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The French disconnection--a quarter of the Jews in France are considering leaving
Jewsweek ^ | 5-28-03 | Maria Sliwa

Posted on 05/28/2003 11:59:32 AM PDT by SJackson

More than a quarter of the Jews in France are considering leaving in the wake of the serious attacks targeting the country's Jewish community. Maria Sliwa on what's being done to help the situation.

At 21 she is an intern for the French House at Columbia University in New York City, and says she is afraid to return to France because of the pervasive acceptance of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews in her country. Soussan is Jewish.

There are about 5 million Muslims and 650,000 Jews in France, the largest number for both communities in Europe. Most of the attacks on Jews occur in Paris suburbs and other neighborhoods where Jews and Muslims live in close proximity.

"Since the French, Jewish and Muslim communities are both the largest, it is not surprising that misinformation and lack of education can lead to anti-Semitic hate crimes in France," Laila Al-Qatami, spokesperson for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination League, said in a recent e-mail. "As documented by the recent national report on hate crimes in France, these quadrupled in 2002, with over half the attacks aimed at Jews."

The outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada on September 28, 2000 sparked a wave of Middle East related anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, with the largest number of European anti-Semitic attacks occurring in France: 1,300 recorded since 2001, the highest level since World War II, according to the Wiesenthal Center.

At the same time there has been an increase in the number of Jews leaving France to live in Israel. According to Israeli government figures, 2,556 French Jews immigrated to Israel last year. This is double the number a year earlier and the most since the 1967 Six Day War. Though the Jewish Agency in Paris said these figures were "more about protecting Israel than fleeing France," a recent poll published by the JTA Global News Service said that more than a quarter of the Jews in France are considering leaving in the wake of the serious attacks targeting the country's Jewish community.

As incidents increased, many French Jews gave up calling the police and claim authorities are downplaying anti-Semitism. Instead, they are logging complaints with the SOS Truth and Security Organization, a grass roots group established in Paris by a former police commissioner. Data on the incidents is compiled, analyzed, and published by the Wiesenthal Center.

"Though a lot of Jews in France feel very French, they also feel abandoned by their government because the officials have not acted strongly enough to stop the violence," says Soussan, who will return home to Paris in June.

"The French government is doing what it can. There have been anti-Semitic incidents in the past, and unfortunately there will likely be more again," Emmanuel Gagniarre, of the French Embassy in DC said in a recent interview. "Most of the time these incidents are the deeds of young people of Arab and North African descent, who live in the rougher neighborhoods, in the suburbs of big cities, with the backdrop and international environment that is not very conducive to peaceful relations."

Early last month, Agence France-Presse reported that Jacques Chirac called for the "utmost vigilance and firmness," in the face of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic acts, noting he was worried that the war in Iraq would spark further tensions between Jewish and Muslim communities in France. Around the time of Chirac's statement, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy publicly briefed police officials on the new "double zero tolerance" security legislation against racism and anti-Semitism just passed by the government. As part of this new regulation, demonstrators will not be allowed to carry flags with swastikas and other anti-Semitic, non-neutral symbols. The French police also recently announced the formation of a new unit to investigate racist and anti-Semitic crimes, and stepped up police protection at synagogues and Jewish schools.

This was not the first time officials acted according to Gary Ratner, executive director of the American Jewish Congress West Coast Region.

Ratner met with members of the French government last summer to discuss concerns over the country's rising tide of anti-Semitism. He praises the work of Sarkozy and says that during these meetings, Sarkozy not only made commitments to crack down on anti-Semitic acts but also followed through on his promises.

"There was a beefed up police presence at Jewish institutions," Ratner said during an interview. He also noted a decrease in the number of incidents.

But Soussan says Sarkozy and government officials are not really tackling the problem: "They are not taking preventative measures at all, but rather wait for something to happen first and then act."

Anti-Semitism is not new to France. "France never purged itself of anti-Semitism, just hid it," said Daniel Pipes in a recent e-mail. Pipes, an expert on militant Islam, was recently nominated by President Bush to serve on the board of the US Institute of Peace.

"It is important to remember that Muslim anti-Semitism is different from Christian anti-Semitism and is relatively new for France in modern times," Toni Kamins, author of The Complete Jewish Guide to France, said in an e-mail. Both Pipes and Kamins say that of the two, Muslim anti-Semitism is more likely to erupt in violence.

