Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Undeterred by Rockets, 400 French Jews Made Aliyah To Israel Today
France has the largest Jewish community in Europe, but that may not be true for much longer as record numbers of French Jews emigrate to Israel.
A group of 400 French Jews are arriving in Israel this morning on two special El Al flights organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption. Even better, the group is largely composed of families with young children, including 195 minors and 18 babies according to the Jewish Agency.
Most of them are from the Paris area, which isn't surprising considering the assaults on Jews there. I imagine they would much rather face rockets in Israel with the IDF to defend them than mobs of Arabs attacking them on the streets of Paris with a government that apparently isn't overly efficient in protecting its Jewish citizens:
While aliyah from France has been steadily rising for several years due to economic stagnation and rising anti-Semitism, 2014 has seen a particularly dramatic rise. Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and The Jewish Agency expect more than 5,000 French Jews to immigrate to Israel by the end of the year - compared to 3,289 in 2013. Those figures are made all the more remarkable by the fact that 2013's figures themselves represented a full 60% increase in aliyah from France to 2012, when 1,917 French Jews moved to Israel.
That trend is continuing in 2014, with approximately 2,600 French Jews arriving in Israel during the first six months of the year alone, compared to 812 during the equivalent period in 2013.
Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky had a few remarks to make on the matter:
"Despite the rocket onslaught against the people of Israel, not one immigrant from France has canceled his or her arrival."
"More and more people are asking whether Jews have a future in France, but no one doubts that French Jews have a future in Israel," he added, and noted the significance of the fact that if aliyah predictions for 2014 are met 1% of French Jews will have moved to Israel this year.
"Within a single year, and for the first time in history, a Jewish community in the West is sending a full percent of its Jews to build their lives in the State of Israel. We await you in Israel with open arms."
Many of France's Jews have probably not felt welcome in their home country with those open arms for quite some time.
This time, the Jews have a haven, and they are coming home....
Even if you are scattered to the farthest corners of the earth, the Lord your G-d will gather you in and from there he will take you. Your G-d will bring you back into the land your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; And He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. - Deuteronomy 30:5 - 30:6