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Posted by on Mar 11, 2007 in Religion | 28 comments

French Jews Fleeing Into Florida

Over the past few years there have been reports of French Jews relocating or even being urged to relocate by some Jewish groups and now there’s a new twist:

French Jews are fleeing into Florida, the Miami Herald reports. And it’s providing a booming business for Florida immigration lawyers:

Rod Kukurudz decided to uproot his family from a comfortable life in France to Surfside when his then 16-year-old daughter, Audrey, came home one night in 2005 — upset and fearful.

”Dad,” she told him, ”now even if it’s hot I have to wear a scarf to hide my Star of David,” while riding the Paris Metro.

French Jews living in South Florida told The Miami Herald that hostility from Islamic militants in France after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States spurred them to leave. Departures surged after last year’s abduction and death of Ilan Halimi in France.

The 23-year-old Halimi, a French Jew of Moroccan parents, was kidnapped Jan. 21, 2006, by a gang of youths calling themselves the “Barbarians.”

”The atmosphere created by that episode, plus other incidents and the general hostility of Muslims in France toward Jews, is what’s behind my decision to leave,” said Kukurudz, who now lives with his wife and their three daughters, including Audrey, in Surfside.

Vanessa Elmaleh is among a growing number of South Florida immigration attorneys helping French Jews secure U.S. visas — but not necessarily asylum.

So it’s being done perhaps a bit more under the political radar:

Immigration court figures show a slight uptick in the number of asylum applications from French nationals starting in 2003 — but those figures do not specify whether applicants were French Jews. South Florida immigration attorneys say the majority of French Jews are arriving on immigrant, investor and business visas…

The Herald notes that a new State Department human rights reports say anti-semitic incidents are down in France from the same period in 2004 but up from the same period last year. The French government condemns any such incidents.

”France is not an anti-Semitic country,” Philippe Vinogradoff, France’s consul general in Miami, told The Miami Herald on Thursday. “France is doing a lot of efforts in its jurisdiction, in its education system, to eradicate definitively any trace of anti-Semitism.”

France’s Jewish population has been variously estimated at between 500,000 and 700,000 and its Muslim population at five million to six million. But French Jews here say the community has been depleted by frequent departures, the majority to Israel. Jewish Agency.figures show that almost 14,000 French Jews have resettled in Israel since 2001.

But the situation has become perceived as increasingly perilous for Jews in France. By 2005, some French Jews were bombproofing their schools.

France boasts a growing and increasingly politically powerful Muslim community. After World War II there was a large influex of Muslims into France mostly from Algeria and then-North Africa colonies because of labor needs coupled with the collapse of France’s colonies. These immigrants were allowed to bring their families over. The second generation is not designated “immigrants” but some have charged that they are exposed to social discrimination and feel like and are being treated as if they are immigrants.

This perception contributed to riots in France in 2005. The CBC:

Media accounts of the riots that spread across France in the fall of 2005 lay the blame squarely on a racist society that has marginalized the children and grandchildren of North African immigrants.

While there is no denying that racism is a factor, we need to dig deeper if we are to understand the violence, say immigration experts.

“There are many other factors involved,” Jeffrey Reitz, a University of Toronto sociology professor who studies ethnicity and immigration, told CBC News Online. “It’s not the immigrants, but their children, who are a very different group of people.”

Reitz says that, in general, when immigrants compare their situation in their adopted country to the life they left behind, they usually find things are better, even if they are discriminated against. And if things don’t improve, they often have the option of returning home.

“The second generation can’t go back as easily and have been told in school they should be treated equally. When it doesn’t happen, there’s disappointment,” says Reitz.

In 2003, the Anti-Defamation League ran an assessment of antisemitism in France. Among other things, it noted that the Jewish community in France is of a “broad spectrum,” second only to the United States’. The 1990s strengthened the links between France and the Jewish community. The Jewish community is highly supportive of Israel.

And the storm clouds?

