The letter was drafted by former Charlie Hebdo editor Philippe Val. Signatories included former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, actor Gerard Depardieu, former Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, former Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia, five imams and singers Charles Aznavour and Francoise Hardy.
The letter explicitly identified the threat as emanating from “radical Islamists” in specific predominantly immigrant Muslim communities.
“Anti-Semitism is not the business of the Jews,” the letter read. “It’s the business of all of us. The French, who have demonstrated their democratic maturity after each Islamist attack, are living through a tragic paradox. Their country has become the arena for murderous anti-Semitism.
“We demand that the fight against this democratic failure that is anti-Semitism becomes a national cause before it’s too late. Before France is no longer France.”
“French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their fellow Muslim citizens,” the letter continued. “Ten percent of the Jewish citizens of the [Paris region], meaning about 50,000 people, have recently had to change their residence because they were no longer safe in certain neighborhoods and because their children could no longer attend government schools. This involves quiet ethnic cleansing.”
This is not the first time such concerns are being raised.
Dr. Guy Milliere, a lecturer at the University of Paris, wrote a policy paper for the Gatestone Institute earlier this year, noting that the Jewish population of France has dropped from 500,000 in 2000 to 400,000 today.
In addition, he explained that Jews have been driven out of certain neighborhoods by extremely anti-Semitic Muslim gangs.
“Graffiti was spray painted on Jewish-owned homes calling on the owners to ‘flee immediately’ if they want to live and anonymous letters containing live bullets were sent to Jewish mailboxes,” he wrote.
His report began by noting the case of a 15-year-old girl who was attacked in January in Sarcelles, a predominantly Muslim area. She was walking home from school wearing a star of David necklace and a Jewish school uniform. She is now scarred for life.
Over the past few years, 11 Jews have been murdered by radical Islamists in France.