Social and economic factors may be to blame. Today, many of the Muslim families from North Africa live in grim, drug-infested high-rise suburbs on the outskirts of French cities. Their community lacks cohesion and is split within itself by ethnicity, history, religiosity, politics and class. Kamins says Muslims are regarded with fear, suspicion, and hatred by many French; and while Jews were eventually accepted into French society, Muslims are not. "Unemployment among Muslim immigrants is high, education is an afterthought, access to mainstream French society is nearly impossible, and being arrested for suspicion of this or that is common," Kamins says.

Experts note that these impoverished Muslims feel they have become the victims of institutionalized racism, and see the Jewish community as more affluent and better integrated than they are.

Some Muslim experts blame the violence on the growth of radical Islamic movements. Dr. Gilles Kepel, a Muslim and director at the French Centre for Sociological Research, explained during an interview with an Arab weekly magazine, Ain-Al-Yaqeen, that a majority of these radical movements are the result of an alliance between poor urban Muslim youth, the Muslims of the petite bourgeoisie, (who feel marginalized and excluded from political privileges), and those he calls the "bearded engineers," or graduates of state universities, who distort the broad tenets of Islam to serve their political needs.

Other French Muslims, like deputy mayor of Sannois in Val d'Oise, Rachid Kaci, encourage the cultivation of an Islam that is cut off from the foreign influences of extremism, and are outspoken against anti-Semitism.

These radical movements are encouraged by various cooperating associations, Kaci says. Fundamentalist proselytizers diligently work the housing projects and the prisons in France for new converts. With monies obtained from Saudi Arabian subsidies, and donations from a sincerely openhearted and pious community, the Union of French Islamic Organization (UOIF) appeals to the unemployed North African Muslims in the ghettos, providing an alternative social-service network that is often better than the French one.

At the same time, the U.S. has also experienced an increase in reported anti-Semitism. "There were 1559 anti-Semitic cases reported in the U.S. last year, which is up eight percent from the year before. Many of the events grew out of anti-Israel demonstrations on campuses," Aaron Brietbart, senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in an interview. The Anti-Defamation League also reports an increase in pro-Palestinian rallies across the country, which the ADL says go far beyond legitimate criticism of Israel to promote anti-Semitic hatred and anti-Israel sentiment.

Extremism may be a factor of increasing anti-Semitism worldwide. According to Pipes, every militant Islamic organization across the globe preaches anti-Semitism, many in public, some more discreetly: Nearly all refer to a battle to the death with Jews. The assassination of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, for example, was filmed by Islamist executioners who forced him to look into the camera and confess his Jewish origin before they beheaded him.

"This way of thinking has damaged the Islamic religion over the years more than it has served it," Kepel says. He predicts a decline in extremism will give way to a generation of Muslims who will free themselves from Islamic movements, and will open up a new era for Islamic society, which he calls "the era of Muslim democracy."

Ihsan Alkhatib, an immigration attorney and doctoral student of international relations in Dearborn, Michigan, says the issue of Israel has created tension between Arab Muslims and Jews almost everywhere.

"Jewish support for Israel is due to tribal solidarity, regardless of the merits of the case," Alkhatib said in a recent interview. "The animosity displayed against Jews by the French Arabs or Muslims is also due to tribal solidarity or 'Assabiyeh.'"

Al-Qatami notes that there have been hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs as well in France, following the September 11, 2001 attacks. She is hopeful that the recent actions by the French government, including the formation of a Muslim National Council, will "serve to prevent future hate crimes for all the citizens of France."

In the wake of the violence, Kamins encourages Jews not to remain silent. "France is the third largest Jewish community in the world," she says. "It is important that the Jewish community of France assert their rights for protection. Pressure from other governments should also be exercised."

Maria Sliwa is a graduate student of journalism at New York University.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: france; frenchjews; judeophobia

1 posted on 05/28/2003 11:59:32 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
A French Jew is an oxymoron.
2 posted on 05/28/2003 12:02:09 PM PDT by widowithfoursons
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To: SJackson
If France won't protect Jews, Israel will; in one way or another.
3 posted on 05/28/2003 12:05:34 PM PDT by thinktwice
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To: SJackson
Other French Muslims, like deputy mayor of Sannois in Val d'Oise, Rachid Kaci, encourage the cultivation of an Islam that is cut off from the foreign influences of extremism, and are outspoken against anti-Semitism.

