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Sunday, March 12th

Is this the end of French Jewry?

The circumstances are different, but the end results are just the same. The underlying results being the renewed wave of anti-Semitism and what to do about it; this time is France and against the French Jewish community.

I was struck last week by the emailed plea I received, asking me and others to sign a petition to the US government to allow French Jews entry as refugees to the US !!

And once again the Jewish community in France is asking the same questions their German predecessors must have asked during the 1930's Nazi Germany; should we stay or should we leave?

In 1930, the answers also varied, the disbelief shared by all was "we live in a civilized country, we are Germans afterall ..." and yet when push came to shove the boatload of refugees who decided to leave, was turned away from one port to another and wound back to Germany once more to a certain death.

Was this petition a preemptive move to safeguard against this implausible scenario from repeating, in our day and age? Is this really a signal for the end of French Jewry? Will this also be true for the rest of the European Jewry? Is this really the acid test for Israel's "raison d'etre"?

I for one, would like to believe that this dire scenario is not going to materialize. I for one would like to see the European Jewry decide on fighting this battle in Europe and not leave; no one should have to right to chase us away from anywhere or any longer. We should make our stands in every town in France, be it Sarcelles or Paris, French Jewry need to dig in and not walk away for the wrong reasons.

The differences between what is happening now and the way events unfolded in 1930's are, now the European, and in this case the French, governments are not the one to motivate this anti-Semetic outburst against its Jewish communities and are invariably trying to address it; some more aggressively than others.

Finally, it is an easy pulpit speech on my part; I do not live in France neither do I live in Europe; and while my heart goes to each and everyone one recently hurt and their families, by this wave of anti-Semitism; I pray that each Jewish community in Europe will stand up as one to defend their rights to "be", to "live" and to "exist" in the safety of their own countries and as full vested citizens of their respective countries.

Israel Bonan

The End of French Jewry?
by Gabrielle Birkner
After the horrific murder of Ilan Halimi and three subsequent anti-Semitic attacks, pressure to flee growing for some, and dismissed by others.


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Israel Bonan on 03.12.06 @ 06:06 PM CST [link]


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