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The Oldest Hatred
Jews Flee France as Global Anti-Semitism Rises

Jews are leaving France and heading for Israel in record numbers this year. Reports the AFP (by way of Yahoo):

The Jewish Agency for Israel, a global body responsible for the immigration and absorption of Jews into Israel, said 1,407 people left France for Israel between January and March [of this year] against 353 people a year earlier.

“We will not finish the year with four times more the number than in 2013 but if the current rhythm continues, there will be more than 5,000 French people leaving for Israel, something that has never happened since its creation in 1948,” [Ariel Kandel, the head of the Jewish Agency’s French chapter,] said.

Kandel told AFP that the reasons for the hike in numbers were a “climate of anti-Semitism” and the prevailing gloomy economic situation in France.

The news comes just as the Anti-Defamation League (a group dedicated to combating anti-semitism and other forms of prejudice) releases a survey of global attitudes toward Jews. According to the League, this was the largest survey ever conducted on anti-Semitism, comprised of “53,100 interviews in 96 languages.” It found anti-Semitism to be a persistent, world-wide phenomenon, says the WSJ:

[…] 26% of respondents [in 101 countries and the Palestinian territories] agreed with at least six of 11 negative statements—what its sponsor called stereotypes—about Jews. The questions included “Jews are more loyal to Israel than [their home] country,” and “Jews have too much power in the business world.” […]

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa, which generally have a contentious relationship with Israel, have by far the highest proportion of people responding with anti-Semitic views, with an average of 74%, the survey found.

Outside that region, Greece had the highest percentage, with 69% of the people surveyed affirming six or more of the anti-Semitic statements. Anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice tend to rise during times of economic hardship, and Greece has been struggling with a downturn. The extremist party Golden Dawn, which has blamed Jews and other minorities for the country’s woes, has made significant inroads there.

The U.S had one of the lowest levels of anti-Semitism of the countries surveyed, with only 9 percent of people affirming more than half the statements. Troublingly, 66 percent of all respondents had either never heard of the Holocaust or didn’t believe the historical record.

The findings don’t tell us whether anti-Semitic attitudes are on the rise, only that they are global and persistent. But if the growing number of French immigrants arriving in Israel is any indication, Jew-hatred is hardly in decline.

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  • Anthony

    Human psychology of Us and Them not constrained by geography (global population variables). Lines are drawn and discrimination (in this instance anti-semitism) follows. Understanding various facets of impetus to Us versus Them captures reality of minimal group dynamics which attitude of Jew-hatred is subset.

  • Andrew Allison

    Jews have, unforgivably, been scapegoats for problems not of their making for millenia. It’s an indictment of so-called “civilization”. I should perhaps add that I’m a cured Anglican agnostic. The French should be ashamed of themselves for not utterly refuting Antisemitism. It might be worth thinking about the fact that most adherents to the second most-widely practicised religion in France (Islam) are also Semites.

    • B-Sabre

      Ironic to be sure, but as far as I know, “anti-semitism” by practice refers to actions against Jews and practioners of Judiasm, who may be generations out of the Holy Land, while actions against Muslims or others of Middle Eastern descent is either generic “racism” or “islamaphobia.”

  • lukelea

    How much of the Antisemitism in France is from Muslim immigrants and how much secular and Catholic?

    • Corlyss

      A large part of it is Officialdom’s refusal to deal with Muslim thuggery. This is true of the Netherlands as well. Back 10 years ago, a heartfelt article appeared in Commentary by an American Jewess who had emigrated from Nixonland to France, became a resident, married a Frenchman, raised their children as French-Americans, when suddenly in the late 90s she realized Paradise had run off the rails. She wrote about officials who told Jewish victims of Muslim violence to stop doing things that annoyed the Muslims, refused to follow up on crime reports, lied about incidences, dismissed Muslim behavior as “cultural disagreements” instead of labeling it anti-Semitism. The sour environment had forced many of her Jewish friend to leave and she was considering picking up the family and repatriating to the US. I believe she eventually did return. The article is behind a paywall so no point in posting a link, and too long to post in its entirety here.

    • rheddles

      Those Mohammedans were behind the Dreyfuss prosecution, right?

    • Breif2

      “The anti-Semitism rating is only 8 percent in the United Kingdom, but jumps to 37 percent across the English Channel in France. ”

      Significantly more widespread than Muslim “immigrants”, then. I’ll grant you that a majority of violent antisemitic incidents are likely committed by Muslims, but then Corlyss’ point is also valid: French authorities often haven’t full-heartedly combated these incidents, either out of cowardice or out of a feeling that the victims are “only” Jews.

    • f1b0nacc1

      During WWII, the Germans had a joke that if you needed to round up 100 Jews, you went to the nearest French town and asked for 50.
      French anti-Semitism has a long and dishonorable history, and it predates the Muslim invasion by centuries

    • Andrew Allison provides the answer. In short, the biggest problem is France’s historical antisemitism. Hard numbers are hard to come by because, as Corlyss points out, the (antisemetic) French police do not actively prosecute Muslim-on-Jew hate crimes.

  • Corlyss

    It’s only gotten worse since the early 70s when the phenomenon identified by Bat Y’eor, an Egyptian Jewish scholar residing happily in Switzerland, as “dhimmitude” began to make inroads into European society. It all started with the PetroArabs negotiating separately with each European nation rather than the collective so they could demand great concessions of the nations on issues dealing with the Palestinians. One of the key features of their negotiating tactics was that they were never satisfied. If a nation agreed to x, thinking it would appease the Arabs, the Arabs would return the next day with additional demands, for 2X, and when those were agreed to as well, the Arabs would repeat the process. In the end, the Europeans’ need for oil trumped any reservations about their concessions. Apparently nothing was too extreme for the Arabs to demand and receive.

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