It can not go unnoticed, since a decade lots of Jews feel the pressure of the growing anti-Semitism and an aversion against the Divine Creator. Some even feel like it is again as in the 1930ies and the fear is great that Jews could be experiencing the most difficult situation they have encountered since the end of World War II.
The Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France is fully aware of the bad situation and the 11th president of it looks at the present situation with Argus eyes. For him the Western world may not neglect the reason why we can see such a record emigration by Jews from France.
For him the year that lies before us is one full of challenges.
I hear pre-conceived ideas and dogma along with populist statements from some, and totalitarian reactions from more radical minds.
he says, looking at our society which is suffering and facing a climate of mistrust. Many French people are afraid or angry and democracy is on the back foot. According to an IPSOS survey taken in November last year, 32% of French people think that other political regimes would be equally effective. They long for a world of times gone by, looking for scapegoats and sweeping changes. This want to find a guilty one we can find back at several occasions in the past and today in many countries all over the world where the far right is gaining popularity.
Racist and anti-Semitic comments creep up out of the sewers, meeting an indifferent response or emerge from the online echo chamber of Facebook friends. And where there are disgraceful comments, there is always someone ready to laugh, offer approval or justification.
When I take a step back, I am struck by a profound realisation: those in France who have a problem with Jews and Israel almost always have a problem with democracy, the rule of law and individual liberties. And vice-versa.
Following the murder of Ilan Halimi in 2006 and the massacre at the Ozar Ha Torah school in Toulouse in 2012, anti-Jewish hatred once again reared its ugly head in France on 9th January 2015 and thus reinforced the feeling of solitude and abandonment that had started to engulf the Jewish community.
Partly because of anti-Semitic violence that included hundreds of anti-Semitic incidents annually in recent years, and dozens of physical assaults, lots of Jewish brethren ans sisters found it wiser to look for other pastures.
Since 2012, attacks on Jewish targets by French Islamists in France and Belgium claimed the lives of 12 people. Last year, roughly 8,000 French Jews left for Israel — the highest number on record for any year, which made France for the second year straight Israel’s largest provider of newcomers.
We heard already of certain quarters which got French names, because so many French people came to settle over there. According to figures seen by AFP in total, 40,000 French Jews have emigrated between 2006 and the end of 2016.
“The aliyah (the act of moving to Israel) of French Jews has been significant over the last decade,”
said Daniel Benhaim, who heads the Israeli-backed group in France, and agreed that insecurity had been a “catalyst” for many Jews who were already thinking of leaving.
The French Jewish community is the biggest in Europe and is thought to number around 500,000 people. In the 1970ies there where also a lot of Jews in Antwerp, but their number has decreased a lot.
The Jewish communities form the Benelux and France were shocked in 2006 by the kidnapping and brutal anti-Semitic killing of a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, in the Paris suburbs, which was followed by a shooting in a Jewish school in the southwest city of Toulouse in 2012.
Two years later on 24 May 2014, in Brussels a gunman opened fire at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, killing four people. Three died at the scene; a fourth was taken to the hospital and died on 6 June. The attack is being investigated as terrorism by Belgian authorities. Several more threats followed on Belgian as well as on French Jewish sites, often coming from people having links with radical Islamists. By those terrorists many youngster felt called to do horrible things, not even afraid to carry loads of bombs from one place to another. Home made bombs but also professional weapons switched hands easily, to bring fear and terror in name of Allah.
It also did not help that the problems of the settlers in Israel and the relationship between Israeli and Palestinian governement did not progress in the good direction. The anti-Israel resolution of the UN being considered by Israel as a “no” to the possibility of peace. Israel having the impression the UN gave a sign to continue on the path of terrorism and incitement.
Since the attacks of November 2015 the West of the European continent came to realise that it is the whole of our society has come under attack. It is not just any more about Jews, Israel, Christendom, Belgium or France but the citizens their culture, freedom, way of life and world view.
All French people are now aware that they are at threat and we are slowly but surely regaining our position on the national stage. We have always been vigilant and concerned and now we continue to be so. We remain alert and know that we are still the preferred target of Islamist totalitarianism. Today, we are no longer indifferent targets.
said Francis Kalifat.
Some now may have come to think it is more a battle against Islam. they should know fighting against Islam is as wrong as fighting against Judaism or Christianity. the world has to see it are just a few extremists who make life difficult for a whole group of people. Because the Brussels attacks of March 22, 2016 and later the Marseille and Nice attacks the governments focused Islamic terrorists and people where more afraid of such further terrorist acts. This made that 2016 saw a net drop in anti-Semitic acts and threats: a 58% reduction compared with 2015, though anti-Islamic acts also dropped by the same amount.
