Wednesday, November 09, 2005

France's Loss, Israel's Gain

The French are in denial about their Muslim immigrants, and have been for some time. French Jews have experienced Muslim anti-semitism at first hand and a small but growing number have been escaping to Israel. If, as seems likely, France appeases the rioters the exodus will swell.

What riots (WSJ subscription)

Pictures of the worst urban violence in France since World War II are capturing the world's imagination. Only the French themselves aren't necessarily watching the same thing as the rest of the planet.

The country's largest private television network, TF1, refrains from airing footage of burning cars or buildings. "We know that it's the type of thing that provokes contagion," Robert Namias, the head of the station's news division, told the Journal yesterday. He added that the government hadn't tried to influence its editorial decisions.

The state-owned television channels, France 2 and France 3, have stopped reporting on the number of cars torched by rioting young immigrants every night. "Do we have to exercise self-censorship, to exercise censorship? Must we show everything, explain everything?

The answer to the last question is "Yes!" - refusal to confront bad news has led the French to ignore anti-semitic violence (my emphasis):

Some 1,000 acts of anti-Semitic violence were recorded in France in 2004, a fifteen-fold increase over five years.

Examples are attacks on Jewish cemeteries, schools, and people, hat tip IDF Israel. So an increasing number of Jews have been fleeing France (my ellipsis):

(One young French Jew) is part of the growing exodus of French Jews leaving for Israel.

"As a Jew I don't see any future for me in France," he said. "Just put on a skull cap in the street and see the reaction you get.

In a few weeks he will leave this office for the last time, pack his bags and head for Haifa university to study aeronautics.

At the weekend's anti-(Iraq) war demonstrations it was noticeable how many protesters sang anti-Israeli songs, while just a few weeks ago a liberal Rabbi in Paris was stabbed and had his car set on fire for reasons which remain obscure.

Only a few thousand a year are leaving, but trading one aeronautics engineer for a bunch of unemployable Muslims has to be a bad deal for France.

Going forward, if the French government now appeases the rioters, they will become more violent and many more Jews will leave. That's France's loss and Israel's gain.