Planeful of French Immigrants Arrive at Ben-Gurion

The plane carrying over 200 French Jews to Israel, arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday.(Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
The plane carrying over 200 French Jews to Israel, arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday.(Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

By Hamodia Staff

YERUSHALAYIM – More than 200 new immigrants from France arrived at Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport on Wednesday, the largest single group since the current wave of anti-Semitic and terror attacks began last year.

The Jewish Agency, which helped to organize the flight, stressed, however, that it had been planned months ago, and was not related to the mass attack in Nice and other recent incidents.

Natan Sharansky, head of the Agency, claimed that the motive for the French arrivals was positive identification with Israel, and not a flight from persecution.

“French Jews who immigrate to Israel are coming out of choice: they have a whole world of opportunities before them, and they are choosing to come to Israel,” he said. “Their choice demonstrates that Israel affords a sense of Jewish identity and attachment to those Jews who wish to take an active part in the Jewish story.”

Nevertheless, French Jewish immigration to Israel has surged since 2012, as conditions in France grew more difficult.

The group is young; half are teenagers and younger. The majority plan to settle in Yerushalayim, Netanya, Raanana and Ashdod.