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Jews is News
France Reaps the Rewards of Anti-Semitism

Anti-semitism and economic sclerosis are both not new stories in France. If you happen to be caught by both—say, as a young Jewish French entrepreneur—you might consider leaving for greener pastures. As the Wall Street Journal reports today, thousands of French Jews are doing just that, as the country faces a significant brain-drain to Israel:

Last year, 6,961 French Jews moved to Israel, more than double the number who relocated in 2013, according to Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. More than 36% of those emigrants hold college degrees, 17% in engineering alone.

And the French government is aware of the problem:

When French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron visited Technion, the Israel Institute for Technology, this week he asked a group of students originally from France if they would ever consider returning home.

“For the holidays,” one student quipped. A computer-science major questioned whether France was doing enough to turn the page on a spate of recent anti-Semitic attacks.

[…] As Mr. Macron visits the DLD tech conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday—wrapping a three-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories—a large part of his mission is aimed at luring Jewish investors and talent back to France.

Young Jewish entrepreneurs face forbidding obstacles in France: economic regulations that are hostile to start ups and flexible business models; anti-Semitism on the street and in the suites; a slow growth climate that is bad for all companies, new ones especially.

And so many have moved to Israel—and the French government is now trying to woo them back. We give points to the French government for realizing the cost of the brain drain and trying to lure people back, but it won’t be easy; France is a hard country to leave and people don’t make that decision lightly. It would be much smarter for the government to work harder to correct the conditions that made emigration so attractive in the first place.

Historically, the flight of Jews is a harbinger of economic and social blight. Countries where Jews are uncomfortable are places where a lot of other things are going seriously wrong.

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  • wigwag

    ” It would be much smarter for the government to work harder to correct the conditions that made emigration so attractive in the first place” (Via Meadia)

    It can’t be done.

    In France, Jews are held in contempt by the right and the left. A not insubstantial number of the hundreds of thousands of unassimilated immigrants and their progeny who moved to France decades ago hate Jews and a not insubstantial number of very new immigrants to France were raised to hate Jews.

    All of this means that French anti Semitism is surely going to get worse not better regardless of what the French Government does.

    Anyway, why should the French worry? They’re about to be innundated with tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. I’m sure those refugees will be perfectly capable of filling all the high tech jobs that France needs filled.

    • johngbarker

      What is preventing French Jews from emigrating to the United States or is this happening?

      • Jonathan

        American immigration laws ? Some are emigrating, mostly people working in finance but not only. More are moving to French Canada. French people in general do not speak English at all, and many Jews have an easier time with Hebrew than English (and the existence of a huge French community in Israel also helps). But the main reason Israel is by far the first destination is simply Zionism. French Jews are overwhelmingly Sefaradim, who practice a traditional blend of Judaism that sees Zionism as an organic part of Jewish religion. They are natural Zionists. Let’s remember that 75% of Sefaradi and Mizrahi Jews live in Israel, most of the remaining 25% being the French Jews, on the other hand, only 30% of Ashkenazim live in Israel.

        • johngbarker


        • Ellen

          Totally right. The French Jews in the last 50 years also built a Jewish day school system that is explicitly Orthodox. 50% of all Jewish children in France in recent years attended this school system. The only group among American Jews who are comparable to this are the Orthodox, especially in the NY area. They view Zioinism in exactly the same way as the French Jews do, with the exception of the Satmar Hasidim.

          Sorry to liberal American Jews who distort Judaism to make it comfortable for them in America, but Zionism is an organic part of traditional Judaism. If you don’t think so, just pick up a translated Hebrew Bible and read it, for a change of pace. Every chapter in the Hebrew Bible projects a love of Zion as the central spiritual dynamic in Judaism, even though during most periods of history most Jews lived in the diaspora. That fact does not matter. The Land of Israel is the central object of Jewish longing, not anything else, and the aliyah of French Jews preferentially to Israel reflects this.

      • Martin Krossel

        I’m not sure that the long-term outlook for Jews is any better in the United States than it is in France. All of the discussion of “dual loyalty” during the debate over the Iranian nuclear deal exposed some very ugly sentiments within the elites that shape American public opinion. Without going into specifics because of space, let me just say I think that it has been possible to find of evidence of this elite antisemitism for a number of years. But the issue has not been widely enough discussed. Of course, I hope that I am wrong. I’m not saying that an outbreak of European style antisemitism is inevitable in the United States. But I very much fear that it could happen either in the US (where I now live) or in Canada (where I spent the first 41 years of my life.)

    • Ellen

      Exactly. And both the French right and left (although the left was much, much worse) have participated in the hypocritical hoopla surrounding the Palestinian issue for decades. It was profitable for them with the Gulf oil sheikhs promoting all this fake outrage, however it also fit into the zietgeist of France. They don’t like Jews who are unassimmilated, and they don’t like Israeli success. Well, too bad for them. They had their chance for decades, and decided to appease the Muslim haters instead, from the mobs in the streets to the Sheikhs in their palaces. Now, they will reap the irreversible consequences.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Much as I would like to blame the Palis and their enablers, this is a far, far older problem. Anti-Semitism in France has been going on quite actively long before anyone ever heard of the Palestinians or even petroleum, for that matter.
        Does the name Dreyfus ring a bell?

    • f1b0nacc1

      Thanks…you made my afternoon!

  • Kevin

    I’m shocked that only 36% are college graduates. Either they are not a representative sample of French Jews (more blue collar or older perhaps?) or the French Jewish population is much less well educated than I would have guessed.

    • Afrayedknot

      Perhaps some of that can be explained by the amount of emigrants younger than age 21-23, who have yet to finish college?

  • jfmoris110

    This makes me feel a little better about the Europeans getting overrun by the Muslim hordes. Hope you enjoy having your children groomed by pedophile “asians”, idiots.

    • f1b0nacc1

      What children?

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