Published On: Mon, Jan 12th, 2015

Jews Fleeing France; French PM Wants Them to Stay

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls / Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Israel is preparing for a new wave of French Aliyah as a result of the recent terrorist attacks there and the growing numbers of Muslim extremists in that country. Hebrew daily Yediot Ahranot has reported that over 7, 000 Jews had already left France in 2014.

About the Jewish exodus from his nation, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, “If 100, 000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100, 000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.”

The French PM made the comments in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. Valls added, “The choice was made by the French Revolution in 1789 to recognize Jews as full citizens. To understand what the idea of the republic is about, you have to understand the central role played by the emancipation of the Jews. It is a founding principle.”

He also talked about how France never expelled the Jews as other countries like Spain had done and how France is today seeing something new.

“There is a new anti-Semitism in France, ” he said. “We have the old anti-Semitism, and I’m obviously not downplaying it, that comes from the extreme right, but this new anti-Semitism comes from the difficult neighborhoods, from immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, who have turned anger about Gaza into something very dangerous. Israel and Palestine are just a pretext. There is something far more profound taking place now.”

But French Jews simply do not feel safe in their homeland any longer. French Jewish blogger Steevo Le Legende is moving to Israel in February. As he told Ynet, “We have been suffering from this situation in France since 2000. The attacks repeat themselves, we are at the beginning of a terror operation and the Jews are in the front row.”

“Up until three or four years ago, I could wear a kippah on the streets, and today it is very complicated and we must wear a hat on top of the kippah. The danger lies in the Metro, public transportation, and in general there are attacks everywhere, all the time and at any given moment you can run into someone unstable. This means being a Jew in France is problematic.”

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