Friday, March 23, 2012

Increasing Number Of French Jews Consider Moving To Israel

Der Spiegel is reporting that More and More French Jews Emigrating to Israel--and illustrates the point with a scenario that recently took place at a public school in France:
Many must have been reminded of the treatment of Jews under the Third Reich. Shortly after the attack on a Jewish school in the southern French city of Toulouse on Monday, school principals in the city walked into classrooms and asked the Jewish pupils to come forward. "We ask you to leave the class and join the other Jewish children, who are in a locked and safe location."

It was intended as a precaution in response to a request from the Jewish community. But it also highlights the degree to which many Jews in France feel that they are a threatened and increasingly excluded minority. Every year, these feelings prompt thousands to take a dramatic decision, namely, to pack their belongings and move to a crisis zone: Israel. They feel safer there.
This is adding to the current outflux of Jews out of France who are leaving to go to Israel--a significant number:
According to the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, about 2,000 French Jews are currently resettling in Israel each year, and a total of 100,000 have already made the move. The Israeli government is very happy to receive the new arrivals, who are generally well-off and highly educated. In 2004, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's open call to French Jews to emigrate triggered outrage in Paris and led to a cooling of relations between the two countries. But the wave of immigration continues unabated.
According to the article, there are motives besides antisemitism--such as religious reasons or looking for a bride. Yet, though there is not yes a mass exodus of Jews out of France, Avi Zana, the director of Ami, an organization that provides assistance to newly arrived French Jews, notes
Nevertheless, in light of the precarious situation in France, says Zana, many have concluded that "the future of Jewish children is no longer safe there." According to a 2004 study, one in four of France's 500,000 Jews was considering emigration to Israel -- out of fear of anti-Semitism.
And after the terrorist attack in Toulouse, the number of French Jews considering moving to Israel is sure to increase

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