|Tuerie au Musée juif de Bruxelles|
perpétrée par le Français Mehdi Nemouche
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has been the most outspoken of the European leaders who believe that Jews should remain in Europe. Jewish filmmaker Claude Lanzmann wrote an article titled, “France without Jews would not be France,” which Valls referred to the next day in a major speech at the French National Assembly. Valls said, “Claude Lanzmann wrote a wonderful article in Le Monde, yes, say it to the face of the world, a France without Jews is not France.” [...]
An alert observer might remark that there was a crucial admission lacking in all of these statements: “France is no longer France, since it let in, non-selectively, millions of Muslims from countries where anti-Semitism is rife.” These include immigrants from Algeria where 87% of those polled by the ADL expressed anti-Semitic views, Tunisia where 86% of respondents held anti-Semitic views, and Morocco, where 80% polled were anti-Semitic. One reaction to this mass Muslim immigration is that the extreme-right National Front is France’s leading party, according to many current polls. In the first round of the French departmental elections in March it came however after the conservative UMP party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
There is a second point such an observer could raise. Hypothetically, even if the entire Jewish community were to leave France, how much of an impact would that actually make on French society? The positions of the departing lawyers, doctors, journalists, politicians, philosophers, shopkeepers, artists, and so on would be filled up quite rapidly. We have seen extreme precedents for such a phenomena in Europe during the German occupation when many Jews were initially expelled from their jobs. However, such a massive departure of Jews would have a great symbolic impact on France’s image. In January, Valls said to journalists that France is a state where there is “territorial, social, and ethnic apartheid.” The departure of many Jews would add an additional dimension to France’s character as a failing democratic republic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also came out on the subject and said, “We are glad and thankful that there is Jewish life in Germany again, and we would like to continue living well together with the Jews who are in Germany today.” The psychological importance of the Jewish presence in Germany – comprised mainly of immigrants from Russia - is far greater in that country than in France, even though they make up a much smaller percentage of the general population. In view of Germany’s Nazi past, the presence of Jews serves as a major image-enhancer that today’s Germany is not only different in nature, but that it is a healthy democracy. [...]
The Europe of today is far from being the Germany of the 1938 Kristallnacht. At that time, the government was behind the anti-Semitic violence. Current European governments want to prevent anti-Semitic violence, however may only be moderately capable of doing so. If these aggressions – and in particular, the killings – were to increase, the departure of Jews from Europe would still be far from reaching a full exodus, even if the number of those leaving would likely be much larger than current figures. In the meantime, the remarks of the European leaders are welcome, despite their being, for the most part, exercises in rhetoric.