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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Two thirds of French Jews considering leaving

In light of this story, it should come as no surprise that two thirds of French Jews are considering leaving.
Israel’s Immigration and Absorption Ministry presented its findings to the Knesset this week that more than two thirds of French Jews are considering leaving the country. The findings were presented in the context of an Israeli government effort to increase immigration from France; however they raise serious concerns that a prolonged exposure to increasingly virulent forms of anti-Semitism are taking their toll on the sense of security felt by Jewish communities in France and across Europe.
Of the two-thirds considering leaving, half (or one-third overall) are looking to Israel as their destination. Nearly 60% of French Jews have close relatives living in Israel.
The past year saw a spike in French Jewish immigration to Israel, from about 2000 per year during 2008-2012, to over 3,300 in 2013. France is currently home to the third largest Jewish community in the world, after Israel and the United States. The majority of immigrants to Israel have been the young – just out of school – and retirees.
In December of last year, the Jewish Agency’s envoy in Paris, Ariel Kandel, observed, “The French Jews are very Zionist, and that’s not a new thing,” and that “about 70 percent of them have visited Israel at least once – a much higher rate than anywhere else.” Kandel also cited the Toulouse Jewish school shooting, which occurred two years ago this week, as a factor leading to last year’s spike in immigration from France.
Aliya to Israel increased from all over Western Europe last year.
Western Europe as a whole saw a 35% increase in aliyah in 2013, driven by a 46% increase from Belgium and a 57% increase from the Netherlands. A poll released in November indicated that a full 75% of self-identifying Jews in Western European countries have considered emigrating because of anti-Semitism.
I don't know why any Jew would want to live in Europe today. 

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