Why, Really, French Jews Are Leaving France

They’re not willing to sacrifice their Jewish identity in exchange for their security as individuals.

A man waits in line at a Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris on June 26, 2015, six months after the jihadist attack in January. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images.

A man waits in line at a Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris on June 26, 2015, six months after the jihadist attack in January. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images.

Response
Oct. 22 2015
About the author

Michel Gurfinkiel is the founder and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think-tank in France, and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum. His “You Only Live Twice,” on the contemporary situation of European Jews, appeared in Mosaic in August 2013.


By coincidence, on the same day “The Twilight of French Jewry, the Twilight of France” was published in Mosaic, I came upon some highly pertinent remarks by Christine Angot in Le Monde’s weekly literary supplement. Angot, a staunch liberal now in her mid-fifties, is a prize-winning playwright and novelist whose plotlines are largely drawn from her own life as the product of a dysfunctional family. (The French term for this is autofiction.) The subject of her remarks was a television program in which she had participated for Arte, the quality French-German channel, about Chateauroux, the town in central France where she was brought up.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, France, Politics & Current Affairs