Wednesday

16th Jun 2021

French and German leaders urge Jews to stay in Europe

  • Europe has a Jewish population of around 1.1 million, most of them living in France (Photo: Eric Parker)

French and German leaders have urged Jews to stay in their countries, following a call by Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to emigrate to Israel.

“France is wounded with you and France does not want you to leave. … The place for French Jews is France”, said French prime minister Manuel Valls.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Valls: 'The place for French Jews is France' (Photo: Parti Socialiste)

He said he was “sorry” that Netanyahu called on European Jews to come to Israel.

The country's president, Francois Hollande, added on Monday “Jews have their place in Europe and, in particular, in France”.

Their statements came after a Danish synagogue was one of the targets of a shooting on Sunday and after a few hundred Jewish graves in a north-eastern French town Sarre-Union were vandalised.

The Danish attack saw Netanyahu say: “We say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters: Israel is your home.”

Israel is “preparing for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe”, he added, noting that it would be welcome.

Netanyahu’s statement was also countered in Germany.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said “we would like to continue living well together with the Jews who are in Germany today”.

“We are glad and thankful that there is Jewish life in Germany again,” noted Merkel.

Denmark's chief rabbi Jair Melchior for his part said he was “disappointed” by the call, telling journalists “terror is not a reason to move to Israel”.

“People from Denmark move to Israel because they love Israel, because of Zionism, but not because of terrorism. If the way we deal with terror is to run somewhere else, we should all run to a deserted island.”

Despite these appeals from government leaders, an increasing number European Jews have been leaving Europe for Israel, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel.

In 2014, almost 7,000 French Jews emigrated to Israel. The year before, the figure was 3,400. French Jews made up the bulk of the 8,640 western European Jews that moved to Israel last year.

Europe has a Jewish population of around 1,1 million.

Europe shocked by Copenhagen terror attack

Similar to the Charlie Hebdo terror in Paris, freedom of expression was the first target in Copenhagen followed by an attack on a Jewish community.

Opinion

Anti-semitism: An attack on all of us

Seventy years after the Holocaust, one in four European Jews hides their identity and many Jewish students need police protection, Israel's ambassador to the EU says.

Anti-semitism 'disturbingly normalised' in Europe

Almost 40 percent of European Jews contemplate leaving their home country because they no longer feel safe, and almost 85 percent say their number one concern in Europe is anti-semitism and racism, according to a new EU survey.

News in Brief

  1. China calls Nato statement 'slander'
  2. Israel bombs Gaza after Hamas responds to far-right march
  3. Kosovo and Serbia resume EU-brokered talks
  4. IKEA fined €1m for spying on French employees
  5. Markets snap up €20bn of new EU recovery bonds
  6. German court to test European Defence Fund legality
  7. Climate crisis may hit Europe's coffee and chocolate imports
  8. EU top court affirms national data watchdogs' power

German Greens face reality check amid CDU gains

Armin Laschet, Angela Merkel's would-be-heir after German's September election, said he would prefer to govern with the liberals - as the Greens continued their slump in the polls.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU and US make peace on trade before Russia summit
  2. Hungary passes anti-LGBTIQ bill ahead of 2022 election
  3. Prisoners, homeless, migrants, 'overlooked' in EU vaccine race
  4. EU must treat homeless as rights-holders, not criminals
  5. China officially joins Russia as a danger to Nato
  6. German Greens face reality check amid CDU gains
  7. EU Parliament wants Europe to take lead on sea-rescues
  8. MEPs urged to end gas-funding, fix cross-border projects rules

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us