French PM: Home of French Jews is France

- Manuel Valls says French Jews should remain in France after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu calls on Jews to migrate to Israel.

PARIS (AA) – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called on French Jews to remain in France, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said European Jews should migrate to Israel following the gun attack outside a Copenhagen synagogue in which a Danish Jew was killed.

 Valls's comments came on Monday after Netanyahu said the Israeli government would discuss a $46 million plan to encourage Jews to migrate to Israel from France, Belgium and Ukraine following the weekend attacks in the Danish capital and those in Paris in January.

Valls, whose wife is Jewish, said: "The home of all French Jews is France.

"My message to the Jews of France is as follows: France is hurt, just as you are, and does not wish you to leave," he said in reference to the attacks in Copenhagen on Saturday and on a kosher supermarket and the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January.

"France again sends you her love," he said.

- 'Security and respect'

Valls’ message was reinforced in a speech by French President Francois Hollande.

Hollande told reporters on Monday: "I won’t let such words go without a reply. Such a message would suggest that Jews no longer have a place in Europe, and in France in particular.

"The Republic loves all its children. Jews and all citizens of France are assured security, respect, recognition and dignity."

Their comments came after Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv on Sunday: "This wave of attacks is expected to continue.

"Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters; Israel is your home."

"We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe," he said.

- Elections loom

Denmark's chief rabbi Jair Melchior criticized Netanyahu's remarks, saying: "Terror is not a reason to move to Israel."

Netanyahu made similar calls for Jewish people to move to Israel after the attacks in Paris on a kosher supermarket and the offices of Charlie Hebdo in early January, in which 17 people were killed.

Netanyahu’s right-wing government, which faces elections in March, has made the aiding of members of the Jewish diaspora to migrate to Israel a core policy.

Two people have been charged by Danish police with aiding Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, the suspect in the Copenhagen attacks who was shot dead by police.

El-Hussein is believed by police to have opened fire on a cafe as it was used to stage a debate about the freedom of speech attended by Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist who caricatured the prophet Muhammad as a dog in a cartoon in 2007.

- Double shooting

Film director Finn Norgaard, 55, was shot dead in the attack, while Jew security guard Dan Uzan, 37, was also shot dead as he stood guard outside a bar mitzvah in the early hours of Sunday morning in a separate attack in the Danish capital believed to have been carried out by el Hussein.

The number of Jews emigrating from France to Israel reached 7,000 persons in 2014, according to Jewish Agency statistics.

More French Jews leave to live in Israel than from any other country except the U.S.

The agency said it expected 10,000 new Jewish immigrants to arrive from France in 2015.


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