Wed, Jul 21, 2004 - Page 6 News List

France frowns at Jewish emigration

UNWELCOME DEPARTURES The French don't like the country's reputation for egalitarianism to be trashed, and in this instance, Israel may be adding to the problem


Israel paid for dozens of rep-resentatives to travel to France, allowing the agency to set up permanent offshoots in some of these cities, so that information on emigration is readily available.

"France has failed to integrate its Muslim population, and these groups have focused much of their anti-French hatred against the Jews who live alongside them in some of France's poorest suburbs," Gourary said.

The agency's latest campaign is partly motivated by the need to stem an overall decline in migration to Israel, which has slowed now that the wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union is over; last year there were fewer than 25,000 new arrivals, a 15-year low.

Neither Sharon nor the Jewish Agency has accused the French government of state-sponsored anti-Semitism, only of failing to address the problems which have triggered this rash of attacks.

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