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August 12, 2014 7:31 am

France No Longer a Home for Jews Fleeing Persecution

avatar by Lyn Julius

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Police vehicle in France. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The Jews of France are reeling. It’s been a month that they would rather forget. Although all European Jewish communities have been affected, the French community has seen a larger spike in violence than most since the Gaza war began. Earlier this month, eight synagogues were attacked in a week.

Jews in France no longer feel secure. Four times as many Jews as last year are leaving the country for Israel.  Newsweek‘s lead story is  “Exodus: They’re Fleeing Once Again.”

Anti-Semitic attacks in Europe have been on the rise for some time, culminating in the murders of Sebastien Selam and  Ilan Halimi; the Toulouse massacre of three Jewish children and a rabbi; and the gunning down of four people at the Brussels Jewish museum by a French jihadi returning from Syria. All these atrocities have shaken the 500,000-strong community to the core.

On July 13, Jews narrowly escaped a pogrom as an angry mob of pro-Palestinian supporters funnelled down the rue de la Roquette in Paris. The JDL (Jewish Defence League)  improvised a line of defence until police reinforcements arrived. Some media accused the vigilantes of provoking the violence, but their actions probably saved Jewish worshippers barricaded inside a synagogue from being lynched.

A week later, a rampaging mob of 400 threw firebombs at a synagogue, a pharmacy, and a kosher butcher in Sarcelles – a suburb of Paris where North African Jews and Muslims live cheek by jowl.

And French Jews, who mostly hail from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, are also experiencing a sense of deja-vu.  Bernard Abouaf, a journalist of Tunisian-Jewish descent who witnessed the Rue de la Roquette riot, wrote on his Facebook page that the whole scene looked like a re-enactment of the storming and torching of the Great Synagogue in Tunis during the Six-Day War in 1967: a traumatic event that accelerated the flight of Tunisian Jews to France or to Israel.

France also served as an escape route for Jews in Algeria after violent outbursts there, such as the Constantine pogrom – 80 years ago this week, when nearly 30 Jews were murdered. Mind you, this was long before the creation of the State of Israel – proving that anti-Jewish persecution in the Muslim world is not linked solely to the Jewish State. And in 1962, when Algeria gained its independence after a bloody war,  Jews understood that they were not welcome. The community of 160,000 Jews fled – lock, stock, and barrel – to France.

Now it looks like France gave these Jewish refugees just a temporary respite from persecution. For  the second time in a generation, Jews are moving on.

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  • Alexus Fryman

    Actually Jewish people believe that God is real, but that Jesus didn’t die on the cross because they believe that he hasn’t come yet. So, before you post something, make sure you know the facts. In the Bible, it says that Jews are God’s chosen people. And we sin because God gives us free will to choose. Even if it’s not his perfect plan, he still loves us because God is merciful. God doesn’t want us to be like robots and follow his every command, he wants us to choose to love him. If we don’t get a choice, then that love means nothing. God made everything for a reason. He could control us if he wanted too, but he chooses not to because that’s the kind of God he is. He’s merciful, loving, kind, generous. He’s amazing.

  • K. Brewer

    It comes down to this. WHO IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE? Judgment is coming for every person. Either you stand with God or you don’t. And WHO CREATED ISRAEL? GOD DID OF COURSE!! Of course He created everyone. THAT’S WHY IT IS SUCH A SIN IN HIS EYES TO ABUSE ANYONE!! WE ARE ALL GOD’S CREATURES!! GOD IS LOVE, and HE WHO DOESN’T LOVE IS NOT OF GOD!!
    all of you so-called “tough terrorists” are going to look like mice compared to God Almighty.
    We all have to recon with Him in the end!
    Hell is forever!! Every form of torture and suffering you could imagine is what you who are murdering will face for ever and ever and ever…

    • Magen

      God is not real. He can not be on ones’ “side”. If he created everyone and everything as the bible says then why make the hate towards him? If you makes something you control it. So why not take away the hate and pain from the world? He died for our sins but why do we still sin? Even the church goers sin. That’s why they go to church, so he can forgive their sins. Millions of people believe in what they want so let them and stop hating them. That’s why bibles aren’t allow in schools anymore. There will always be people that discriminate against what you believe in the most. So just stop bringing beliefs and religion into subjects like this. It is childish to post something like this when talking about a whole different religion. Jewish people believe in something other than your God. Did you know Christianity was one of the last of billions of different religions to be created and believed and worshiped. Think about that.

      • Pamela Prizant

        My reply very simple…they screw with the Jewish people, chosen of God, Muslims attack the people!!! They did that as we have just seen in the Paris attacks. Read your Bible!!!!

  • Larry E. Whitlow

    France has brought this problem on itself and on its law-abiding Jewish citizens. I visited France about twenty years ago and saw muslims all throughout the airport on rugs praying to “their God”. I knew back then and told some of my friends that France will pay a heavy price for allowing a large number of non-assimilating people into their country. I will support in any way helping the Jews of France to move to Israel. France and Europe on a whole, is and will not be a safe refuge not only for Jews, but non-muslims (Christian Catholic, Agnostics, etc.).

  • Eric

    The Jews r smart to leave a country that has no respect for its major
    Financiers and cultured peace keeping Jewish citizens. And Frand finally
    Will get what it deserved , fundamental Islam jihadists

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    400,000 Jews remain in France. Best case/worst case no more than half of them will ever emigrate no matter how bad things get. Many are simply too old, poor, set in their ways or assimilated to make the leap. So be it. 20,000 Jews every year for a decade leaving France and that’s the best we can hope for.

  • PAUL


    • AL Frommi

      Amen. The whole world will stand with Israel.

  • Mark

    The Holocaust has made many American Jews feel that they must support Israel whatever it does, somehow identifying the Palestinians as a group in a long line of anti-Jewish forces in history. But this is not true. You remember in 1492, when the Jews were expelled from Catholic Spain, they were welcomed into the Ottoman Empire, of which Palestine was a part. Jews and Muslims have lived peacefully for thousands of years together.

    “There is no ancient enmity between Jews and Muslims, and I think as a result of the Holocaust, many Jewish attitudes have been altered … unfairly, and maybe as we get further away from that period, we will go back to a more normal and humane Jewish tradition. That wall around Jerusalem was built by Sultan Suleyman of Turkey to grantee for everyone to pray there and that wall still stands today ,and Jews presented the decree of Suleyman to British court saying they are granted to pray there by Sultan Suleyman, but now Israel declared Turks as enemy, go figure the current mentality of Israeli leaders, they are bunch of degenerates

    • Emanuel

      Your comment is idiotic, Turkey and their leader Erdogan are spewing antisemitic vitriol 24/7. Are you delusional? There may be no enmity between Jews and 75% of Muslims but 25% of Muslims are Islamists and they want you dead period – that’s 100-200 million people. American Jews MUST support Israel because only Israel is protecting our value system, EU and US are both bending over for Islamists. Don’t try to say because Jews fled 500 years ago to Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine that todays Palestinians or Turks are in any way similar. From the river to the sea means Jews go in the sea, occupation means no right for us to live anywhere. Wake up.

  • European

    That’s what happens when you fill a country with anti-Semitic Islamists. It’s the Muslims the ones who should leave, not the Jews. As an European I’m outraged by this.

  • Eric R.

    The problem is what can Israel do when (not if) the second Shoah results in the extermination of the Jews of France? France is a nuclear power. All Israel could do is declare an existential threat, decide that all is lost, civilization is a lost cause, and launch her entire nuclear arsenal at France and all her enemies – including nuclear ones, realizing that she will spark a global nuclear war. If it gets to a second Shoah, however, humanity will deserve such a fate.