The French Jewish Quandary - What to do, What to do? A Follow Up

I have received quite a bit of feedback regarding a recent Jerusalem Post blog article:

 In my mind most of the feedback was not constructive, but in the off chance that I did not adequately explain myself the first time around, let’s take another bite of the apple:

Proposition - We are all here because we are Zionists, that is we all harbor a deep affection for this Land.  So how is it that anyone, who is not delusional, propose that Frenchmen not make Aliyah and that French-Israeli citizens return to their previous homeland, that despite being Zionists themselves?


1. In just a few days, citizens of France will elect a new President.  It will either be Marine Le Pen or Emmanuel Macron.  There are no other choices.

2. If Le Pen is elected, French Jews will immediately and directly come under fire.  She has stated that the wearing of a yarmulke in public will be prohibited.  Likewise, Israeli Frenchmen will not be able to retain their dual citizenship.  They will have to choose between France or Israel.  Because in France there is a clear separation between church and state, unlike the kippa and the citizenship issues, it will take some doing to abolish kosher slaughtering and circumcision. But these religious practices will surely be at risk.  Le Pen’s far right populist party has a history of anti-Semitism and its supporters should not be expected to be lovers of Zion.

3. If Macron is elected, the threat of Islamic terrorism will certainly increase.  One reason that this so is because Macron advocates an open immigration policy.  He would cut red tape issues as the apply to asylum cases.  The result will be that France will be more attractive to Muslim immigrants.  And the more Muslims, the more terror.  Macron is ambivalent on terror, whether home grown or imported.  He has said that vigorous action would be taken to combat Islamic radicalization, but he has given little insight into what that action may involve.

4.  What this comes down to is that French Jews are between a rock and a hard place, no matter who is elected to be the next president.  What makes matters worse is that French law enforcement is not what it should be.  Last week an elderly Jewish woman in Paris was being severely beaten in her apartment by a deranged Muslim while three policemen stood by in the street knowing what was happening and doing nothing to help.  While still alive, the poor woman was thrown out of the apartment into the street below and she died.

5. We have a rule stated in Leviticus 19:16 – that we do not stand idly by when the blood of our neighbor is being shed.  לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל-דַּם רֵעֶךָ

French Jews living in Israel should be pro-active and help their brothers and sisters living in France.  You do not do that by sunning your derriere on some beach in Netanya.  You go home and make your voice heard.  If you have IDF training, you apply your experience in support of the La Ligue de Defense Juive.

 6. Perhaps most significantly is a concern among potential French immigrants that they will not be able to find employment in their professional field or maintain their standard of living in Israel.  This is the economic reality for Frenchmen making Aliyah.  Professional accreditation in Israel of French doctors, pharmacists, and technicians is not easy.  There is no package similar to the ones offered to immigrants from the former Soviet Union.  Jobs are few and far between.  Housing costs are prohibitively high.

 It’s not just me blowing smoke.  The President of the Qualita umbrella organization for French immigrants to Israel, said that Jews in France were hearing from their friends and family members who emigrated to Israel not encouraging them to come and have even warned them from coming.

 Upon their arrival in Israel, French immigrants encounter bureaucracy and many difficulties in finding jobs that fit their professional skills which they obtained in France.  Israel does not recognize a host of French diplomas, including those of optometrists, opticians, physiotherapists and tax consultants.

 This is a stumbling block to aliyah,” Ariel Kandel, the Jewish Agency's  chief of operations in France “As it stands now, I need to advise people in those professions not to come.”

 Conclusion - What more can I say?

Michael may be contacted at mick,