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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Tammuz 14, 5765, 7/21/2005

      Time for British Jewry to Come Home


      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.

      Londonparliament 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.