French Jews, as all the newspapers say, are afraid; they are going away, leaving for Israel and making Aliyah, the “ascent” to the land of their people. By now, French Jews on track to leave are already 7.000 against the 4.000 of the last year, and that by the end of this year their number might rise to 20.000. The situation is not different in the United Kingdom; also in Italy the Jewish emigration has increased, and the same goes for Germany.
More than panic, it is all about loathing and concern for one’s own children. The anti-Semitism now sweeping Europe, which has just been cleared of the horror of the Shoah, makes us lose faith in the human nature. However, France is unique: a French citizen is always “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”, as well as the baguette.
So, when Bibi Netanyahu, who attended the huge anti-terror rally in Paris with other world leaders, solemnly showed the French Jews the way home, the way to Israel, pointing it out as a possible safe haven for all the Jews, the audience broke into the Marseillaise, and not into the HaTikva, the “Hope Song”, Israel’s national anthem, right after he had concluded his address. The decision to leave France is a tough one for French Jews; still, many of them are taking it. They have been so brave to resist on the banks of the Seine during all these years of hatred.
The attack on the Hyper Cacher market has just been the final blow. By now, there is nothing left to do: the Jews do not live well in France anymore, and certainly this is not the first time, although now there is a lot of vacuous confusion around them packing their bags, a lot of controversy about their right to choose the path leading away from so regal an identity.
As the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, the tragedy of the French Jews will also be the tragedy of France itself. They are the biggest community in Europe, between 500.000 and 600.000 Jews, more than a half of the total number of European Jews, they are present in every social class, some of them came from Arab countries, and they often are in good economic conditions, sometimes problematically mixed with Arab immigrants in some neighborhoods.
On July 13, in the 11th arrondissement, a parade of protesters, many of them former North-Africans Arabs together with their allies from the extreme left, besieged the Synagogue in Rue de la Roquette shouting “Death to Jews”. The 200 Jews that were there had to barricade themselves inside the Synagogue while, in this new “Kristallnacht”, the attackers armed with knives and clubs tried to break in and assault the Jews inside in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The escalation in Paris had similar moments all over the world: in London, Berlin (where the protesters shouted “Jew, coward pigs, come out and fight”), Sydney, Boston, and Santiago. But in Paris, since the Intifada of 2000, and as the Muslim presence has progressively made France its major nest, every kippah, every Star of David, became the target for beatings and insults. In 2006, the violence became homicidal when a young 23-year-old boy, Hilam Halimi, was abducted and then found in a junkyard after being tortured to death by the Islamist group “Les Barbares”.
Six years later, in Toulouse, the 23-year-old jihadist Mohammed Merah murdered a 30-year-old rabbi, his two children and another 8-year-old girl in front of the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school. After Merah’s attack, other assaults and threats against Jews followed in Toulouse. Another French jihadist killed four people in the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium.
Then, while the actor Dieudonné Mbala Mbala led the radical negationist and anti-Zionist anti-Semitism in France, the attacks, the destruction of cemeteries, the assaults to restaurants and Synagogues continued until the Hyper Cacher attack and its four victims. The Jewish schools became campsites for soldiers defending children, and the Synagogues have been closed.
The French people were the first to emancipate the Jews in 1791, and then they supported Vichy, which abolished their emancipation and deported 76.000 of them in the concentration camps.
Their very strong ideology, which resents religion, is third-worldist, globalist, and has identified the love for Israel with a form of particularistic provincialism, of religious zealotry for which the Jews are always guilty of the persecutions imposed on them. Professor Robert Wistrich, a worldwide authority on anti-Semitism, cites a famous issue of the Express published last August: while the Jews were suffering a sequence of brutal attacks, it blamed them because they wanted to emigrate like traitors and cowards. And even Islamophobes, of course.
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (January 13, 2015)