Time for British Jewry to Come Home

Michael Freund,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Michael Freund
Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....

For the second time in the past two weeks, terrorists struck again in the heart of London today, setting off a series of blasts on the city’s underground and on a passenger bus. Thankfully, no one was killed in the attacks, and just one person was injured.

The damage and loss of life could, of course, have been far worse, as the July 7 bombings – which claimed 56 lives – made clear. It was nothing short of a miracle that today’s incidents proved far less lethal.

As many commentators have pointed out already, these attacks are a wake-up call for Britain to clamp down on its own home-grown Muslim fundamentalist movement, and to stop currying favor with Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas, with whom British officials have met in recent months.

But there is another lesson to be learned from these horrific attacks, one that has been almost entirely ignored in the past few weeks: it is time for British Jewry to come home to Israel.

Anti-Semitism has been rising steeply in Britain in recent years, with the number of incidents targeting the Jewish community continuing to increase. At the same time, British Jewry has been rapidly shrinking as a result of assimilation and intermarriage, casting serious doubts over its long-term viability.

As the recent series of terror attacks in London indicate, Muslim fundamentalists have British society in their sights, seeking to sow death and destruction along the Thames. It is probably just a matter of time before they decide to attack Jewish institutions there as well, G-d forbid, given the prominence and influence which the community there wields.

For these reasons alone, Britain’s Jews need to start thinking about their future. With their Jewish identity facing increasing challenges, and their physical safety less and less secure, the Jews of the UK need to realize that their only hope lies in coming back to their roots, and planting themselves anew in the Land of Israel.

No Diaspora, however comfortable or secure it might seem to be, can ever serve as fruitful ground for Jewish life in the long run. Let us hope that the Jews of Britain realize this, and act on it – for their sake, as well as for Israel’s.