I'll bet he sleeps with his back to the wall, he probably needs bodyguards to go to work.

4 posted on 05/28/2003 12:05:57 PM PDT by Mister Baredog ((They wanted to kill 50,000 of us on 9/11, we will never forget!))
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To: SJackson
What took you so long?
5 posted on 05/28/2003 12:12:30 PM PDT by latrans
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To: widowithfoursons
Like the white farmers in South Africa and Rhodesia. Better get out while they still can.
6 posted on 05/28/2003 12:12:33 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: SJackson
"Unemployment among Muslim immigrants is high, education is an afterthought, access to mainstream French society is nearly impossible, and being arrested for suspicion of this or that is common," Kamins says.

Then don't stay in that horrible, prejudiced country, go back home!

Oh wait, their Muslim homelands are even worse than France; in fact, every Muslim dominated country is worse than even France. Allah's lands are places that people try to leave, not immigrate to.

7 posted on 05/28/2003 12:13:49 PM PDT by xJones
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To: SJackson
The handwriting is on the wall, and it's good that many French Jewish can see it in time. The non-Jewish French will destroy their own "culture" with the Muslim immigration, but Jewish French shouldn't be there to suffer.
8 posted on 05/28/2003 12:17:48 PM PDT by xJones
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To: SJackson
The karma associated with this travesty is astounding. The cowardly french are so protective of their unique gallic history, and so desirous of keeping it pristine, yet in their disgusting poltroonery they give it all away. I'd pity them, but as surrender monkeys, they deserve no pity.
9 posted on 05/28/2003 12:18:53 PM PDT by 68 grunt (3/1 India, 3rd, 0311, 68-69)
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To: SJackson
Muslims feel they have become the victims of institutionalized racism, and see the Jewish community as more affluent and better integrated than they are.

1- Any distrust of Muslims is not racism, if anything it is a bias against a religion, not a type of people. But crying 'racism' always gets attention.

2- If Muslims from oil-rich countries are not affluent, they should see their Imam and ask why. As for being 'integrated', that only requires civilized, non-homicidal behavior. Past cultural and scientific accomplishments are not enough.

10 posted on 05/28/2003 12:21:53 PM PDT by Sender
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To: SJackson
I can't even imagine the outrage that would occur if the Jews marched and preached violence towards muslims.

I had recently watched a program about an American journalists who traveled to muslim countries trying to find out why so many muslims were becoming terrorists. Anywho, he was sitting with a group of college kids from Egypt when a girl spoke up and expressed her concern with so many Americans equating terrorism with muslims. This American journalist surprised me when he said that Americans do equate terrorism with muslims because it was muslims who attacked our country on 9/11. She was not happy with that response but I was laughing in total agreement and shock. The journalist also went on to say had the terrorists been Norwegian(sp?), we would be in Oslo hunting terrorists down at this very moment.

I do have to admit that my sympathies lie with the Jews and not the muslims. Muslim terrorists have way too much support and sympathy from all corners of this earth and IMHO, that is why we still continue to have terrorist problems. It's not the Jews who are boarding planes and flying them into buildings.....and it's not the Jews who are dancing in the streets when muslim terrorists murder thousands of innocent civilians.

Sorry....had to get that out!
11 posted on 05/28/2003 12:28:31 PM PDT by Arpege92
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To: SJackson
Looks lide France is a "goat nation". See Book of Rev. if you dont get my meaning.
12 posted on 05/28/2003 12:42:25 PM PDT by fish hawk
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: fish hawk
Looks lide France is a "goat nation".

Yes, and Judgement Day is coming. The surest milestone of decline of a nation is hatred of the Jews. That is in accordance with the promise of Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

14 posted on 05/28/2003 1:16:58 PM PDT by happygrl
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To: Haber
Please tell them to come to SC; we need people who are willing to contribute to society, not willing to sponge off of it.
15 posted on 05/28/2003 1:54:47 PM PDT by MissEdie
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To: Sender
What three concepts first come to mind with the term "Arab", or "Muslim" is used?

1. Hijacking
2. Suicide bombers
3. Jihad

They have nothing to contribute except overpopulation and death.

Let's just get it OVER WITH. Take the leash off Israel. Take off our own leash. Follow Ann Coulter's advice and invade, and convert.

