Europe

Western Europe Jewish migration to Israel at 'all-time high'

Photo of French family that has immigrated to Israel Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jews have been the target of attacks in France and many families have decided to move to Israel

Jewish migration to Israel from western Europe has reached an all-time high, a leading group has said.

The Jewish Agency, which acts as a link for Jews around the world, said the exodus resulted from a rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Europe.

It reported that 9,880 western European Jews emigrated to Israel last year.

Around 8,000 came from France, where Jews have been targeted in a series of recent attacks, it said.

The agency also reported that about 800 Jews left Britain to Israel in 2015, the AP news agency reported.

Jews have been targeted in many European countries, such as Belgium and Denmark, but the worst attacks have been reported in France

The country's 500,000 Jewish population is the world's third largest, after Israel and the United States.

"That a record number of European Jews feel that Europe is no longer their home should alarm European leaders and serve as a wake-up call for all who are concerned about the future of Europe,'' Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said, according to AP.

JFrance's Jewish community fears further attacksewish fears for safety in wake of Paris attacks

French Jews question their future

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Soldiers stand guard near the kosher supermarket attacked in France last year as ceremonies were held to mark one year of the attacks

This week, a teacher in Marseille was stabbed by a boy who reportedly said he had done it for the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, the third attack on Jews in recent months in the city.

The attack prompted a local Jewish leader to ask men to stop wearing the traditional skullcap. France's chief rabbi, however, urged Jews to keep covering their heads.

In January 2015, four Jewish shoppers were killed by an IS supporter at a kosher supermarket, shortly after the deadly assault on the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Since then, more than 700 synagogues, Jewish schools and community centres have been protected by police or soldiers.

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