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Will there be a mass exodus of French Jews after antisemitic party win?

The crowds celebrating the results after the elections in France, and holding Palestinian flags, in July 2024. (Photo: Screenshot from Israeli TV news)

French President Emmanuel Macron is likely wondering how he was outdone by a far-left antisemitic Labor party, which successfully garnered the most votes in the second round of elections on Sunday.

Already in the driver’s seat, Macron waged the risky bet that calls for new elections would bolster his centrist party, given the impending threat that the far-right RN (Rassemblement National) was gaining traction, getting a bit too close for his personal comfort. 

What Macron didn’t seem to factor into his thinking was the new reality on Paris streets, which rapidly spread in the wake of the Hamas October 7th massacre. Rather than sympathize with Israeli victims, who suffered the worst atrocities imaginable, the burgeoning Muslim population, which has rapidly taken over France as a result of lenient immigration policies since the 1970s, in order to provide manual labor, chose to side with Gaza.

Today, although official estimates place the Muslim population between 3-6 million, most any French citizen will say that a more accurate number would be around 20 million. Given that fast-growing sector, is it any wonder that Monday’s celebrations, of the far-left party win, spilled out into Paris town squares, where nothing but a sea of Palestinian flags were visible, completely dwarfing any French identity? 

Up until then, such a blatant act of Muslim nationalism, coupled with support for the Hamas terrorist regime, which, like it or not, has become the face of Islam, had not been the dominant voice. But now it is.

How did it come to this? One French activist, who sees these elections as "a betrayal of France’s fundamental values," casts the blame upon Macron who, “failed to defend those values in a strong way, making French politics more vulnerable to extremes.”

What had already become a fast-changing environment, necessitating outward-identifying Jews to adapt to the new sentiments, brought on by the manufactured libel that Israel’s defense of their citizens was nothing more than a convenient excuse to commit a full-on genocide, French Jews quickly sensed that nothing would ever go back to the way it was, and that, in order to survive in the country they called home, they’d have to forego kippa (skullcap) wearing, remove mezuzas (pieces of parchment inscribed with Torah verses, signifying a Jewish abode) from their doorposts and even calculate safer routes in which to travel, possibly avoiding the metro subway system.

That was months ago, but now, the election results have decidedly changed the trajectory to a normalization of pro-Palestinian fervor, replacing the French charm we all knew, conjuring up sidewalk cafes, while eating a warm, buttery croissant, followed by a stroll down the Seine. 

The message being sent, after these rattling elections is that France is now another Muslim stronghold which has been conquered and about to be governed by those who despise the Jewish population.

While it is ironic that the Left, which had always been associated with championing human rights, as opposed to the Far-Right, more known for their antisemitic leanings, has seen a stark reversal, which is why many Jews ended up supporting the RN party, because it seemed to take the strongest stand against intolerance of Jews.

Faced with the left-wing La France Insoumise (LFI) leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who campaigned on a pro-Gaza platform, represents a great threat to the nearly half million Jewish community that resides in France - already being blamed for the riots and “promoting the anti-Jewish climate in France, putting a target on the back of all Jews who support Israel.”

While the very complex process of coalition building still remains ahead, predicted to take several weeks to complete, French Jews are wasting no time coming to their own conclusions as to how this will likely impact their future.

One French woman, who already lives in Israel, but has kept her investment properties in France, is seriously considering cashing in before worse things happen, because the infamous stories of how Jews were financially cheated when trying to sell property in Nazi Europe, still remain fresh in the minds of many. 

Others are weighing their options, inquiring about Israeli citizenship and all that is required to be fast-tracked into the system. In fact, it is said that the overwhelming demands, being made of Aliyah agencies, are unprecedented and at a level with which no one can keep up.

Yisrael Beytenu political party head, Avigdor Liberman minced no words,” calling on Jews to flee France and make Aliyah before it is too late.” Stating that Mélenchon’s party “represents pure antisemitism and expresses a significant increase in hatred of Israel and antisemitism,” Liberman’s advice is for all French Jews to move to Israel. Along with Mélenchon are other far-left factions including the Green Party, Socialist Party, Communist bloc, with the support of many left-wing unions and NGOs, none of whom are great fans of France’s Jewish community.

So even if one far-left party doesn’t garner a majority, within the anticipated coalition, collectively, there is almost no doubt that a new French government will heavily lean towards its Muslim constituency, dramatically shifting away from other sectors which will not support this coalition. 

Although Macron came in second, in terms of votes, his bet surely didn’t pay off as he’d hoped. Now diminished in influence, his pro-business agenda, aspiring to boost the economy will likely be sidelined in favor of a more leftist plan of entitlements, raising taxes in order to pay for government subsidies, much of that going towards the Muslim community, and rewarding constituents.

Perhaps this has been the proverbial straw to break the camel’s back, when it comes to France’s Diaspora Jewish population receiving a much-needed wake-up call that it may truly be an opportune time for a mass exodus, leaving behind a country that has changed so much that it is no longer recognizable nor a place of safety for the next generation of Jewish children.

The sad part of this story, though, is that ordinary non-Jewish French citizens will have to bear the brunt of the new France, ruled by a party which has chosen to champion those who employ terror and violence as a means to an end. If there is a mass departure of Jews, French citizens will, in very short order, come to understand that their Jewish population was actually a safety net between them and the more radical element, which has succeeded in gaining prominence. That reality will be much to their regret as they, undoubtedly, become the new target of persecution.

A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.

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