Mass Muslim immigration has destroyed French Jewry. Years of Muslim immigration from Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco has made life impossible for French Jews. Cities that had vibrant Jewish communities have been decimated. Jewish schools have become fortresses. Synagogues have become empty. In 2018, Jews are not able to walk the streets without being verbally or physically assaulted.
In the last few years, a number of Jews have been murdered by French Muslim citizens, including Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, who was stabbed 11 times, before she and her apartment were set on fire. The French government has shown tremendous incompetence and cowardice for not defending its country’s Jews, out of fear of offending its massive number of Muslim voters.
In the last 10 years, France has lost close to 10 percent of its Jewish population (500,000 strong) to Israel. In the coming years, France’s Jewish population will continue to shrink, since Jews will rightfully leave for Israel en masse. In the future, the center of French Jewry will no longer be in Paris, Marseilles, and Lyon, but Tel Aviv, Netanya, and Ashdod.
Of course, Israel will reap huge benefits from French Jewish immigration. Many of the French Jews who are immigrating to Israel are young, wealthy, and educated. They have degrees (especially medical degrees) in every field one can think of. Israel, a country that is among the most talented and brilliant countries in the world, is about to get a significant brain gain from the world’s third largest Jewish population. History will not be kind to the gutless and incompetent French government, for gifting some of its most talented citizens to Israel.
“We’ve invested a lot in the synagogue,” he says. “We’ve refreshed it. We’ve started many activities that have encouraged people to come back.”
Faced with a rise in antisemitic acts it was also necessary to reassure people that it was safe to come attend.
“Reinforced doors, reinforced windows, reinforced walls! Cameras!” says Rabbi Ilan Azagoury. “Why? Because there is aggression. There are opponents of Judaism. We will not mention them. But there are opponents! What do they want? They want to scare us? To terrorise us? So we’re afraid and run away? Is that what they want? What we hope is to continue. What we hope is to be able to live in France. The synagogue is brand new. We did not do that to leave. We did that to stay. ”
In the past fifteen years, the number of Jewish families in Bondy has fallen from nearly 500 to less than 200. The reasons for leaving are many, including marriage and work opportunities. But in recent years fear has been a major factor.
“We come in the morning, we never know what will be in the news,” says Norbert Allouche, a worshipper at the synagogue. “In addition, they’ve brought in to France this issue of the Palestinians. That’s not right. We live in France, we don’t live in Israel, for now.”
Another worshipper, Raphael Cohen, takes extra precautions: “I have to disguise myself to go to the synagogue because I can’t come with my kippa on my head. So I have to put on a cap… because there are some places here where people are really hostile to the Jewish community.”
That’s hostility that Armand’s son, Nethaniel, along with his older brother, painfully experienced last year. As they were driving home, wearing kippas, the pair were brutally assaulted by another motorist. Shouting antisemitic insults, the man forced them out of their car and attacked them with a saw. Nethaniel prevented the man from slitting his brother’s throat, but, ended up with a dislocated shoulder and severe cuts to his hand.
The 18-year-old says what saved him was the sport he has been doing with his father since childhood – Krav Contact. Armand is a teacher of the martial art, which is practiced by the Israeli army.
“If I hadn’t known how to defend myself, and I hadn’t known how to disarm him, I couldn’t have helped my brother. This sport saved me from dying with my brother,” says Nethanial, who now teaches Krav to his younger brother.
Since the attack, Nethaniel avoids wearing his kippa outside neighborhoods where he feels safe, as he does in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, where many Jewish families from the Parisian suburbs have resettled. Armand has a travel agency in the district and his son works there from time to time….
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