40,000 Jews Have Fled France In 10 Years Amid Rising Anti-Semitism

REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Around 5,000 French Jews emigrated from the country in 2016 after a series of attacks on the community.

A total of 40,000 Jews have left the country since 2006, according to figures released Monday. A majority of Jews move to Israel, but at least 10 percent return to their home country at a later point. France has the largest Jewish community in Europe with approximately 500,000 residing in the country.

Daniel Benhaim, the head of an Israeli-backed group in France, cited insecurity as the “catalyst” for most people leaving.

“The aliyah (the act of moving to Israel) of French Jews has been significant over the last decade,” Benhaim told news agency AFP.

The figures were released on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, which claimed 12 lives. A gunman killed four people at a Jewish market the same day in a related incident.

A young Jewish man was brutally killed after getting kidnapped in 2006 in Paris. Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old man of Algerian descent, killed seven people during three separate shootings in March, 2012, in the city of Toulouse. The attacks were aimed at French Muslim soldiers and Jewish civilians.

Anti-Semitism is also on the rise in other European countries. Four people were killed during a 2014 shooting at a Jewish museum in Brussels.

Another person died when a man opened fire against a synagogue in the Danish capital of Copenhagen the following year.

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