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January 28, 2004
The French Exodus

French Jews no longer have confidence in France to protect them, and immigration to Israel has almost tripled:

Growing anti-Semitism in France has prompted a big rise in the number of French Jews emigrating to Israel. Figures released in Israel yesterday showed that 2,380 moved last year and 2,556 the year before. In the 1990s only about 800 French Jews emigrated to Israel each year.

One suspects that this presents a bit of a mixed bag to the Muslims responsible for attacks on Jews in France. On one hand, forcing Jews to leave must delight them, but I doubt they're happy to see them go to Israel. What exactly is driving France's Jews out of Europe?

Natan Sharansky, an Israeli minister, said on Sunday: "Last year the number of anti-Semitic incidents in France doubled and 47 per cent of all anti-Semitic attacks in western Europe occurred there." ... He said that between 2002 and 2003 anti-Semitic incidents around the world fell from 1,979 to 983; in France they rose from 77 to 141.

In other words, while anti-Semitic acts declined by 50% worldwide, they almost doubled in France. In 2002, France accounted for 3.9% of all anti-Semitic acts, while in 2003 France accounted for 14.3%, making them a contender for the title.

France passed their anti-scarf legislation today, but perhaps instead of focusing on how people dress, the French government should pay more attention to how they act. Until they do, no one can blame French Jews for emigrating to a country that affords its citizens religious freedom and a sense that each of them matter.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 28, 2004 8:57 PM

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