French Jews under Seige! Help them Come Home to Israel!
Song for Israel is partnering with ICEJ to help Jewish people make "Aliyah" (a move to Israel). Please read their article written by David Parsons and Howard Flower below:
The dramatic terror attacks in Paris in early January have served as a sobering wakeup call to the world about the dangerous resurgence of antiSemitism in Europe. But for Jews in France and all across the continent, it was more a crushing reminder of the harsh reality they know has existed already for years now.
Long before the terror assault on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and the deadly hostage standoff at the Hyper Cache kosher supermarket in Paris left 17 people dead, one could visit Jewish communities anywhere in Europe and find a people under siege. Jewish synagogues, museums and community centers all have metal detectors and armed guards posted outside. Jewish schools and seminaries have become like fortresses.
If anything, the terror attacks in Paris have shattered any remaining sense of security for much of European Jewry. The hope that their governments could somehow protect them is vanishing.
But protect them from what?
Even with the public outrage and the mass ‘unity’ rallies in the wake of the Paris attacks, most world leaders are still unwilling to identify the real menace now stalking the Jews of Europe – the scourge of Islamic jihadism.
The rallies spoke out against both antiSemitism and Islamophobia – as if they were equally terrorising scores of innocent lives at present.
The rising threat now facing European Jewry is an extremely toxic mix. First, there is still much classical antiSemitism among native Europeans which induces them to vilify Israel as a main cause of Muslim extremism. Add to that the youth violence among the growing Muslim immigrant communities from North Africa and the Middle East. And now homegrown jihadists are returning from battle in places like Yemen, Iraq and Syria as trained militiamen seeking to hunt down easy Jewish prey.
No wonder then that Jews are starting to leave France in record numbers. French aliyah reached an alltime level in 2014 with nearly 7,000 Jewish people moving to Israel. It marked the first time in Israel’s modern history that the highest number of Jewish immigrants came from a Western country.
Jewish Agency authorities were already anticipating that number to double in 2015 to around 15,000. And that was before the Paris terror attacks, which are now expected to accelerate French Jewish aliyah even more.2/5/2015 French Jews under siege! Help them come home to Israel.
Last year, some 50,000 French Jews approached the Jewish Agency for information about moving to Israel. The week after the Paris attacks, another 2,000 Jews signed up to begin the aliyah process. Thus the Jewish Agency has asked the Christian Embassy to assist with funding for the huge influx of French Jews expected to come home to Israel in 2015.
The general perception is that most French Jews can afford the move to Israel. But the reality is that nearly three-fourths of the 550,000 Jews in France come from families that escaped to there from North Africa two generations ago and many still live in poorer neighbourhoods alongside Muslim immigrants that came from the same countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
So they are the most vulnerable Jews at present, and the least able to afford the expenses of moving to another country. And according to the Jewish Agency, it is Sephardic Jews in France which feel the least secure and are showing the most interest in making aliyah right now.
Over coming months, the ICEJ will be funding aliyah seminars, ground transport, flight tickets, absorption costs and other expenses involved in the immigration process. The Jewish Agency has estimated that the average cost for those who need assistance is $1100 per person.
So please give today to this urgent need. Help us bring home more French Jews, before it is too late!
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