In January, 2015, in response to a horrific terror attack in a kosher supermarket that did not target “a random bunch of folks in a deli,” France’s Prime Minister made the following comment: “France without Jews is not France.” 

When I was in London, we were invited to lunch (and dinner) by an amazing family. I sat next to a young woman who had left France to live in London. Today, I saw a statistic that said 25 percent more French Jews moved to Israel in early 2015 than in the same period in 2014.

When I was in Amsterdam, the increased security to protect Jews there was obvious. Sometimes it amused me; sometimes it saddened me. When France’s Prime Minister spoke those words back in January, I thought to myself that in some ways, they were very selfish words.


France…France…France…but what of the Jews?

What is best for the Jews in France…shouldn’t that be a consideration? I can understand why France would not want to be seen as Judenrein…and how much more insulting does it get when the reason that France would be void of Jews was not that some outside force came can murdered them all, as the Nazis attempted to do to make the world free of Jews…no, imagine the insult if the Jews themselves got up and left.

And what would be left in France if all those who feel threatened by this tide of hatred against Jews were to leave?

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

                  — Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

Who will speak for France…and Belgium…and England…and Holland…and Germany? I don’t know…

I do know that if the Jews are leaving France (and they are), it is because finally they have awakened. More and more, it is looking likely that the French will have to deal with what France will be like without Jews…as will, perhaps other places in Europe.

And if this will be the case, they have no one to blame but themselves.


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Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running since 2007. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write.