More than 7,000 French Jews have signed a petition asking for political asylum in the United States because of anti-Semitism in France. “Following the barbarous murder of a young Jew because he was Jewish, in the context of the rise in anti-Semitic acts committed by Islamic fundamentalists, numerous members of the community no longer feel safe in France,” reads the petition, which was sent to the U.S. Congress. The reference was to Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Parisian Jew who was kidnapped and tortured to death last year by an anti-Semitic gang. The petition asks Congress to enact a law according refugee status to French Jews. “We believe that the United States, known for its traditional welcome to those under threat in their native lands, must open its doors to us,” the petition says. French communal officials reacted with outrage. “This petition is bizarre, stupid and out of place,” Haim Musicant, director of CRIF, the umbrella organization of secular French Jewish groups, told Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper. “I don’t feel threatened in France, and the authorities are doing everything they can to protect the Jewish community. French Jews don’t need this kind of petition.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.