Forewarning events occurred in the past two decades: the terrorist attacks on the Copernic synagogue in 1980 and on the Goldenberg restaurant in 1982, both in Paris; the desecration of the Jewish cemetery of Carpentras (South of France) in 1990; the rise of the extreme right-wing in Europe and in France itself with the party of Jean-Marie Le Pen since the early Eighties; changes occurring within the French society itself trying to absorb with great pain a large Arab Muslim community; the discovery by the French of their true history of World War II, of the war of Algeria and of the end of colonization; the revival of anti-Semitism clad in new dresses and the denial of the Holocaust.

Many reasons brought to the current situation in France and in Europe, leading to anti-Semitic attacks.

It provides a review of some incidents and problems in recent years. And then this:

In this listing of causes I must add the extreme left-wing political groups who served as hothouses in the Sixties and Seventies for today’s leading writers in the French media.

I have to quote also the regrettable statements, exposed by a leading French daily, of a French academic and an adviser to the Socialist Party, Pascal Boniface, who made the Socialist leaders aware of Arithmetics 101: political decisions should be made according to simple accountancy rules, Arab votes outnumber Jewish votes by ten to one in France, explained Boniface.
There are many more details in this report that provide the context for some of the problems including allegations of anti-semetism in state run schools. The French government, the report says, has tried to clamp down on this problem by more oversight.

The report concludes:

We do not think we are living in France in a particularly anti-Semitic environment. It is obvious to us that there is a revival of anti-Semitism in several other countries. There are beyond the shadow of a doubt sociological and historic distinctive features in France putting us Jews in a rather sensitive position, but I hope we will have the means to overcome this situation…Allow me to insist upon the fact that the Jews in France are facing a crisis that is part of a much broader national issue involving sociology, demography, economy and politics. It would be unrealistic to try and assess our own problems without replacing them within a larger reality of which we are part and parcel.

And that’s also part of the context within which news of Jews flocking into Florida need to be placed.

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  • Rudi

    The whole continent has to admit their guilt during WWII. The Pope, Croatia and Hungary have pasts more complicit and dark than the French.

  • The pope was the victim of a well-documented Stasi smear campaign launched in the sixties and the Christian-hating MSM conveniently overlook the Israeli government’s awarding Pope Pius XII for his strenuous efforts to help the Jews escape the Holocaust machine. Commie disinfo has a way of becoming liberal consensus wisdom.

    I lived in Lyon for years and the French there are still anti-Semitic to a great extent, only revealing their views after they get to know you.

    For European Jews, the USA is the promised land and in my boca neighborhood there are many refugees from Israel who want peace from the Islamic crazies.

  • domajot

    “…the French there are still anti-Semitic to a great extent…
    Granted, Jews have a special problem coexisting with a large Muslim presence.

    About the French, though, it’s my impression that they are no more anti-semitic when that means anti-Jewish than they are anti-semitic when that means anti-Muslim. They are also anti-American and anti evrything not French.

    On my last visit to France, every differing opinion I voiced on matters of art and literature as well as politics was greeted by at least one person saying: “That’s so American.” When I confronted this by asking for a definition of what ‘so American’ means, not one could answer. There is just a feeling that the French are superior in all things and that everyone else is inferior and suspect of bad intentions.

    I note how similar this is to Americans thinking we always know best in every situation and that we are always advising others to copy our model.

    I also hasten to add that the ‘so American’ comments were embarrassing to the others present.

  • Marlowecan

    There is considerable variation in anti-Semitism across Europe. Contrast the Italians and the French in WW II.

    The French, enemies of the Third Reich, eagerly complied in shipping off French Jews to the camps.

    In contrast the Italians, allies of the Third Reich, while in occupation in Greece and the Balkans actively sheltered and allowed safe passage to thousands of Jews. Eichmann was furious at the Italian commanders in the region, but could do little given the alliance. There is one funny story I read of an encounter between Eichmann and an Italian commander who gave a family of Jews named “Goldstein” Italian passports. The Italian commander informed Eichmann that Goldstein was actually a common Southern Italian name. 🙂

    Eichmann was pissed, and complained to Il Duce’s son-in-law who was the Italian foreign minister. He shrugged, and passed the buck, and so it went.
    The Italians considered the Nazi preoccupation with the Jews mad and disgusting, and took great glee in obstructing the genocide.

