The Chief Rabbi of France was in London this week, insisting that France is still safe for Jews but warning of the consequences of Brexit for minority groups.
Speaking at the French ambassador’s residence on Tuesday, Haïm Korsia said he was certain the rise of the populist far right would not result in France’s Jews fleeing in great numbers. He also emphatically disagreed with Natan Sharansky, head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, who declared on Monday: “There is no future for Jews in France.”
Korsia told Jewish News: “The fact that [French prime minister] Manuel Valls said: ‘France without Jews is not France’ is more important to me. It reminds us that we are loved and we have a place.”
There may be difficulties, but on the whole Korsia felt it was safe for Jews in France. In any case, it was preferable to stay and fight against racism.
Asked about the rise of Marine Le Pen’s Front National, which has been accused of anti-Semitism, he said it did not matter how popular the party was, but it would be dangerous to give it support.
After Brexit, many French Jews expressed concerns over their future in Britain.
One man recounted being shoved in the street near Piccadilly Circus while speaking French and being told: “I don’t want people like you here.”