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Rabbi Boteach: Security, Not Plane Tickets, for France's Jews

By    |   Monday, 19 Jan 2015 06:07 PM

If Jews living in France want to move to Israel, they should do so out of a sense of history, and not because French authorities have allowed their lives to become harsh by tolerating anti-Semitism, Los Angeles-based rabbi, author and Jewish rights activist Shmuley Boteach told Newsmax TV on Monday.

"Jews should not have to live in fear, in any country in Europe or any country in the world," Boteach, popularly known as "America's Rabbi," told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner, adding, "The French government has an absolute responsibility to protect the Jewish citizens."

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"We all love Israel; it's the Jewish homeland," said Boteach. "But Jews should choose to go to Israel as part of an ancient dream, as part of a Jewish destiny, not out of fear and not out of coercion. Not because they think they're going to be slaughtered in the streets."

In the wake of the Jan. 7-9 Paris attacks that left 17 people dead, including four at a suburban Kosher market, debate has raged over the future of France's estimated 478,000 Jews. Some leading Jewish figures, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have encouraged them migrate to Israel.

A religious leader, Rabbi Menachem Margolin of the European Jewish Association, instead urged that Jews there be permitted to carry guns for self-protection.

Boteach did not explicitly endorse arming European Jews but had no problem with such a measure getting serious consideration.

The author of several books including "Face Your Fear: Living With Courage in an Age of Caution," Boteach said he regularly receives death threats in the course of his work. And he opposed any French exodus that would arise from anti-Semitic hostility or violence.

"To say that [Jews] have no choice but to go to Israel would render France a jungle," said Boteach. "It would mean that France has lost every principle of its original revolution, which was equality, democracy, fraternity. For whom? Everyone but the Jew?

"These attacks on the French Jewish community have been going on for years," he said. "The French government has turned largely a blind eye to it. Now, with four Jews murdered just for buying challah rolls Friday afternoon before the Sabbath, they can no longer turn a blind eye to it."

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If Jews living in France want to move to Israel, they should do so out of a sense of history, and not because French authorities have allowed their lives to become harsh by tolerating anti-Semitism, Los Angeles-based rabbi, author and Jewish rights activist Shmuley Boteach told Newsmax TV on Monday.
jews, france, flight, security, terror
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2015-07-19
Monday, 19 Jan 2015 06:07 PM
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