    The French…well, not so much….

  • domajot

    You are right, as far as it goes.
    The larger context has to be considered, however. They seem to bow easily to any pressure and want to maintain a calm exterior no matter what the cost.
    That in itself, is not a bad thing, but it does lead to appeasement of various types.
    I doubt that their nature is specifically pointed at the Jews, however. Anti’communists would be shocked to see the memorials to ‘our communist brothers’ in French cemetaries.
    One has to take a broader perspective and realize that their bravery or lack of it, as well as their embrace of various ideologies has less to do with being anti any specific group. It’s more to do with whatever they perceive to be in their national interest at any given moment.
    Every nation has its ignoble characteristics and ignoble historic chapters. I think it would be a mistake to boil it all down to its treatment of a particular group.
    At the moment, the French are focused on their Muslims, and the most frequent comments I hear run along the lines of ‘what do those hooligans want, anyway?”
    The government, in its bumbling way, is putting keeping the peace as first priority.
    This is just par for the course.

  • domajot

    I don’t mean to downplay the predicament of Jews in France. I just suspect that they are the indirect, as opposed to targeted, victims of the French way of dealing with problems.

  • Laura

    domajot, you are completely wrong. There’s no doubt that Jews are actually targeted.
    “Media accounts of the riots that spread across France in the fall of 2005 lay the blame squarely on a racist society that has marginalized the children and grandchildren of North African immigrants.”

    The muslims of Europe choose to marginalize themselves.

  • domajot

    The Jews in France are, indeed, being targeted.
    but not by the indigenous French and not by the French government. The Muslims are a subgroup who do not represent all of France.
    It’s an important distinction.

  • kritter

    Well if we decided we couldn’t help the Jews in WWII until 1944, I am very glad to see that we are offering these French Jews safe haven now. Who could blame them for feeling uncomfortable with the large influx of hostile Muslims that have emigrated to France?

  • “The muslims of Europe choose to marginalize themselves.”

    That’s your usual ‘blame the victim’ game again, Laura. But if someone here would implicate that ‘Jews choose to marginalize themselves’, you would cry ‘foul!’. Some double standard…

  • Me2

    This article is ridiculous – Funny how they don’t mention that France is in the middle of a presidential campaign right now and that the favorite candidate is a French Jew, Nicolas Sarkozy

    There has been an Israeli campaign to stimulate jewish emigration from France that has been going on for a few years – France being the country with the largest Jewish diaspora after the US – but it doesn’t reflect the reality at all and the French Jewish organisations have asked them to stop it- It is also untrue that French Jews support Israeli politics – there are many French Jews journalists and politicians who regularly condemn it –

    The agressions French Jews have been victim of have all been caused by teenage Muslims of North-African origin and with one or two exceptions were merely teenage taunts – It has to be noted that the three of the four stories that made the top headlines in the last few years (a burned synagogue, an agressed Rabbi and a pregnant womant attacked in the subway) have turned out to be made-up by the so-called victims. As for France not acting upon it there is a law that makes the racist character of a crime an aggraving factor that leads to heavier sentences –

    Jewish schools and synagogues are protected against those teens who want to play intifada, but besides that and the tougher sentencing for racist crimes there is nothing the State can do

  • DLS

    The Jews are targeted, no doubt. I’d worry at this time for them from the Muslim immigrant threat more than any retained anti-Semitism from the “native” crowd.
    I’ve heard about “natives” themselves being attacked in analogous ways that correspond to Musllim extremism, such as female schoolteachers being treated with contempt and even slammed against a wall because “you’re a woman.”

