Photo Credit: Minister Ofir Sofer / Telegram
Israeli Aliyah and Absorption Minister Ofir Sofer speaks at an aliyah fair held Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Paris.

By 1 pm Paris time, 1,045 people were already there. Young families, students, those before enlistment age and after; everyone was there at a huge Aliya fair held Sunday in Paris.

Aliyah and Absorption Minister Ofir Sofer made a point of personally attending the event to meet the aliyah applicants intending to immigrate to Israel.


“The truth? Even veterans of the Jewish community in Paris have never seen such a high response,” Sofer said on his Telegram channel.

“The families I met at the fair told me that for many years they debated whether to immigrate to Israel, and precisely now, after the surprise attack by Hamas on the seventh of October, they decided that they had to immigrate to Israel. They must be in this historical period in the state of the Jewish people.”

Of course, the skyrocketing number of antisemitic incidents in France might also have something to do with it.

Daily Jihad in France

Official statistics show that every day in France, there are on average 120 knife attacks, many of which result in death, according to a report written by Guy Millière.

“Anti-Semitic attacks in France are also becoming ever more frequent, and have exploded since the atrocious attacks in Israel on October 7 by the terrorist group Hamas,” he wrote.

“In 2022, there were 436 anti-Semitic acts officially recorded in France. In the few weeks between October 7 and December 1, 2023, there were 1,518 anti-Semitic acts recorded, many of them physical assaults. From examining the police reports, done by the French National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, BNVCA, it is sadly clear that all of them apparently came from Islamic anti-Semites.”

With the outbreak of the ‘Iron Swords’ war, the number of people opening aliyah applications has jumped by some 430 percent — totaling some 1,200 people.

At the end of the fair and on his way to meetings with leaders, heads of communities, young students and those with families, Sofer told those present at the fair that their immigration stems first and foremost from a genuine desire to demonstrate solidarity with the State of Israel in practice and immigrate to the land precisely at this time.”

That is undoubtedly true, but perhaps their solidarity was encouraged by the rising antisemitism that threatens their existence in France.

Don’t be surprised if Jews in the United Kingdom are next to arrive.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.