2016-07-06 / World News

Sharansky: No future for French Jewry

The Jews of France have no future in their country because of Arab immigration and deep-seated anti-Semitism, said Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Sharansky made the declaration in Paris, where he was attending a Jewish Agency board of governors meeting held in the French capital for the first time as a sign of solidarity with its Jews.

“We came here because there are historical processes here,” Sharansky said of France, which for the past two years has been Israel’s largest source of immigrants, with a record-setting 15,000 Jews settling there during that period.

“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,” he told JTA.

Since 2012, Islamists have killed eight Jews in two shooting attacks that came amid hundreds of non-lethal violent assaults. A French citizen with alleged ties to Islamist groups is standing trial in France for a third shooting in 2014 at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in which four people died.

The violence is one of several factors behind the increase in Jewish immigration to Israel, or aliyah, from France, Sharansky said, along with French Jewry’s strong emotional attachment to Israel and France’s stagnant economy. (JTA)

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