  • “Funny how they don’t mention that France is in the middle of a presidential campaign right now and that the favorite candidate is a French Jew, Nicolas Sarkozy”

    Thx for the info, Me2. Never heard of this before. Normally, his religion/ancestry wouldn’t matter, but in this context, the alleged Aliyah sure sounds phony.

    Btw, is the life expectacy of Jews in Israel really higher than in France? If it were so, why all the whining about terrorism? :-/

  • Life expectancy in Israel and France is pretty much equivalent, at least according to estimates found in the CIA World FactBook. Israeli life expectancy for Israeli men is slightly higher than for French men; women’s is slighly lower. Life expectancy in Israel is slightly higher for Jewish men and women than for Israeli-Arab men and women.

    I guess terrorism isn’t affecting Israeli life expectancy. I have no idea why those mean old Israelis go on “whining” about Arabs blowing up their cafes and shooting “settler” toddlers in their beds. I guess they just lack Gray’s sense of perspective, which only allows Jews to “whine” if their murderers are much more successful.

  • Interersting, and somewhat surprising info (higher for MEN???), E. Thx for looking this up.

    “I guess they just lack Gray’s sense of perspective, which only allows Jews to “whineâ€? if their murderers are much more successful.”

    Imho the terrorism threat against Jews is very highly exaggerated. There are numerous areas of the world that are much more dangerous. But Israelis present themselves to the rest of the world as the most endangoured species of mankind. Ridiculous.

  • I have no idea where Israelis “presented themselves” as “the most endangoured [sid] species of mankind.” For one thing, I’m pretty sure that all mankind has been the same species since Cro-Magnons were wiped out.

    Israelis are endangered more by terrorism than most places, true. That threat has subsided some ever since they built that part-wall/part-fence separation barrier from the West Bank.

    But it’s not terrorism that presents the biggest danger: Israel as a nation has also endured several genocidal wars to “wipe it off the map” by large, Soviet-backed Arab armies. Its “partners for peace” in the West Bank still have its destruction as one of their official goals. It is in a technical state of war with two of its neighbors, and a nation whose president has promised to wipe Israel off the map is funding a well-run guerilla army on its border and rapidly developing nuclear weapons.

    Life within Israel is generally high in quality because Israel is a civilized, well-developed nation — better developed and far more civilized than any of its neighbors. But many of those neighbors are on record with the goal of its destruction, and take every opportunity to kill more Israelis. It’s nice to know, Gray, that you find these threats “exaggerated,” but not everyone can be as …optimistic.

  • Jack Friedman

    In my opinion, the Anglosphere provides the safest haven for Jews who wish to see their religion & socio-cultural group survive. I think it is genuinely possible that Iran or an Islamo-terrorist will manage to nuke Israel. I don’t know how great the ensuing conflagration would be, but Israel would be demonized and condemned for making any response whatsoever. Nothing new there. Only several million Jews are likely to be dead — in Israel. At this point, French Jews (or any other European Jews) would do better to emigrate to Australia, NZ, Canada or the US. These will be either the societies that ultimately defeat the Islamo-facists or they will be the last to be taken down by them.

  • Annanicoles Korpse

    Call me a not so unusual American, but for those assuming that the USA is there to wipe out Islamo-“fascists” for whomever, that is putting words into our mouths. Throwing the word “fascist” around like lightly is a heavily loaded political gun is not something any peace-loving person should do. It’s inciting others against a race and that nonsense should stop. The so-called fascism will end when the extreme hostilities towards Arabs ends.

    Please don’t drag your belief in eternal war onto our soil or project your desires onto the USA. If Israelis want war then declare war yourselves so that everyone can here instead of prodding others to do your bidding or sneakily invaded tiny countries such as Lebanon when no one is looking or while they are preoccupied.

    I for one do not see war in the future against Arabs or any particular country such as Iran. I do not want my children looking toward war. I want them involved in higher activities. Israelis should keep their warmongering amongst themselves until their lust for death fades to ground zero. No one should be longing for a future war. No one should be saying America or Canada or Austrialia etc., will kill for Israel or for any cause.

