The Jewish Agency's president made this declaration on Monday in Paris.
Published on JTA June 28, 2016
The Jews of France have no future in their country because of Arab immigration and deep-seated anti-Semitism, said Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Sharansky made the declaration on Monday in Paris, where he was attending a Jewish Agency board of governors meeting held in the French capital for the first time as a sign of solidarity with its Jews.
“We came here because there are historical processes here,” Sharansky said of France, which for the past two years has been Israel’s largest source of immigrants, with a record-setting 15,000 Jews settling there during that period.
“There is no future for the Jews in France because of the Arabs, and because of a very anti-Israel position in society, where new anti-Semitism and ancient anti-Semitism converge,” he told JTA.
Since 2012, Islamists have killed eight Jews in two shooting attacks that came amid hundreds of non-lethal violent assaults. A French citizen with alleged ties to Islamist groups is standing trial in France for a third shooting in 2014 at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in which four people died.
The violence is one of several factors behind the increase in Jewish immigration to Israel, or aliyah, from France, Sharansky said, along with French Jewry’s strong emotional attachment to Israel and France’s stagnant economy.
Yet aliyah from France has decreased considerably in the first five months of 2016 over the corresponding period last year, Sharansky conceded. According to the Israeli daily Makor Rishon, 1,065 newcomers arrived before June this year, compared to 1,865 in that period in 2015.
Sharansky attributed the decrease to “a slightly improved feeling of security” by French Jews. He also said aliyah has been decreasing because of “high housing prices in Israel and non-recognition in Israel of diplomas” of some French professionals. Sharansky said The Jewish Agency is in talks with the government to solve these issues... Read more