Europe

Natan Sharansky: “There is No Future for the Jews in France”

The rising levels of anti-Semitism in France, due to both historical factors and modern Arab immigration, means that French Jews have no future there, Jewish Agency for Israel chairman Natan Sharansky said Monday in Paris.

“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,” Sharansky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He was in Paris to attend a meeting of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, which was held in Paris for the first time as a show of solidarity with French Jews. Conference attendees stayed in the suburb of Sarcelles, where in 2014 rioters chanted “Death to Jews,” destroyed Jewish-owned businesses, and nearly attacked a synagogue before being driven away.

Sharansky’s comments on Arab immigration referred to that and other attacks on Jewish sites by French people of Arab origin. Islamists have murdered eight Jews since 2012, with dozens more injured—most notably when ISIS-affiliated terrorists killed four shoppers at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in January 2015. In November of that year, a Jewish teacher was stabbed by three ISIS sympathizers in Marseilles; two months later in that same city, a man wearing a kippah was by a Turkish immigrant wielding a butcher’s knife. Jewish schools have also been attacked, including a 2012 shooting in Toulouse that killed a teacher and three students. Armed French soldiers now stand guard outside Jewish academic institutions.

In the last two years alone, some 15,000 French Jews have immigrated to Israel, and thousands more have left for Britain, the U.S., Canada, and Australia. In the early 2000s, Marseille’s Jewish population was approximately 80,000; today, that number has dropped to around 60,000.

[Photo: The Jewish Agency for Israel / YouTube]