Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Record 450 French immigrants to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport
"A record 450 French olim were to arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport Wednesday, on three special flights sponsored by the Jewish Agency and the AMI immigration association. (...)
France has one of the largest Jewish communities outside of Israel, totaling nearly half a million people. Its population is second only to America's Jewish population, which has now exceeded 5 million.
Since 2000, there has been a marked increase in the number of French citizens immigrating to Israel, arguably due to the waves of growing anti-Semitism in the European state.
Many French Jews say that they no longer feel comfortable or welcome in France, particularly within the working-class suburbs of Paris, where much of the tension has been focused.
Last month, a Jewish teenager was brutally attacked in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris.
That neighborhood, which has been the site of ongoing scuffles between North African Jews and Muslims living in Paris, was the same suburb in which 23-year-old Ilan Halimi [photo] was beaten and left to die a year before."