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February 12, 2016

Poll: Majority in France Believe Jews Responsible for Antisemitism

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Sixty percent of French citizens believe that Jews are at least partially responsible for rising antisemitism, according to a poll by Ipsos, a market research firm.

The survey, reported by The Jerusalem Post, is part of an 18-month study sponsored by the Fondation du judaisme francais (“Poll: Most Frenchmen believe Jews responsible for rise in anti-Semitism,” Feb. 2, 2016).

The poll also found that 56 percent of the country believe Jews have “a lot of power” and possess great wealth. Repeating another old antisemitic trope, 40 percent said Jews are “a little too present in the media.”

Thirteen percent of those surveyed said “there are a few too many Jews in France.”

For their part, many French Jews are expressing a growing interest in leaving the republic.

The Jerusalem Post notes another recent poll by the “Institut francais d’opinion publique, which pegged the number of French Jews mulling moving to Israel at 43 percent. Given France’s approximately 700,000 Jews, that translates to about 200,000.”

In 2015, nearly 8,000 French Jews made aliyah. By contrast, in 2013 less than 3,300 Jews moved to Israel. Figures from 2011, show only 1,900 French Jews immigrating to the Jewish State (“Au revoir and shalom: Jews leave France in record numbers,” CNN, Jan. 25, 2016).

Jews have increasingly come under attack in France.

On Jan. 9, 2015 four French Jews were murdered in Paris at a Jewish kosher deli by Islamic state sympathizers. In one week in June 2014, Jews were attacked in three different incidents in Paris, with the assailants using tear gas, axes and an electric taser (“Jewish teen wearing yarmulke tasered in Paris,” Tablet Magazine, June 11, 2014).

More recently, French Jews have been increasingly attacked in the city of Marseille. In January 2015, a fifteen-year old ethnic Kurd who supports the Islamic State terrorist group stabbed a Jewish school teacher, Benjamin Amsellem, nearly killing him. At his arraignment, the unnamed teenager said he was “ashamed” his attempt was unsuccessful (“Teen Jihadi ‘proud’ of attack on Jewish man in Marseille,” Times of Israel, Jan. 13 2016).

The Times of Israel reports that the attack was the third in as many months in the French city. “France’s Jewish community has grown used to living under the surveillance of armed soldiers around synagogues and schools,” the paper says.

As CAMERA has noted, antisemitism has been rapidly growing in Europe—anti-Jewish violence up forty percent in 2014, according to a study by Tel Aviv University. The majority of these attacks were in western Europe (“Violent antisemitic attacks up 40 percent—Where’s the Coverage?” April 21, 2015).

With the current trend of antisemitic violence in France—and a majority of the public willing to blame the victim—it may come as little surprise if French immigration to Israel increases in 2016.


Posted by SD at February 12, 2016 10:35 AM

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