Where should Jews call home? Upset at Netanyahu for calling on Jews abroad to “come home,” some European leaders have countered with their own call for Jews to remain.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on world Jewry to “come home” to Israel, specifically in the wake of a recent wave of terror attacks against Jewish targets across Europe and the attack on the Copenhagen synagogue on Saturday.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, however, insists that Jews belong in Europe and specifically in France, where anti-Semitism has spiked dramatically in the past few years.
“My message to French Jews is the following: France is wounded with you and France does not want you to leave,” AFP quotes Valls as saying. “I regret Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks … The place for French Jews is France.”
Valls’ statement came just a day after several hundred Jewish tombs in France were vandalized.
He was echoing a statement he made right after the terror attack at the Hyper Cacher market in which four French Jews were murdered by a Muslim terrorist. Not only did Valls declare then that “France is a failed republic if Jews leave,” he lamented that without Jews “France will no longer be France.”
Denmark’s envoy to Israel, Jesper Vahr, reiterated Valls’ message, stating, “The solution for the Jews of Denmark is not to leave in the wake of the terror attacks…We will do everything in our power so that the Jewish community in Denmark feels safe.”
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt also suggested Danish Jews had no reason to emigrate.
“The Jewish community have been in this country for centuries. They belong in Denmark, they are part of the Danish community and we wouldn’t be the same without the Jewish community in Denmark,” she said.
Also countering Netanyahu’s call for Jews to move to Israel, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is “glad and grateful” to have Jews in Germany. “We’d like to go on living well together with the Jews who are in Germany today,” Merkel said.
In the meantime, Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) from France has more than doubled.
The year 2014 “saw a dramatic increase in Aliyah from France with the arrival of 7,000 new immigrants, more than double the 3,400 who arrived in 2013 and triple the 1,900 who came in 2012,” according to Jewish Agency figures. The French Jewish community is the largest in Europe and the third-largest in the world, after Israel and the United States, with some 500,000 Jews.
By: United with Israel Staff
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