    Stop campaigning for war and start doing peaceful things with your time.

    – A not so unusual American

  • Annanicoles Korpse

    Why do the French Jews or any Jews think of other people as their “big bad monster.” Grow up already.

    Deal with others as reasonable people, be kind to others.

    Why don’t the Jews have a clause in their religion that says, “Thou shall not invent false demons. I will have no other demons before me. Their shall be no false monsters. I will have no other monsters before me.” Because, really, all this monster-demon stuff is all in their heads. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. I say if your religion hasn’t taught you how to get along with others then it’s time to do one of three things: get a new religion, get a new brain or change the record because it’s broken.

    I’ll play New Age Rabbi: My dear Followers, no one wants to be bored or be burdened with the old, old, old stories about the persecutions. Smile and try to be pleasant and try to like other human beings for once. If you really want peace and to stop being persecuted then don’t talk about persecutions past or sometime in the future. Try to like things. Stop hating others. Stop wishing for war. And don’t fake it. We were wrong for telling you that you can rule the world and own all of the land on the earth. So scratch that plan. Mazeltov Habibi.

  • um

    annanicoles Korpse –

    great name, considering your argument for peace…
    ok israel a warmongering country? c’mon… warmongering – the current US administration is arguably a better fit for that term.
    ‘extreme hostilities towards Arabs ends..don’t drag your belief in eternal war..lust for death?’ are u just fresh from watching ‘300’ or something? these claims are almost as outrageous as ‘jews eat babies’ dehumanizing propagated garbage. just stop.

  • Mr. Korpse, a quick scan of this web page reveals that the first use of the word fascist was, in fact, by you. Speaking of putting words in other people’s mouths and all.

    The rest of your bigotry makes you quite an unusual American — as most Americans are decent people.

  • Just Wondering

    Some Jews could try moving to Iran….seriously.
    The largest group of Jews living in the Middle East, outside of Israel, do live in Iran.
    Sounds crazy, right??
    From what the TeeVee tells me every day – I would have never guessed that either.

    But there are tens of thousands of Jews living in Iran now – quite happy to do so – and they continue to refuse Israel’s offers to relocate to Israel. Why would that be? Maybe because they feel safer living in Iran, than they would in Israel?
    Here – check these articles out for yourself:,,1807160,00.html

    Now I know that may not jive with what we hear in the mainstream media, but you have to realize that most of what we hear about Iran is twisted/manipulated to demonize Iran. Why does that happen?
    Maybe for the same reason other news is manipulated – in the manner this following video describes.
    Please take a moment to watch this very important video and then ask yourself why we never hear this side of the story:
    Peace Propaganda and the Promised Land:

    The world needs to come together to make it a safe and better place for ALL people to live.
    Thank you.

  • Just Wondering

    To: E. Nough who said “…and a nation whose president has promised to wipe Israel off the map is funding a well-run guerilla army on its border and rapidly developing nuclear weapons….But many of those neighbors are on record with the goal of its destruction, and take every opportunity to kill more Israelis. …â€?

    I am going to guess you meant Iran?
    I think a Fact Check is in order here.

    Ahmadinejad never actually said “wipe Israel off the map”. That is a debunked translation – in Farsi there is not even a phrase for “wipe off the mapâ€?. The proper translation of his statement was “to wipe the regime from the pages of historyâ€?. And when the western press incorrectly reported what he said, Iran immediately issued a public correction – which of course got lost and buried in all the controlled media hysteria over the inflammatory claim of the “wiping Israel off the map” misinformation.
    What is clear is that the proper translation of many of Ahmadinejad’s words have been distorted by those in power who seek an excuse to control the Middle East and who seek to demonize Iran as the next boogie-man, in accordance with the “A Clean Break� manifesto, which I encourage all Americans to familiarize themselves with. A quick place to start is here:

    But getting back to misquoting Ahmadinejad to perpetrate the false myth that Iran would like to kill all the jews and destroy Israel:

    “wipe off the map�…�wipe from the pages of history�
    What is the difference you say?
    There is a very big difference – one that takes a knowledge of farsi and the cultural syntax of the language to better understand, more than just trying to create outrageous sensational sound bites.

