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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘French Jews’

Operation French Kiss: 200,000 French Jews Planning Aliyah

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

(JNi.media) Well before the November 13 Paris terror attack and the recent incidents in which Jews across France have been attacked by violent Muslims, many French Jews were already considering Aliyah to Israel, polling service Étude IFOP discovered in an extensive survey conducted last September and published this weekend in JSS News, a French webzine produced in Israel.

The survey offers a peek at the views of the French Jewish community, the largest in Europe and third largest in the world. According to the survey’s findings, as many as 43% of French Jews are planning to make Aliyah. As the commonly accepted figure for the size of the French Jewish community is 500,000, then Israel is about to be conquered by as many as 200,000 French Jews and Netanya would surpass Tel Aviv as the second-largest city in Israel.

At the same time, as many as 43% of French Jews are considering a move to countries other than Israel, the most popular of which are the UK, Canada and the US. It is possible, however, that these two groups might be the same group mulling several choices, while an estimated 57% of the Jewish community would still prefer to remain in France, but probably without a yarmulke.

A full 43% of the French Jews surveyed said they had been attacked for being Jewish, and 18% reported being attacked several times. 51% said they had been threatened for being Jewish and 63% had been ridiculed for the same reason. These figures should be particularly troubling for the French Jewish leadership, which last week attacked Marseilles Jewish community official Tzvi Amar who urged his members to take off their yarmulkes in the street, after Benjamin Amsalem, a local Jewish school teacher, was stabbed with a machete outside a synagogue.

According to the survey, as many as 59% of French Jews have family member who has migrated to another country recently.

Here is a cooling down fact: the survey was conducted among 724 French citizens who define themselves as Jewish and have at least one Jewish parent. So while the figures sound great if you’re a Zionist, and they may represent a trend, it’s probably too early to expect all these chickens to roost.

On the other hand, the fact that the survey was conducted in September, well before the explosion of terrorist and anti-Semitic attacks in France, it could very well mean that these numbers have only increased and that rentals in Netanya are about to climb sky-high.

JNi.Media

French Jewish Lawmaker Found Murdered Near Paris

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

The body of a French Jewish municipal councillor was found Tuesday morning at his apartment, stabbed multiple times and badly beaten according to police sources quoted by Le Figaro.

Alain Ghozland, 73, was described by the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) as a “prominent leader of the local Jewish community.”

Originally from Algeria, he lived in the heavily Jewish Paris suburb of Créteil, about seven miles from the French capital. It is also the town where a Jewish couple was attacked – and raped – by robbers in December 2014.

“People are upset. They do not know what to think and ask a lot of questions,” a relative told L’Express and other media.

He was found after his brother called police when he did not show up for regular shacharit morning prayers at their synagogue.

According to the report by Le Figaro, there were also signs of forced entry into Ghozland’s home, and that the apartment was ransacked. His car was also missing.

The family has raised the possibility that he was attacked due to his identity as a Jew. Judicial sources have said an autopsy is to be performed to determine the cause of death due to the attack.

Police have no leads as yet, according to L’Express.

Also on Tuesday, French Jewish community leaders began debating whether Jewish men in Marseille should remove their yarmulkahs when walking in public due to the rise in deadly anti-Semitic attacks. But the Chief Rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, nixed the idea and said, “We should not give in to anything, we will continue to wear the kippah.”

The debate came a day after a machete-swinging teenage terrorist stabbed Binyamin Amsalem outside a Marseille synagogue as he was walking to the Franco-Hebraic Institute, where he is a teacher of Jewish subjects.

The nearly 16-year-old attacker informed investigators when he was caught (about ten minutes after the attack) and taken into custody that he was “acting for Da’esh” (ISIS) and that when he is released, he will arm himself and kill police.

Hana Levi Julian

French Jewish Leaders Debate: Should Marseille Jews Wear A Kippah?

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

French Jewish men in the southern city of Marseille are being urged by some community leaders not to wear their yarmulkes in the wake of a terror attack on a Jewish teacher there Monday.

Tzvi Amar, head of the Marseille Israeli Consistoire, told the daily La Provence, “Not wearing the kippah can save lives and nothing is more important. It really hurts to reach that point but I don’t want anyone to die in Marseille because they have a kippah on their head.”

Amar acknowledged that many Jews would not agree with his views, but said he felt “exceptional measures are required “until better days.”

