OPINION: It’s not easy loving your country when it doesn’t love you back

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

OPINION: It’s not easy loving your country when it doesn’t love you back

The challenges of being gay in Israel under the current government mean Luke Hanns has returned to the UK after making aliyah five years ago. "Outside Tel Aviv, I'm scared to walk holding my partner's hand"

Tal and Luke.
Tal and Luke.

I made aliyah five years ago thinking that was it. Israel was my forever home. No looking back. Little did I know that after several years I discovered Israel was not the home for ALL Jews, and its only getting worse.

It’s not easy loving your country when it doesn’t love you back. Israel has a long way to go with its societal norms and values. Racism is rife. Gender segregation still exists.

Arabs and Jews aren’t integrated. Secular and religious divisions are incredibly apparent. For me, its very difficult being a gay Jew in Israel- despite Tel Aviv’s reputation as a progressive bubble, it certainly isn’t representative of Israel.

Tal and Luke at their engagement party in London.

I can’t adopt or get married. I can’t even do surrogacy unless I have £120k to do it in America. Outside of Tel Aviv, I’m scared to walk holding my partners hand.

And now with the judicial overhaul, the rise of the right and Bibi’s campaign to appease the religious-nationalist parties. I have no chance to survive this new Israel and its time for me to come home, back to London.

Luke Hanns

The UK is not in the best place right now, but even with the cost of living crisis and anti-Semitism I feel its a better option than Israel. I feel so grateful to have dual citizenship, but millions of Jews in Israel have nowhere to escape to.

I feel like it’s clear that the government is on a campaign to narrow the gap between state and religion, government and judiciary. There were checks and balances in place to protect us all, but that is no longer.

We have government ministers openly racist, sexist and homophobic, even terrorist sympathisers.

Its sickening to be a part of this right now and I can’t have my future children growing up in such a vulgar system.

  • Luke Hanns and Tal celebrated their engagement in London on Tuesday. 
Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: