Published On: Mon, Nov 14th, 2016

Sharp Drop in French Jews’ immigration to Israel, Report

decline in French immigration to Israel blamed on Israeli government

French olim ISRAEL-FRANCE JEWISH French immigrants arriving in Israel this week (Photo Motti Kimchi)

Despite major efforts on the part of Israeli PM Binyamin Netanuahu to encourage French Jewish immigration (Aliyah) to Israel, the number of Jews moving to the country from France dropped by 42 percent so far in 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015, Israeli Media reports.

In its 2016 annual assessment, the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), a Jerusalem-based think tank, estimated that terror attacks in France would boost the number of olim (people making aliyah) from Europe’s largest Jewish community. But instead the opposite has occurred.

Although over 200, 000 French Jews have expressed a desire to make aliyah, only about 4, 500 French olim arrived in Israel so far in 2016r. The total number of French olim for all of 2015 was 7, 835.

This sharp drop has been attributed primarily to the failure of the government to efficiently integrate current olim into the Israeli life, their poor employment opportunities for them and the country’s abrasive bureaucracy.

On top of this, French authorities’ have made a serious commitment to battle anti-Semitism. And the rise of terrorist activities in Israel has weakened its comparative appeal over France.

According to the JPPI report: “French Jews considering aliyah fear a fate similar to that endured by some of their relatives. A chief concern is that they will find it difficult to work in their chosen fields or to earn at the level to which they have become accustomed. For these reasons, some French Jews are delaying aliyah or even moving to countries other than Israel.”

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