by Moshe Cohen
Anti-Semitism in France is, unfortunately for the country's Jewish residents, a growing industry, says activist Avraham Azulai.
Anti-Semitism in France is, unfortunately for the country's Jewish residents, a growing industry – and French Jewish community activist Avraham Azulai, who is running for a spot on Jewish Home's Knesset list, is seeking to enter politics in order to pave the way for the many French Jews he expects to emigrate to Israel in the coming years.
“Jews are afraid to walk around in a manner that will allows someone to identify them as Jewish,” Azulai said of the French Jewish community. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, he said that “the many anti-Semitic incidents in the country, combined with the recession there, is a very unhealthy atmosphere. The Israeli government must take steps to enable and encourage French Jews to immigrate to Israel. I do not see a future for the Jews there; the 'exile of France' is about to end,” he said.
According to the Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF), citing figures gleaned from the French Interior Ministry, anti-Semitic attacks nearly doubled in France in the first seven months of 2014. A total of 529 anti-Semitic actions or threats were registered up to the end of July, against 276 for the same period last year, the group said.
The acts included violence against individuals, arson and vandalism, and "exacerbate the growing unease that oppresses Jews in France each day and overshadows their future", CRIF said in a statement.
Yet more worrying, the group added, is the appearance of new forms of violence against Jews - including attacks by organized gangs and the targeting of synagogues, as well as acts of vandalism against Jewish businesses and planned terrorist attacks.
Earlier this month, a Jewish family in Creteil, located east of Paris, were targeted in what police said was an anti-Semitic attack. Three men armed with a pistol and a shotgun stormed the home, breaking in and demanding money while shouting anti-Semitic insults. In a statement, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement quoted by AFP that the "anti-Semitic nature (of the attack) seems proven," adding that the assailants "started with the idea that being Jewish means having money."
Some 300,000 French Jews have made aliyah since the state was established. In 2014, almost 7,000 came to live in Israel, double the total recorded in 2013. Officials expect some 10,000 to come to Israel in 2015.
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