“I am French, born in Paris, says Salome Roussel. “I’m thinking about moving to Israel, because French people are more and more against Jews. They say we are a lobby, that we are the masters of the world, and it’s not so!”
Roussel, 38, is not alone. Growing numbers of French Jews are not just thinking about starting a new life in Israel: Record numbers of them are taking action. Last year 3,120 French Jews moved to Israel, according to the Israeli Immigration Ministry, a jump of 63 percent on the previous year. They even outnumbered US immigrants to Israel.
Anti-Semitism and poor economic prospects were the most cited reasons for leaving.
Around half a million Jews live in France, so those 3,120 only make a tiny dent in the population. But they are indicative of a “bad climate for Jews in France” propagated by extremists, Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), told France Info.
Though they make up only 1% of the French population, Jews are the object of 40% of hate crimes. Figures released recently by the Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ), which logs anti-Jewish acts of aggression, show that Jews are far more likely than anyone else in France to be the objects of verbal abuse or harassment. The SPCJ logged 423 anti-Semitic acts, 318 “threats,” 49 acts of violence, 52 acts of vandalism, 3 arson attacks and one attempted homicide last year…