Otherwise this sorta crap will never, ever, ever, end. Never, ever.
16 posted on 05/28/2003 2:48:54 PM PDT by Stopislamnow
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To: SJackson
My advice to French Jews: leave, and take your assets with you. Once you're gone, the Marxists and Muslims will have no one to pick on but each other.
17 posted on 05/28/2003 2:55:44 PM PDT by Imal (There's a Marxist born every minute)
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To: SJackson
Every Jew who leaves France just makes room for another islamofascist. France soon will learn the wisdom of being careful about what is asked for. Bon apetit'......
18 posted on 05/28/2003 3:10:58 PM PDT by tracer (/b>)
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To: SJackson
Even Orientals now living in France are planning on leaving with won ton abandon.....
19 posted on 05/28/2003 3:13:35 PM PDT by tracer (/b>)
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To: Haber
"The Jews would bring their talents and their religion, their love of freedom and their great generosity."

Yes, but will they be willing to learn Spanish??

20 posted on 05/28/2003 3:15:26 PM PDT by tracer (/b>)
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To: Haber
"Only when they have all gone will Europe truly know what she has lost."

Indeed. And those who ignore the lessons of (German) history are doomed to repeat them.....

21 posted on 05/28/2003 3:17:39 PM PDT by tracer (/b>)
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To: SJackson
Why leave so soon?
I'm sure the French will arrange trains for them when the time comes... they have before. < /s>
22 posted on 05/28/2003 3:18:42 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (WWJCD? What would Jeff Cooper do?)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: SJackson
Jews (conservative ones) are my personal favorite cultural group. Bring them over here, we could use more.
24 posted on 05/28/2003 3:20:54 PM PDT by Dead Dog (There are no minority rights in a democracy. 51% get's 49%'s stuff.)
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To: Arpege92
You must be in a politically correct, conservative-repressed environment to think you have to be "sorry" for getting that out. It all sounded pretty straight-up rational to me.

Personally, I will become tolerant of Islam when there are churches and synagogues in Mecca, Medina, Riyadh, Islamabad, Karachi, Cairo, Khartoum, and similar locales, and the locals aren't trying to burn down the structures and kill the attendees.

Until then, I'm really intolerant of this evil, totalitarian, dictatorial, murderous political system masquerading as a religion.
25 posted on 05/28/2003 3:24:07 PM PDT by FreedomPoster
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To: Haber
Agreed. I learned this when I visited Spain a few years ago.....
26 posted on 05/28/2003 3:26:13 PM PDT by tracer (/b>)
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: SJackson
Since history is known to repeat itself.....

I'd leave France to the snooty French and their ever-growing Muslim population, whom they either embrace or fear --- doesn't much matter either way. France is anti-Semetic.
29 posted on 05/28/2003 3:30:56 PM PDT by onyx
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: SJackson
The French have been strong anti-semites since the 1870's (the Dreyfus affair made it public). They were especially attracted to the Nazi view of Jews and did all they could during the horrendous Vichy period to send the Jews to Nazi extermination camps. Now, the French cater to the 5 million resident Algerians, most of whom hate the Jews. Added to this sad history, it becomes obvious that the French are naturally anti-semite.
31 posted on 05/28/2003 4:26:06 PM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: Haber
The Spanish/Portuguese Jews, pre-Inquisition, produced probably the most brilliant society the Jewish people have ever known, so I guess they would...And, yeah, yeah, I got the joke. ;)

In reading one of Morrison's bios of Columbus I couldn't help but note the delay caused fitting his fleet by ships transporting the newly expelled Jews. I've no doubt some of the cartographers, astronomers, and mathematicians who made Columbus's discovery possible were on board.

32 posted on 05/28/2003 4:27:08 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: Haber
By that time though the Eastern and Central European Jews had the definite edge. +++
They produced Karl Marx the communism. They introduced the terrorism in Russia in the end of 19 century.
Surprised? Jews was terrorusts too. Great deal of it.

They participated in so called "russian communism" and ruled Bolshevick party. So called because ethnical russians fought against them. Alexadr Solzhenitsin had written every good novel about that.
35 posted on 05/28/2003 5:57:48 PM PDT by RusIvan
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To: FreedomPoster
A Catholic church in a muslim country!!!! LOL
36 posted on 05/28/2003 6:46:28 PM PDT by Arpege92
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To: happygrl
}Yes, and Judgement Day is coming. The surest milestone of decline of a nation is hatred of the Jews. That is in accordance with the promise of Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

There is no question that "Judgement Day is coming". But the link to Genesis is a shakey one.

