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‘France has no future for Jews’ - French Jews express concerns after far-left election wins, surging antisemitism

Israeli politician calls on French Jews to immigrate to Israel - ‘There's no time’

People attend a demonstration against antisemitism at the Place de la Bastille after three teenagers aged 12 to 13 were indicted in Courbevoie, accused of rape and antisemitic violence against a 12-year-old girl, in Paris, France, June 20, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Johanna Geron)

The announcement of election results in France’s snap parliamentary elections on Sunday night revealed a challenging reality for many in the country: The parliament is almost evenly split between left and right parties.

The far-left New Popular Front (NFP) party, which won the most seats, is a coalition of political groups united primarily by their opposition to the far-right National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen.

However, it is not just the general French population that is concerned; French Jews, in particular, are left wondering about their future as the rise of the far-left appears to coincide with an increase in antisemitism across the country.

Prominent Jewish leaders in France began reacting to the results on Sunday evening, with some seeing the election results portraying a bleak future for Jews in France. 

French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy said the left is “once again kidnapped by the infamous Mélenchon.”  

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the far-left La France Insoumise (LFI), which is part of the NFP alliance, recently began making more antisemitic statements. 

After the elections, French-Jewish journalist Yohann Taieb wrote on 𝕏: “Mélenchon’s victory is a terrible signal of impunity sent to the anti-Jewish Islamo-Fascists.” 

Even before the election results were in, some leading Jewish figures had begun to advise the younger generation of Jews to leave France. 

Last week, Chief Rabbi Moshe Sebbag of the Grande Synagogue of Paris advised Jewish youth to immigrate to Israel or “a more secure country.” 

“It is clear today that there is no future for Jews in France,” Sebbag told The Jerusalem Post last Monday. “I tell everyone who is young to go to Israel or a more secure country.” 

Yonatan Arfi, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), called for a coalition of moderate parties to exclude Mélenchon’s LFI party. 

One point illustrating the concern regarding the LFI's relationship to Israel is it's refusal to label Hamas a terrorist organization.

Danièle Obono, a member of LFI's leadership, referred to Hamas as a “resistance movement” even after the atrocities committed in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Arfi also opposed Le Pen’s RN party due to its historically antisemitic past, despite efforts by Le Pen to repudiate the antisemitism of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the party. 

"The fight was against the extreme right and extreme left," said Arfi. "We need to raise awareness among the moderate left that it will not be acceptable to be in a coalition with Mélenchon.” 

During a party meeting on Monday, right-wing Israeli politician Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, echoed Rabbi Sebbag’s call for French Jews to immigrate to Israel

"I call on the French Jews to leave France and immigrate to the State of Israel. There is no time," Liberman said.

He also criticized Mélenchon, saying, “His party represents pure antisemitism and expresses a significant increase in hatred of Israel and antisemitism.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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