But French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia has firmly countermanded that advice and is urging the Marseille’s Jews — and in fact, those of the entire country — to continue wearing yarmulkas in public.

“We should not give in to anything, we will continue to wear the kippah,” the chief rabbi told the Jews of France.

Likewise, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association (EJA) urged French Jews on Tuesday to “remember the words of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.”

In his former position as Interior Minister, Valls had said in response to calls from the far right to ban the kippah in deference to the country’s secular nature: “Every religious has its rites and traditions; the freedom of belief, it’s the freedom to wear a kippah, to eat kosher and to practice religious circumcision… secularism wasn’t created as a weapon against others. The Jews of France can wear with pride their kippah – it’s the responsibility of politicians not to respond to such provocations.”

Margolin reminded, “We now look to the French authorities to consolidate their important commitment with demonstrable actions to safeguard the right of French Jews to wear their identity with pride.”

The attorney for Binyamin Amsalem, stabbed Monday by the machete-wielding teenager in Marseille, had grim words for reporters. “I had the feeling [he] wanted to decapitate me,” Fabrice Labi said his client told him.

Amsalem fought off his attacker with his arms and legs, and a copy of the chumash (Torah) that he was carrying. The terrorist had stabbed Amsalem from behind in the back of the shoulder, and on the hand during the fight.

The 16-year-old teen terrorist later told investigators once he was in custody that when he is released, he intends to arm himself and go out to kill police. He claimed to be “acting for Da’esh” (ISIS).”

Monday’s attack was followed by a second attack on a French Jew, this one in the heavily Jewish Paris suburb of Créteil, about seven miles from the French capital.

The body of 73-year-old Alain Ghozland, a city councilor originally from Algeria, was found Tuesday morning in his apartment, beaten and riddled with stab wounds.

Ghozland’s brother called police when he did not show up for regular shacharit morning prayers at their synagogue. Police said that so far they have no leads in the case.

Hana Levi Julian

Teen Stabbed Jewish Teacher in France ‘For ISIS’

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The teen terrorist who stabbed a Jewish teacher in France Monday told police he was “acting for ‘Da’esh’ (ISIS),” French prosecutor Brice Robin told international news reporters.

The attacker, who turns 16 next week, was an ethnic Kurd from Turkey who appeared not to be aware that Da’esh is no friend to the Kurds in Turkey and Syria. The two sides are fierce enemies and constantly fight deadly battles.

The suspect “has the profile of someone who was radicalized on the Internet,” said Robin at an afternoon news briefing. He is charged with “attempted murder on grounds of religion” and “defense of terrorism.” The teen terrorist stabbed the 35-year-old teacher outside a synagogue in the southern French city of Marseille as he was heading to work at the nearby Franco-Hebraic Institute.

The attack took place in the ninth arrondissement district, a well-known neighborhood that is highly populated with hareidi Jews.

The victim was stabbed with a machete in the shoulder from behind, and then chased by his attacker until apparently both of them fell. The teacher fought off the terrorist, using his arms and legs in addition to the religious text he was carrying, but was stabbed in the hand.

The attacker then fled. He was caught by the neighborhood Anti-Crime Brigade about ten minutes later.

“It seemed clear he does not have a full grasp of the fundamentals of Islam,” Robin told journalists at an afternoon news conference. He clearly understood the goals of Da’esh, however: the young terrorist-in-training told investigators that he would arm himself and kill police as soon as he is released.

Robin added that the young terrorist’s family was unaware of their son’s radicalization and believed he was a “good student.”

As for his attack on a Jewish teacher, however, Robin acknowledged, “It appears there was a form of premeditation,” with intent to kill his victim due to his faith.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was far more blunt, and addressed the obvious anti-Semitism with considerable vigor. In a tweet posted to the Twitter social network, Valls wrote: “The anti-Semitic aggression against a teacher in Marseille is revolting.”

French President Francois Hollande said authorities will fight “with the greatest firmness against anti-Semitism and racism.” He called the attack “unspeakable and unjustifiable.”

Hana Levi Julian

French Jews Breathe Sigh of Relief over Le Pen’s Defeat

Monday, December 14th, 2015

CRIF, the umbrella representative body of Jewish organizations in France, welcomed the results of Sunday’s French regional runoff elections in which the extreme right Front National of Marine Le Pen failing to win any regional presidency.

CRIF had called on voters to block the party after it won the first round nationally and claimed victories in six of the country’s 13 regions, the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported Monday.