God was not talking to Jews because there weren't any. Genesis 12 was addressed to Abram who was later renamed Abraham, but Abraham was neither an Israelite nor a Jew. There were no Jews at that time, there were not even any Israelites. There would not be any Jews for another 1,500 years or so.

37 posted on 05/28/2003 7:13:04 PM PDT by DensaMensa (He who controls the definitions controls History. He who controls History controls the future.)
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To: tracer
The French deluded themselves when they thought that Arabs who came to France would become French.
38 posted on 05/28/2003 7:43:44 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: Arpege92
I'm not likely to become tolerant any time soon.
39 posted on 05/28/2003 9:06:58 PM PDT by FreedomPoster
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Haber
It is a sad but typical Russian custom, like those of other virulently anti-Semitic nations, to blame Jews for the crimes for which they themselves are guilty. +++

Ok if there are slightest bitter truth then you use usual weapon. Cry anti-semitism. I have jewish relatives you know.

What I said wrong? Karl Marx wasn't jew? Or jews didn't rule the Bolshevick party of Lenin? Who was Trotskii, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Sverdrov then? They was most prominent figures in bolchevick party but there was lot of more.
Read Arhipelag GULAG of Solzhenitsin.

The million Jews who fought for Russia during World War II might as well as been fighting for Hitler for all the gratitude they got. +++

Gratitude? It was war for survival. No wonder jews fought. Hitler came for them after all too.

You can deny the brilliant and unique gifts of the Jews if you like;++

What I denied? Yes I know about many scientists of jewish decent in other countries. But I wait when Israel produces even more.
It is controversial so. There was lot of jew scientists with world recognition in other countries but I don't see many in Israel today. Tell me some names of first class scientists from Israel please?

I know many educated jews in Russia who would never go to Israel. They live in Russia and they feel good. So much for anti semitism.
41 posted on 05/29/2003 2:18:05 AM PDT by RusIvan
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To: Haber
Russia has jewish autonomus region in her consist. The territory are bigger then Israel in 10 time.
It is not ME but still jews have a place to live. The New Ierusalim so to speak.
http://www.eao.ru/index_e.html

Even USA didn't do that to her jewery. Accually none did that for jews. Not bad for "virulently antisemitic nation"?:))

42 posted on 05/29/2003 4:03:12 AM PDT by RusIvan
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To: Haber
You are correct about it being a European thing, but the French were shown to be especially good at being anti-semites and turned in a lot of unfortunate Jews to the Nazis.
43 posted on 05/29/2003 7:15:28 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: Dead Dog
Jews (conservative ones) are my personal favorite cultural group. Bring them over here, we could use more.

Mine too..except the one's from New York.

I absolutely cannot figure out how "those people" think.

44 posted on 05/30/2003 4:48:33 AM PDT by evad (Lying..It's WHAT they do, it's ALL they do and they WON'T stop...EVER!!)
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To: RobbyS
The French deluded themselves when they thought that Arabs who came to France would become French

The french society is in its death knell, all self inflicted. I'd give it another decade and there will be nothing but burkas and mosques.

Much as I'd like to see the french heirarchy get their come-uppins, this is a very bad thing for us.

45 posted on 05/30/2003 4:57:23 AM PDT by evad (Lying..It's WHAT they do, it's ALL they do and they WON'T stop...EVER!!)
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To: Haber
"The greatest slight to France and all of Europe would be if Congress passed a law giving refugee status to all of Europe's Jews, subject of course to the usual requirements and checks."

Given the anti-Semetism through out the world, I would not limit it to Europe only. America could well absorb 650,000 Jews from France.

"The Jews would bring their talents and their religion, their love of freedom and their great generosity."

I'm sure America would welcome them with open arms, knowing full well all their gifts and faults.

46 posted on 05/30/2003 5:38:20 AM PDT by FLAUSA
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To: evad
Being a left coasty, I've never met a Jew from NY. Amazing what can happen to a great culture when it rejects God.
47 posted on 05/30/2003 7:13:49 AM PDT by Dead Dog (There are no minority rights in a democracy. 51% get's 49%'s stuff.)
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