This article claims that antisemitism is not the reason French Jews are fleeing France. After all, most Jews who leave France come from areas with little antisemitism.
But Jews don't need to be attacked every day in order to realize they're not wanted. The Jew interviewed in the article, Rudy Abecassis, decided to leave France because Jews were being killed. It did not matter that he personally was not attacked.
Last year may have been traumatic for France and its Jews, but it was a pretty good one for Rudy Abecassis.
Yet on Dec. 27, Abecassis and his family left behind their comfortable lives and moved to Israel, joining nearly 8,000 French Jews who immigrated to Israel in 2015.
“We’re not fleeing,” Abecassis said last month, as he and his family prepared to spend their last night as Parisians on an inflatable mattress in an otherwise empty home. “Our lives here have been good and we love France for it. We’re leaving with sorrow, but we want to live in a Jewish country of our own, where we are not outsiders who need to be tolerated.”
Benhaim cites as evidence the fact that a majority of French Jewish emigres come from middle- and upper-class areas with little anti-Semitism. Only 15 percent are from poor areas with large Muslim populations and a high incidence of anti-Jewish attacks – a result, Benhaim said, of a reluctance to forego France’s generous social welfare benefits.
“Those who leave can afford to let go of the French welfare system,” Benhaim said. “Mostly they live where anti-Semitic attacks are relatively rare, and in many cases, anti-Semitism is not a primary catalyst for moving but a sort of a background presence.”
Abecassis says he and his wife never even contemplated leaving before 2012, the year their eldest son, Noah, was born. It was also the year an Islamist killed four Jews at a Jewish school in Toulouse, prompting the government to post armed guards at Jewish schools.read more
Abecassis realized he had to choose between sending his son to a Jewish school guarded by a soldier with a machine gun or a secular public school.
“We’re not really afraid he’ll be shot,” Abecassis said. “Statistically, Israel is more dangerous. We just wanted him to grow up like a normal Jewish French kid, as we had.”