Friday, October 13, 2006

French Jews flee Muslim antisemitism for Israel

Feature by Larry Derfner in the Jerusalem Post on the French Jews, mostly of North African origin, who are making aliyah:

"Yosef Ben-Zion, 60, who left the largely-Muslim Parisian suburb of Noisy de Sec two years ago and who now lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh with his wife and two children, said, "I started to feel that there was a real problem about 10 years ago. I started hearing the Muslim youth say 'sale Juif' as I was on my way to the synagogue. They used to throw rocks over the wall into the synagogue garden, and the police did nothing about it."

"The problems in Noisy de Sec didn't begin a year ago with the riots and car-torchings that engulfed the country; Ben-Zion's wife, Simcha, 50, recalls that in the years before they left the suburb, Muslim firebrands "would start preaching in the street - 'Beware of the modern ways, beware of the influence of the Jews.'"

"Yosef, who left Tunisia for France with his family around 1960, as North Africa was emerging from French colonial rule, says the Jews used to get along with the Arabs back in Tunisia, and also after they found themselves living next to each other as immigrants in France.

"Said Zana: "The younger Muslims who don't have a history of living with Jews are the problem, their parents got along well with Jews. It's unusual - the first generation of Muslim immigrants to France was integrated better than their children."

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