EJP quoted a CRIF statement:

CRIF welcomes with satisfaction the citizen’s reaction which blocked the road of regions to the Front National. The strong citizen mobilization around the Republican values should be for the government and the entire political class an opportunity to effectively address the causes of growth of extremes.

The center-right Republican party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy won more regional presidencies seats than the ruling Socialist party of President Francois Hollande.

The Socialists contributed to the defeat of the National Front by withdrawing from the election contest in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie and in the South’s Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, where Le Pen’s niece was on the ballot.

Instead of splitting the anti-Le Pen vote with Sarkozy’s party, all the votes went to the Republican candidate.

EJP noted, “The Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has been several times convicted for racism and anti-Semitism. But her daughter Marine, who took over the party’s leadership, has distanced herself and the party from her father and his record.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US Treasury Secy Jack Lew Says French Jews Don’t Want to Leave

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Jews in France want to have their “gateau” and eat it too, according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who met in Paris with French Jewish leaders on Monday.

“What I heard was a real desire to stay in France and have France be a place where they felt safe,” Lew told Jewish media in a conference call from Poland. Lew was in Europe to lead a U.S. delegation to ceremonies marking 70 years since the liberation of the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz.

He said Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia and Union of Jewish Communities of France President Dr. Joel Mergui told him they “believe in France.”

Jewish leaders did not hide their communities’ mourning for losses resulting from the horrific terror attacks perpetrated earlier this month, Lew noted. But they had “deep convictions in the importance of the values they believe in, in France” as “we believe in, in the United States,” he told reporters.

The American official, who himself is an observant Jew, carefully avoided an mention of the controversial speech in Paris by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Grand Synagogue in Paris following the millions-strong unity march against terror.

Netanyahu and French President Francois Hollande – who had earlier requested the Israeli prime minister not come to the event in the first place – were both greeted by cheers from the crowd at the synagogue.

“Those who murdered Jews at a synagogue in Jerusalem and those who murdered Jews and [Gentile and Jewish] journalists in Paris are part of the same problem. We must condemn them and fight them!” Netanyahu asserted in his address.

But the Israeli leader also reminded those gathered that the Jewish homeland remained available as an option to Jews who wished to consider an alternative and move away from growing anti-Semitism in Europe, in France.

“Any Jew who chooses to come to Israel will be greeted with open arms and an open heart,” he assured those gathered. “It is not a foreign nation, and hopefully they and you will one day come to Israel. Am Yisrael Chai!” (“The people of Israel lives!”)

Netanyahu was roundly criticized for what was seen as an escape option to French Jews on the heels of one of the bloodiest terror attacks the community has seen. But there were no secrets that day: not one person in the building was unaware of the growing danger to the Jews.

At an Israel Bonds gala in Florida, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer bluntly defended Netanyahu’s speech. “I am proud that my prime minister made clear to all French Jews that while they have the right to be protected in France, they will be welcomed with open arms in Israel,” he said.

It is impossible to deny that anti-Semitism is rising dramatically in Europe in general and in France in particular. In the past year alone the figures have doubled with nearly 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents reported. More than 230 involved outright violence.

In 2014, 7,000 Jews left France; the majority decided to make their homes in the Jewish State. The Jewish Agency for Israel told media earlier this month it expects to see as many as 10,000 French Jewish immigrants by the end of 2015, if not more.

Oddly, Rabbi Korsia told the crowd at the Grand Synagogue during Netanyahu’s visit, “The French people has done its duty. Until now, we always felt isolated. But that is not the case anymore… Now everyone must assume his or her personal duty.” After reading the names of all 17 victims of the past week’s slaughter, the rabbi said, “What would France be without fraternity?”

Hana Levi Julian

Suddenly Everyone Wants French Jews!

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Israel is doing its part to let French Jews know they can and should come home to Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has said so explicitly, and this evening Building and Construction Minister Ariel said he would expand the settlements to absorb all the French Olim (immigrants) as he believes the Jews of France will want to live there.

France, on the other hand, is terrified of what a mass exodus of its Jews would do and mean for the country, both financially and morally.

The Prime Minister of France called on the France’s Jews this evening to not leave the country because of the terror attacks, according to Galei Tzahal.

The French Prime Minister said, “We in the midst of a war with radical Islam and are still under threat. We must stand vigilant.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/suddenly-everyone-wants-french-jews/2015/01/13/

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