Muslim anti-Semitism spurs Jewish exodus from Paris
The changing demographics in the Seine-Saint-Denis suburb – which is now more than 40 percent Muslim – on the outskirts of Paris is making it nearly impossible for French Jews to live without fearing for their lives – as Muslims continue to take over neighborhoods and spread anti-Semitism.
Islam in, Judaism out
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe condemned the “well-rooted” open hostility shown toward French Jews, as an accelerated exodus from the northeastern fringe of Paris has been taking place for more than a decade.
“This ‘internal exodus’ is difficult to quantify, but it is clear that many synagogues of Seine-Saint-Denis have closed, for lack of people,” the Paris commuter newspaper 20 Minutes reported. “In Pierrefitte, the rabbi has recorded a 50-percent decline in the congregations since his arrival 13 years ago. A similar story is told in (nearby) Bondy, where attendance on Yom Kippur – the holiest day of the Jewish calendar – has fallen from about 800 to 400 in the last decade.”
The president of the Bondy synagogue says that the exodus of French Jews has been driven by the “deteriorating climate” that he has witnessed over the past 15 years.
“It’s hard to explain – it’s provocations, it’s looks,” Bondy expressed, according to Breitbart. “There are places where we do not feel welcome.”
This is basically the same story that was shared by Rabbi Moshe Lewin of nearby Raincy a year prior, when he lamented over the fact that he could very well be one of the last Jewish leaders in all of Seine-Saint-Denis.
“What upsets me is that in some areas of France, Jews can no longer live peacefully, and that just five minutes from my home, some are forced to hide their kippas (skullcaps) or their Star of David,” Lewin shared, according to another Breitbart report last year.
And the year before this, French Jews were also recorded as “not feeling welcome” wearing their traditional kippas in the streets of Paris.
“[Paris is now a city] where keffiyeh-wearing men and veiled women speak Arabic on every street corner, [but where] soldiers are walking every street that houses a Jewish institution,” journalist Zvika Klein discovered in 2015.
BNCVA President Sammy Ghozlan, who heads the Jewish communal security organization in France, warned of the dire circumstances in which the remaining Jews find themselves.
“[It is vital] not to underestimate the anti-Semitism we experience on a daily basis,” Ghozlan told 20 Minutes. “For a long time, Jews were targeted through their symbols – today, people themselves are targeted directly.”
Even though the largest Jewish community in Europe still resides in France – at approximately 500,000 people – it is quickly diminishing because they increasingly feel that Israel is the only place left that can ensure their safety.
“The 5,000 departures in 2016 add to the record 7,900 who left in 2015 and 7,231 in 2014,” Breitbart Jerusalem informed in a separate report. “In total, 40,000 French Jews have emigrated since 2006, according to figures seen by AFP.”
No longer isolated violence
Whereas violence against French Jews used to be a rarity, the tide of Muslims into the country has made such incidents more and more common in recent years.
“In the Parisian suburb of Bagneux, someone recently vandalized the memorial plaque for Ilan Halimi – a young Jew who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a ‘barbarian gang’ in 2006, just for being a Jew,” the Gatestone Institute reported last month. “At the time, it was France’s first case of murderous anti-Semitism in many years. After it, Islamists murdered Jews at a school in Toulouse and a kosher supermarket in Paris.”
The local daily Le Monde reported that French Jews are now “internal refugees” because of the Muslim migration into France.
Numerous anti-Semitic attacks are now reported throughout France, as those who believe in jihad look to wipe out their Jewish neighbors.
“French Jews are now not only threatened in their synagogues and schools, but in their homes,” Gatestone’s Giulio Meotti informed. “A Jewish family was recently held hostage, beaten and robbed in their home in the suburb of Seine Saint-Denis. Before that, a retired Jewish doctor and schoolteacher, Sarah Halimi, was beaten and thrown to her death from her balcony, in the Belleville district of Paris. The man who murdered her, while yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘Allah is Greater’), was a Muslim neighbor. Two Jewish brothers were recently attacked on a Paris street by men wielding a hacksaw and shouting ‘You dirty Jews! You are going to die.’”
Many Muslim migrants have made it clear that Jews are not welcome in the neighborhoods they are taking over.
“Recently, ‘Paul’ received a letter containing death threats in his mailbox at Noisy-le-Grand,” Meotti added. “The note said, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and contained a 9mm bullet. The next day brought [a] second letter. That one said, ‘You will all die.’ This time it contained the bullet of a Kalashnikov rifle. Many Jewish families, warns Le Monde, are under pressure. In Garges-lès-Gonesse (Val-d’Oise), young Jewish men who had built a temporary autumnal hut (a sukkah) in the yard of their synagogue were attacked in the neighborhood by people shouting, ‘Dirty Jews.’”
The latest demographic figures show that Muslims are taking over French regions and displacing Jews quickly.
“In Seine-Saint-Denis, 40 percent of the inhabitants are now Muslim,” Meotti divulged. “The result? Historical Jewish communities in towns such as La Courneuve, Aubervilliers, Stains, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, Trappes, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Le Blanc-Mesnil and Saint Denis are now vanishing.”
As more and more Muslims filter into France, less and less Jews remain.
“Because of the lack of security, in places such as Courneuve – where there were 600 to 700 Jewish families – there are now fewer than 100,” Meotti noted. “In a suburb south of Paris, Kremlin-Bicêtre, with a population of 25,000 people, 25 percent now are Muslim. Until 1990, 10 percent of the population was Jewish; now it is 5 percent.”
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