(JNS.org) Days after Islamist terror attacks killed a combined 16 people at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, both in Paris, hundreds of French Jews attended a Jewish Agency for Israel aliyah (immigration to Israel) information fair on Sunday in the same city. The fair was scheduled before the attacks took place.
“The Jewish Agency embraces the French Jewish community at this difficult time and is extending its full support by helping provide for the physical security of Jewish communities across France, increasing our assistance to any individual who wishes to immigrate to Israel, and working to ease immigrants’ integration into the Israeli workforce and Israeli society,” said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency.
According to the Jewish Agency’s statistics, France was the leading country for aliyah to Israel in 2014 with new 7,000 arrivals, up from 3,400 in 2013.
On Thursday, after the Charlie Hebdo attack but before the kosher supermarket attack, Sharansky cautioned against strategically promoting terrorism in France as a reason for aliyah.
“We’re not building our aliyah strategy on tragic events,” Sharansky told the Times of Israel. “We’re building it on the fact that there is this place in the world called Europe, where Jews are feeling increasingly uncomfortable.”