israel and the Western mindsets. The bluntness of Israelis often is a point that comedians pounce on, but Joe Matarese comes at us from a different angle.
Joe Matarese is a beach-goer. At least that is what he claims to be. But the norms on Israeli beaches are a bit different than other world beaches. For one, the sand is super smooth and silky. But we won’t spoil Joe’s delivery.
Illegal Entry via the Beaches
Many thousands of Israelis entered the Land of Israel illegally via the beaches. The years were the late 1930’s and especially the 1940’s. The British Empire took charge of the Land of Israel in 1917 – in the middle of World War I. They ended around 400 years of Turkish domination of the Land of Israel under the Ottoman Empire. But the British Empire clamped down on the number of Jewish immigrants they allowed into the Land of Israel. Even on the eve of World War II, when it was clear to the British Empire that the Jewish community in Europe was in mortal danger, they only allowed in a few thousand Jews into the Land of Israel.
By Land, Air, or Sea
One of the few things that united the rather fractious Jewish community was illegal immigration. Nearly every Jew in the Land of Israel agreed that a top priority was to bring as many Jews to the Land of Israel. There were a few hundred thousand Jews in the Land of Israel on the eve of World War II in 1939. By 1947, when the British Mandate ended, and Israel fought against five Arab Armies, there were nearly 600,000 Jews in the Land of Israel. Many of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who came did not have permission. They snuck in – via land or sea. A few came via air. Most came via sea – especially those who came from Europe.
The Holocaust made it abundantly clear that without a national home, the Jews were doomed to more pogroms and worse. It is a blessing that today, when we think of Israeli beaches, we think of tourist attractions and not illegal immigration.