Sharon: French Jews must move to Israel

By WND Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agrees with the recent suggestion of a French Nazi hunter who says it’s time for France’s Jews to pack up and move to Israel immediately.

Sharon told a meeting of the American Jewish Association in Jerusalem that Jews around the world should relocate to Israel as early as possible.

But for those living in France, he added, moving was a “must” because of rising violence against Jews there.

His comments echoed those of Serge Klarsfeld, a prominent French Nazi hunter, who said recently conditions in France are so bad, the best way to keep up the fight is to leave the country.

France’s foreign ministry said it had asked Israel for an explanation of the “unacceptable comments” by Sharon.

Some French Jewish leaders also said Sharon’s remarks were unhelpful.

“These comments do not bring calm, peace and serenity that we all need,” said Patrick Gaubert, of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism. “I think Mr. Sharon would have done better tonight to have kept quiet.

“It’s not up to him to decide for us,” said Theo Klein, honorary president of Crif, which represents French Jewish organizations.

France has suffered a wave of anti-Semitic attacks coinciding with renewed fighting in the Middle East.

“We see the spread of the wildest anti-Semitism” in France, Sharon said.

The French government reported earlier this month that it had recorded 180 incidents of attacks or threats against Jews or Jewish-owned property since the start of this year, according to the Post. Most of those incidents were attributed to an increasingly violent second- and third-generation Muslim population.

With 6 million Muslims and 600,000 Jews, France has both the largest Muslim and Jews populations in Europe.

Although the numbers fell last year, over 2,500 French Jews immigrated to Israel in 2002, double the number a year earlier and the most since 1967.

Klarsfeld, 68, escaped deportation to the death camps by hiding in a closet; he spent the decades following the war in Paris as the leading Nazi hunter in France.

Earlier story:

Time for Jews to leave France?