While many of those who make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) are forced to do so because of anti-Semitism and violence in their home countries, the end result is often a happy one. Algemeiner's Ruthie Blum tells the story of a young Jewish man from France who put a violent attack behind him to join the IDF:
Jonathan Weinberg, a French Jew who was attacked in Versailles in 2005 at the age of 13, told the media outlet about his ordeal. “I came back from synagogue wearing a kippah and a group of eight youths jumped me, stabbed me in the stomach, beat me in the head while shouting ‘Jewish son of a bitch’ and other antisemitic slurs,” recounted Weinberg, who spent a month in the hospital in serious condition.
“I was unconscious and on a respirator, and it was really tough. I was in shock from what had happened,” he said, according to Israel Hayom, which quoted the now 24-year-old saying that, at the time, he realized, “In a situation like that of brutality against Jews for being Jews, France was no place for me.”
Weinberg said that his father was making plans to immigrate to Israel, “but unfortunately he died of a heart attack four years ago, at age 54, and didn’t manage to see his dream through. It was a very difficult time for me, which made me want to make aliyah and fulfill my father’s dream even more.”
Weinberg did this two and a half years ago, according to Israel Hayom, first studying Hebrew and then enlisting in the IDF, determined to serve in a combat unit.