In the wake of rising anti-Semitism in America, Knesset opposition leader Isaac Herzog has called for emergency preparations to receive a wave of American immigrants to Israel.
“I want to express my shock and strong condemnation for the outbreak of incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States, France and other places around the world,” Herzog said. “I call upon the government of Israel to urgently prepare a national emergency plan for the possibility that we will see waves of immigration of our brothers to Israel.”
Herzog’s remarks came one day after vandals toppled dozens of headstones in a Philadelphia Jewish cemetery. This was the second incident of this kind, and there have been multiple waves of bomb threats made to Jewish institutions around the US.
Herzog was careful to add that he did not intend this call as a criticism of US President Donald Trump. He explained that he was “convinced that the American government would do everything it can to harshly and aggressively eradicate this phenomenon.”
As chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharanksy would be responsible for this wave of aliyah (immigration to Israel), should it materialize. He seemed less convinced than Herzog that the recent hate-wave would continue.
“I trust that US authorities will act resolutely to find those responsible, bring them to justice, and prevent such incidents from reoccurring,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Jewish Agency Spokesman Avi Mayer responded to Herzog by declaring that “Neither our data nor our field professionals indicate an impending wave of aliyah from the United States.”
Sharansky, who spent nine years in a Soviet prison for wanting to make aliyah, speculated on the source of this recent rise in anti-Semitism. He noted that race-motivated anti-Semitism and politically motivated anti-Zionism are now essentially indistinguishable.
“If ever there was a line between the anti-Semitism of the far right and the anti-Israelism of the radical left, the demonization of Jews and the demonization of their state, it no longer exists,” he said. “These two ugly phenomena feed on one another and both run counter to the foundations of democratic societies in Europe and America.”
Herzog’s warning contradicts a previous position he held. In in an interview to YNet in January 2015, Herzog criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu for inviting French Jews to make aliyah after the deadly terror attack at a kosher market in Paris.
After that attack, many French Jews did choose to come to Israel. France became the most common country of origin for new immigrants to Israel, embodying the Biblical precept of Israel being a refuge.
And Hashem will create over the whole habitation of mount Tzion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy. And there shall be a pavilion for a shadow in the day-time from the heat, and for a refuge and for a covert from storm and from rain. Isaiah 4:5-6
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Source: Israel in the News