Hollande tells French Jews ‘France is your country’

Gabe Friedman

(JTA) — French President Francois Hollande told French Jews “your place is here,” responding to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for French Jews to emigrate to Israel in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

“You, French people of the Jewish faith, your place is here, in your home. France is your country,” Hollande said Tuesday in a speech at the Paris Holocaust memorial marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

He added: “I want to say that France will protect all its children and will tolerate no insult, no outrage, no desecration.”

After the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher market in Paris on Jan. 9 and before the massive unity march in the French capital on Jan. 11, Netanyahu said that “any Jew who wants to immigrate to Israel will be received here with open arms.”

Some 7,000 Jews left France for Israel last year, or more than twice the number who made aliyah in 2013. A record number of anti-Semitic incidents was recorded in France in 2014.