Kalifat warned that nevertheless, anti-Semitism remains at a historic high. Jewish people, who represent under 1% of the population, remained a focal point of over 30% of all reported racist acts committed in France throughout 2016, being subject to 335 anti-Semitic acts and threats.
The tell-tale signs of anti-Semitism never seem to be far away.
Probably less Jews where victims of harassment because the Jewish quarters had everywhere soldiers patrolling. The increased police patrols also made lost of place less vulnerable, which can also be seen in the lesser amount of robberies.
Leaders of French Jewry may have expressed both relief over the defeat of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the presidential elections and concern over her receiving more than a third of the vote, they may not forget that those 11 million voters for the extreme right party can perhaps be only part of the many right wingers who would love all Jews and Muslims out of their ‘Catholic’ country.
Joel Mergui, the president of the Consistoire, was very fast to react on Sunday evening in a statement by his group, which is responsible for providing religious services to Jews to say he was happy with the result of Emmanuel Macron being elected president,
“which constitutes a veritable relief for all our nation and for the Jewish community of France”.
Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia, who is employed by the Consistoire, also spoke of his satisfaction from the vote. But in his statement, Korsia also referenced concerns over the support shown to Le Pen and those who would like to ban wearing Jewish and Muslim religious symbols in public, ritual slaughter and the provision of pork-free meals in school cafeterias, like they also have done in Belgium.
The ban for the religious symbols in the Belgian state schools is idiotic, because state-schools should just show they are free of any religious bias and that they are open to all sorts of religion. That ban is already some years in use by several Belgian schools and recently some complaints where made that elderly homes and prisons still provided pork-free meals. at first there was only a ban on ritual slaughter in private homes by ordinary citizens, but from 2017 onward there shall be a total ban of ritual slaughter in Belgium, which shall make it very difficult for religious Jews, Muslims and certain Christians to have kosher or halal meat from the own country. As long as importation would not be a problem, work of it can made that way, but it will also undermine the countries own economy.
Kalifat, who has lobbied intensively in favour of Macron in recent days, wrote optimistically on Twitter that everything starts now.
And that is what we can hope for … that a new start is made to bring non-Jews to come to understand why certain regulations are so important for the Jewish community, who want to put God’s mitzvot above the laws of man.
We only can hope that the new French president shall make work to bring Europeans of all sorts of religions together to live in peace and that he with the European Unions also shall try to get both parties Israel to come to negotiate directly in order to reach a point where they can live side by side in peace and security. All parties involved should recognise that as well as for Jews, Christians and Muslims, all having their faith build on the same root, our patriarch Abraham, that for all of them Jerusalem is a holy place. Real lovers of God, be them Jews, Christians or Muslims do know that Jerusalem in the end shall become the capital of the world. Therefore the lovers of God should also stimulate their politicians to get the political groups around the table to find a good solution for reconciliation and lasting peace.
I would love to see that all shall be able to come to believe that big picture Mr Kalifar wished to reiterate
that Israel is a democracy, a State respecting the rule of law and a country of freedoms. It is a democracy which has held 5 general elections since 2003 and now counts 13 Arab members among a total of 120 in the Knesset. This State, which respects the rule of law, is also home to a Supreme Court and judges whose independence is renowned and rulings are just. It is a country where all are free to practice or change religion, or indeed not to follow one at all. It is a country where Jews, Christians and Muslims are afforded access to their holy sites within the ancient city of Jerusalem. June 2017 will see the 50th anniversary of that freedom. Previously, and for centuries, Jews could do no more than dream of and pray for as much.
Please read also:
- January 2015 Île-de-France attacks
- November 2015 Paris attacks
- At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
- Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting
- Knife-trust in democratic sore back
- Brussels bombings
- Mediterranean bloodshed
- 2016 Nice attack
- 14 Year Old With Sack Full of Bombs Seized in Belgium
- Danny Dannon Complete Smackdown of the Anti-Israel UN Resolution
- Another 5,000 Jews quit France for Israel
- ‘French Jews experiencing worst situation since 1945’
- January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
- Hamas the modern Philistines
- 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
- The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
- Donald Trump after declining numbers of people victimised for their religion managed to increase the numbers again
- Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017
- Beware of Jews
- French Jews worried over Le Pen’s success in presidential vote’s 1st round
- Natan Sharansky (Jew) : There is no future for Jews in France
- French Jews ‘relieved’ Macron won but worried over Le Pen’s electoral gains
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