For å beskytte jødiske elever på offentlige skoler i Toulouse tok man dem ut av klassen og samlet dem i egne rom.

Det var velment, men minnet samtidig jødene om hvor sårbare de er. Slike opplevelser setter spor. Mange drar.

Shortly after the attack on a Jewish school in the southern French city of Toulouse on Monday, school principals in the city walked into classrooms and asked the Jewish pupils to come forward. «We ask you to leave the class and join the other Jewish children, who are in a locked and safe location.»

It was intended as a precaution in response to a request from the Jewish community. But it also highlights the degree to which many Jews in France feel that they are a threatened and increasingly excluded minority. Every year, these feelings prompt thousands to take a dramatic decision, namely, to pack their belongings and move to a crisis zone: Israel. They feel safer there.

Jøder reagerer som andre mennesker på skjellsettende begivenhter. En skikkelig øyeåpner var kidnapping og torturen av 24 år gamle Ilan Halimi. En gjeng som kalte seg Barbarene sto bak. De var sterkt antisemittiske. Halimi ble torturert til døde. Politiet var ikke handlekraftig. Jøder konkluderte med at de ikke var trygge.

En mor der spiegel har snakket med forteller om trakassering på åpen gate. Hun flyttet med barna til Canada og så Ashdod i Israel, der rakettene fra Gaza slår ned.

«Anti-Semitism has become unbearable there,» she says. «Children are harassed on their way to school just because they’re Jews.» She adds that she was also the victim of such harassment in the middle of the Champs-Élysées in Paris. «I was wearing a necklace with a Star of David attached to it,» she recalls. «Someone barged into me. I said to him: ‘You ought to excuse yourself!’ All he said was that he didn’t apologize to Jews.»

Franske jøder kjøper ekstra boliger i Israel, for sikkerhets skyld.

Hendelser som den i Toulouse får jøder til å ta bladet fra munnen. De frykter et Europa der islam og muslimer står enda sterkere. De ser trenden og tør å si fra.

Daniel Ben-Simon, a member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, examined the phenomenon of Jewish emigration in his book «French Bite.» «Jews in France fear the day when the Muslims become a determining factor in French domestic politics,» Ben-Simon told SPIEGEL ONLINE. «They fear that the country will no longer be safe for them at that point.»

Even today, there are already «hundreds of anti-Semitic incidents» a year, committed mainly by Arab immigrants, says Zana. «This creates a great deal of pressure. How long can Jewish communities protect themselves from attacks with surveillance cameras?»

Threatening Atmosphere

Tel Aviv real estate agent Yitzhak Touitou confirms this trend. «About a third of my customers are Jews from France,» says Touitou. It isn’t just the very rich who are buying second homes in Israel. «Every French Jew who can somehow come up with the money is buying an apartment here,» says Touitou.

Ben-Simon estimates that «almost one in two French Jews maintains a residence in Israel. It’s a sort of insurance policy, just in case the situation in France gets even worse.»

Touitou hears hair-raising stories from his clients when he’s showing them property. «The atmosphere in France has become very threatening,» he explains. «People no longer wear the kippah when they go out in public. They’re afraid of being harassed.»

De franske jødene er som kanarifuglene i gruvene. Det er et varsel om at flere vil få problemer. Jødene er de første som drar.

More and More French Jews Emigrating to Israel