    To better understand what he meant – one can also recall Ahmadinejad has also been quoted as saying “Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out”. He does NOT call for the genocide of the Jews or destruction of any property. He just says that the illegal Zionist government with all it’s policies, crimes and atrocities must be ended.
    In a recent speech where he again made these statements about the Zionist regime in Israel, to clarify his point, he also said that the Soviet Union, was “wiped out and today and does not exist” – which is not to say that the United States bombed the Soviet Union and committed genocide against the Russians. He used the fall of communism in the USSR and an example to make his point of how no matter how well entrenched and powerful and malevolent a force may be – it is possible that things can change for the better.
    You will recall that the Soviet Union collapsed and was changed without any death and destruction, ironically – and with self-congratulatory credit taken by the United States, who considered the USSR as big a threat, as perhaps Ahmadinejad sees Israel as being to Palestine and peace and justice in the Middle East).

    And of course, there are many Jews living in Israel and the USA, who also think the zionist regime currently ruling Israel’s policies is the biggest threat to the security of Israel and is fueling anti-Jewish sentiment throughout the world.

    Ahmadinejad also never “denied the Holocaust existedâ€?. He questions the historical record we have been told and using it as an ongoing rationale/justification for the current “Holocaust” of the Palestinians. The current Israeli government is presently committing genocide to the Palestinians living in the continually shrinking crumb that is left of Palestine.
    Ahmadinejad has not called for genocide but for the replacement of Israel as a Jewish state by a multi-national democratic state based on equality among the peoples of historic Palestine. The only genocide that is going on now in the Middle East is what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, and what the US has unleashed in Iraq.
    Please don’t take my word, but check into this for yourself – here are a couple places you can start:

    One question I would have for you.
    Could you please provide some evidence to your claim that (Iran?) is rapidly developing nuclear weapons?

  • Except that there are more antisemitic incidents in Florida than in France…:

  • yonason

    A fellow in our Shul on the Gulf Coast said they used to have to sneak into their Shul in France on Shabbos. He also said they tried once to burn his house down. And that was the French, not their Muslim “guests.” He and his family don’t intend to go back.

  • yonason

    “The so-called fascism will end when the extreme hostilities towards Arabs ends.” — Annanicoles Korpse

    That’s one of those oft-repeated lies some of you keep hearing about.

    The Arabs were violent long before we took the war to them. They are brutal savages. I don’t know if it is them, or their religion, but I do know that when they learn to act like civilized humans the “hostilities” will stop.

    The walking dead one I quoted aabove is just spewing the same nonsense they tell everywhere else. “If only you will stop persecuting us, we will leave you alone.” Unfortunately, what they mean by “persecuting” them, is just us defending ourselves against their perpetual aggression. As I have been saying for the past 6 years, half of the violence in the world is perpetuated by Muslims. The other half is their victims fighting back.

    If you really want to have some insight into why they are so violent, look at them, not at how we deal with their violence. Here’s one really good source you can start with.

    And Muslims aren’t a “race,” either, so knock off the “racism” bologna.

  • yonason

    “Ahmadinejad never actually said “wipe Israel off the mapâ€?. That is a debunked translation – in Farsi there is not even a phrase for “wipe off the mapâ€?. — Just Wondering

    Wonder no longer, my curious specimen.

    I haven’t exactly been hanging on every word from the current president, Acahmadinnerjacket, but a previous president of Iran made himself pretty darned clear.

    Nuclear Weapons Can Solve the Israel Problem
    Rafsanjani said that Muslims must surround colonialism and force them [the colonialists] to see whether Israel is beneficial to them or not. If one day, he said, the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel’s possession [meaning nuclear weapons] – on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This, he said, is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.

  • yonason

    No, there are no “big bad monsters,” only little ones in training.


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