It is a problem that has long been in the making, but the marked increase in anti-Semitic attacks, which goes hand in hand with the rise of Islam across Europe, has finally made life untenable for France's Jewish community. Now, French Jews are immigrating to Israel in record numbers.
According to a Jewish Agency for Israel annual report, Aliyah (immigration to Israel) from France grew by a staggering 120 percent in the last year. Accordingly, some 9,000 French Jews are making their way to Israel compared to only 1,920 in the year 2012. Some of the recent catalysts likely include:
In January 2015, immediately following the attack on Charlie Hebdo's headquarters, the HyperCacher kosher market in Paris was attacked and four victims were killed, all Jews. In March 2012, there was an attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse in which four victims were killed, all Jews. In its 2014 Report on Antisemitism in France, the Jewish Community Security Service, using data from the French Ministry of Interior, said there were 851 Antisemitic acts committed in France in 2014. That’s up from 423 such acts in 2013, an increase of 101 percent.
“The ongoing increase in the number of Jews emigrating from France to Israel in the last three years has come as a surprise to many, including here at the Jewish Agency.”
“It is quite safe to say that Jewish immigration from France is part of this general French phenomenon, although many Jews certainly consider also issues related to Antisemitism, in addition to economic and personal concerns,” he said.
“There are many factors influencing the decision of French immigrants to come to Israel,” he said. “We cannot quantify the exact proportion that each element has had in the decision making process, and we have not conducted any research among immigration candidates regarding their motivations.”
“However, we believe the main factors are the economic situation, personal drive for change, a religious and cultural attachment to Israel, family ties, political views, insecurity and Antisemitism,” said Palmor.
It is worth noting that while most of the reported anti-Semitic attacks have been carried out by members of the Muslim community, non-Muslim Europeans have their own checkered past (and present) when it comes to anti-Jewish bigotry. This does naught to help matters in the wake of anti-Semitic attacks or make the Jewish people feel at home in Europe on even just a day-to-day basis, despite their community's long-standing presence on the continent.
As Western societies lose the culture and contributions of their long-standing Jewish members and fill that vacuum with Islam, they will soon learn the error of their ways, even if they won't admit it.