As anti-Semitism escaltes to a fever pitch in France, French Jews have increasingly decided that there is no future for them in the country. Officially, in the first quarter of the year, there were 140 documented acts of anti-Semitism, a 40% jump from the first quarter of 2013. And that includes only the acts that were reported. Now, French Jews are emigrating, mostly for Israel, as they are effectively pogrammed out.
Per the Washington Post:
French migration to Israel in 2013 jumped to 3,200 people, up 64 percent from 2012. A huge uptick in departures already this year has Jewish leaders here predicting that at least 5,000 French Jews will leave in 2014.
How did we get here? France, while possessing a rich history of anti-Semitism dating back at least to the Dreyfus Affair, is home to the largest Jewish population in Europe--only Israel and the United States have larger Jewish populations. More from the Post article:
Here and across the region, they are talking of the rise of a “new anti-Semitism” based on the convergence of four main factors. They cite classic scapegoating amid hard economic times, the growing strength of far-right nationalists, a deteriorating relationship between black Europeans and Jews, and, importantly, increasing tensions with Europe’s surging Muslim population.It's easy to chalk it up to an outgrowth of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but even if you ignore the intellectual laziness of using foreign government actions to justify hate and bigotry, the problems are much more diverse. Indeed, the far-right National Front--no stranger to a broad buffet of hate that spans the ethnic, religious, and racial spectrum--is at their height of their power. Last month, they came in first in French elections for the European Parliament with a massive 25 percent of the national vote. Sure enough, despite their attempt at a reformed image, this past week, the party's founder posted a video on the party’s website suggesting a Jewish folk singer should be thrown in an oven. His daughter was forced to publicly rebuke the comments and take the video down.
Violence is up, and the fear that French radicals returning from fighting in the Middle East are going to add to the violence has already begun justifying itself:
A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria is in custody over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.This isn't the first time France has experienced sharp upticks in anti-Semitism, and it probably won't be the last, but for many French Jews it is enough to get them to want to leave the country for good. The Jewish Agency, which helps resettle Jews who feel a need to immigrate to Israel has already committed an additional $37 million in funds for European emigres.
When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack, a Belgian prosecutor said.
In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe's Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.
“I walked into my kosher sandwich shop the other day and the owner asked me, ‘Is it time to leave? Are we Nazi Germany yet?’ ” said Shimon Samuels, the Paris-based international director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “We’ve got the National Front in first place. We’ve got Dieudonné, spreading his hate. So I told him, ‘Well, do you really want to be the last to go?’ ” (WaPo)