Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan PollardPhoto: INN

In a recent opinion piece written by Jonathan Friedland that appeared in The Guardian, the author correctly stated that “those who attack Jews in the UK are not striking a blow for Palestine: they are behaving as antisemites always have.”

So far, so good. But as the piece went on I saw that Friedland had made a major mistake in asserting that Israeli leaders should take into account the effect their national security decisions might have on Diaspora Jews. Given my past, this opened up an old wound that I’d like to address.

From my perspective, Israel’s needs, not those of our foreign communities, should always be of paramount concern to our leaders. This is because the Diaspora will always be a fundamentally dangerous environment for Jews- regardless as to what actions are taken by Israel to safeguard her existence. In other words, it’s time that Diaspora Jews finally wake up to the fact that they are living in societies that hate them and that will never accept them as “protected” citizens. Quite the opposite! Recent events in the Diaspora following Hamas’ barbaric invasion on October 7 bear this out.

Over the past five months, our Diaspora communities have been subjected to shocking displays of virulent anti Semitic bigotry, organized by Moslems and radical leftists throughout the supposedly “civilized” West. I’ve tried to point out to our targeted overseas Jewish brothers and sisters that it’s not just the eruption of long dormant antisemitism that should scare them into making aliyah. Rather, it’s the passivity, and in some cases, the open endorsement by their respective governments of this age old hatred that should prompt them to come home as soon as possible. Four years ago when I was living in New York, when I warned American Jews that this was coming, they looked at me like I was crazy. Well, fortunately, they’re not regarding my warnings like the rantings of a mad man anymore. Many seem to have awakened to the fact that their supposed Goldene Medina could very easily turn into an updated version of 1933 Germany.

Given this new realization that history may be repeating itself, my current recommendation to our threatened Diaspora communities is as follows: Now that Israel has been reestablished, they no longer have any justification for living in such inhospitable countries. Luckily, they now have a choice denied to our oppressed ancestors: namely, they can either voluntarily stay in Exile, with everything that will mean in terms of rising threats to their lives, or come home to enjoy a life free of such danger. Basically, the choice they must make is between living in countries that will no longer protect them from discrimination as opposed to coming home to live amongst their people as valued and respected citizens.

Granted, some of our regional neighbors clearly pose a clear and present danger to our existence, as well. But, at least here in our G-d-given homeland, we have the ability to adequately defend ourselves - assuming, that is, we’re smart enough to elect a government that sees this as its principal responsibility! May Hashem grant us the wisdom to chose wisely. Amen.

To hear Jonathan Pollard's views on American Jewry and the crossroads it is at, watch this interview: