Israeli Ambassador to US Predicts Major Rise in French Jewish Immigration to Israel
Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, told MSNBC on Wednesday that, due to rampant antisemitic attacks, capped by last Friday’s terror shooting which killed four people at a Paris kosher supermrket, Israeli officials are readying for upwards of 15,000 French Jewish immigrants in 2015.
“That’s two and a half percent of [France’s Jewish] population,” Dermer noted, observing that France’s nearly 500,000 Jews felt besieged by growing domestic hostility.
“In American terms, it would be about 150,000 American Jews in a year, all of a sudden deciding to come to Israel,” he said.
Referring to the deadly attack at the Parisian kosher supermarket by an Islamist terrorist, and similar attacks elsewhere in France and on the Continent, Dermer characterized Europe as, “…a place of many ancient traditions and antisemitism is the first of them.”
“There was only a very small window of opportunity in which Europe was not antisemitic, for several decades after the Holocaust,” Dermer asserted.
Reflecting Dermer’s concerns, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has vowed to maintain heavy security measures at Jewish institutions for as long as needed in the wake of the attacks, saying that the fight against antisemitism was now a “major national cause.”
“As long as all the accomplices of the murderers remain at large, and as long as we recognize that we are dealing with serious threats, I am afraid this protection will be necessary for many months,” Valls told American Jewish activists. While conceding that he was “shocked” at having to mobilize 10,000 military personnel to provide additional security, he promised that “I will do everything possible to maintain that protection.”
Dermer said that “Today, hatred of the Jews has become hatred of the Jewish state. I hope that European leaders will begin to treat Israel as they do any other country.”