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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Jews Are Leaving France and Other European Nations

But it is hard not to be afraid, and not just in France. In Sweden, anti-Semitic threats doubled in 2014. In Britain, a survey has shown that every second person harbors anti-Semitic prejudices and roughly a quarter of all Jews in Britain have thought about leaving the country in the last two years. Shortly after the attacks in Paris, police in Belgium uncovered an apparent jihadist plot to attack Jewish facilities.
"In some (EU) states, the majority of the Jewish community is not sure they have a future in Europe," said European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans. "I think this is a huge challenge to the very foundations of European integration." French Prime Minister Manuel Vals also warned at the march to commemorate the murder victims that France would be a different country without its Jews. Nobody should have to feel fear, he said, whether they are journalists, police officers or Jews.
Growing Interest
In 2014, more than 7,000 people left France for Israel, almost double the total from the previous year. A total of 500,000 Jews live in France, putting it third behind the United States and Israel in terms of its total Jewish population. But it has also become the country from which the most immigrants to Israel come. "We are now also prepared if 15,000 come," says Nathan Sharansky, head of the Jewish Agency.
"For the first time in Israel's history, more Jews are arriving from the free world than from other countries," Sharansky says. Israel, he continues, has become much more than just a refuge from anti-Semitism. "People are now freely choosing Israel even though they could go to the US, Canada or Australia."


"I am more worried about my family in France," Mickael Cohen says. His parents still live in Paris and he and his wife are now trying to convince them to move to Israel as well. But his parents moved to France from Tunisia in the 1970s. "They don't want to lose everything for a second time," he says.