Jews who have lived peacefully in the suburbs of Paris are now having to move to other parts of the country or head for Israel to escape anti-Semitism.
When Alain Benhamou walked into his apartment near Paris in July 2015 and saw the words “dirty Jew” scrawled on the wall, he knew it was time to leave.
It was his second such break-in in less than three months and the 71-year-old no longer felt welcome in Bondy, a Parisian suburb he had called home for more than 40 years.
“Until the years 2000-2005, the town was nice and quiet, with 250 to 300 Jewish families and synagogues full on the Sabbath,” Benhamou says.
“Now, only about a hundred Jewish families remain.”
Benhamou is part of a growing number of French Jews who have effectively become internal refugees, fleeing insecurity and seeking protection in numbers in an atmosphere they say is increasingly hostile, and often expressed in relation to conflict in the Middle East.