(Jerusalem Post) According to age-old “antisemitic canards,” Jews have always been notorious skirkers when it has come to military drafts — but apparently the war in Ukraine is proving that this “canard” may, in fact, have some truth to it:
Some Russian Jews fear returning to Russia and others are seeking Israeli passports, in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization of citizens for fighting in the Russia-Ukraine War.
“Everyone wants an Israeli passport, but there’s a year’s wait to get an appointment,” Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar said in an interview with Mishpacha Magazine.
“I don’t believe they’re quite ready to leave,” Lazar said during the interview regarding Russian Jews.
“People want security, to have a passport if they need one. But we haven’t seen a wave of aliyah — there hasn’t been a decline in the number of community members,” he told Mishpacha’s Hebrew magazine editor Aryeh Erlich.
Yet Lazar is quoted as saying that he also thinks Russian Jews are looking for a strong community in Russia. “They want some source of strength; they want a community at their side if something happens…”
…On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, [Rabbi] Lazar received the annual letter of blessing from the President’s Office. Putin said in the letter that “it is most important that Russian Jews, who maintain their loyalty to the spiritual tradition of their ancestors, make a significant contribution to maintain the cultural diversity of our country.”
“We’re doing all we can, using all our connections to protect Ukraine’s Jews as well as the many holy sites in Ukraine,” Lazar said. “Many family members of Russian shluchim [emissaries] are still in Ukraine and we’re doing all we can to help them and to give them moral support as well as financial assistance.”
Lazar told Erlich that the Russian authorities are aware of this assistance and know that there are no politics involved. “Politics and nationalist interests have nothing to do with us, and the Russian government knows this.”
And Putin’s letter to Rabbi Lazar seems to include a not-so-veiled demand that he expects Jews to do their fair share in support of the war in Ukraine.
Yet at the same time, the Russian government is turning a blind eye to the fact that Jews in Russia are “protecting” Jews in Ukraine who are under attack — as all Ukrainians are — from the Russian military offensive.
What is the nature of this “protection”? We know that tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jews have suddenly felt a desire to make “aliyah” to Israel — keeping them out of harms way.
And Jews in Russia want one of those coveted Israeli passports that would allow them to leave Russia whenever their “security” was threatened — such as being drafted like every other Russian man of military age.
Make no mistake — these Russian Jews are largely atheists — and their desire to flee to the safety of Israel has nothing to do with “returning” to their “ancestral homeland.”
And this Jewish mad dash to get Israeli passports and avoid dangerous military service has not been lost on the general Russian population.
In fact, recently a popular talk show host in Russia read on air a list of Jews whom he faulted for a lack of patriotism in the face of the war in Ukraine.
According to a recent article in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “tens of thousands” of Russian Jews have already fled to Israel since the war in Ukraine began earlier this year.
Israeli news outlet i24 reported that Israel is preparing for a huge “surge” of Russian Jews making “aliyah” in the wake of Putin’s announcement of a general military draft.
Only an “antisemite” would call these Jews fleeing Russia for Israel “draft dodgers” — Israel has the “right” to do whatever it can to ensure the “safety” of Jews worldwide.
And allowing them to return to their “ancestral homeland” is their inalienable right — regardless of the reason behind it — just like it’s the right of Jewish pedophiles to escape prosecution by making “aliyah” to Israel.
What’s important is that all Jews are free to go to Israel whenever it’s convenient — the reasons they want to go are irrelevant.