Faith and Society News

Response to “Jews come home” call

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Attacks last summer in Denmark triggered calls from Israel’s Prime Minister for Jews to move to Israel, provoking protest from French and Danish leaders. The French PM asked the Jews living in France to ignore the calls while President Hollande says French Jews “have a place in France.”

“My message to French Jews is the following: France is wounded [along]with you and France does not want you to leave,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on French TV.

French President Francois Hollande added to this statement, saying that “Jews have their place in Europe and in particular in France.”

The French government’s statements followed the killing of two people in shootings in Copenhagen last year. Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated the statement he made after attacks in Paris in which four people were killed in a hostage-taking at a kosher shop.

“Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe. To the Jews of Europe and to the Jews of the world I say that Israel is waiting for you with open arms,” he said.

The French Prime Minister said he “regretted” Netanyahu’s words.

Later in the year in Frankfurt, armed guards were posted at synagogues throughout Germany for the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The tensions have been building in Germany since demonstrations against the previous year’s Gaza war exposed a clear anti-Jewish sentiment. Chants were heard that echoed from Germany’s darkest times.

Back in the UK a charity set up to protect Britain’s Jewish community recorded its highest-ever monthly total of anti-semitic incidents last summer.

The Community Security Trust (CST) said it was aware of 302 such events in July, compared to 59 in July 2013.

A third of July’s incidents involved “language or imagery relating to the Holocaust”, CST added.

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