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More on The Future of French Jewry

I had a lot of responses to my post on Friday about whether French Jewry has a future, many of them highly spirited. One point that isn't widely appreciated in the US is that France's Jewish population is not only - actually not primarily - the descendants of France's historic Jewish population, those who survived the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. A majority of Jews in France are post-World War II immigrants from North Africa (and their descendants), specifically France's former North African empire. So, it's some level of irony, that people on both sides of this crisis - French Jews and French Muslims of North African descent - are both in the country in a significant degree as part of the aftermath of the collapse of the French Empire in North Africa. In any case, among the many responses was this email from TPM Reader ES, a longtime reader and frequent correspondent of mine. For a bit of context, in the email ES identifies himself as a French Jew. I believe he is at least a longterm resident of the US and possibly a US citizen ...

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The Uninvited Guest

An interesting backstory to Benjamin Netanyahu’s very prominent presence at the solidarity rally in Paris over the weekend. It turns out that President Hollande initially sent a back channel message asking Netanyahu not to attend. And, to my surprise, Netanyahu complied. The Shin Bet wasn’t crazy, it seems, about the security challenges in any case. So Netanyahu agreed. At least at first.

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Thank You

I wanted to talk a moment to thank all of our TPM Prime members who are re-upping for another year with us. (Subscriptions are annual and come up throughout the year. But our original 'Launch Members' are coming up for renewal over the course of this month.) Prime and your subscription dollars are a key, critical part of what makes TPM possible. There are obviously lots of cool features to Prime - special longform articles, dramatically fewer ads, special site navigation features, The Hive, and more. But I know many of our members mainly subscribe as a way to support TPM. And I just wanted to say, that means the world to us. To me, and to our whole team.

If you're not a member, give us a try. It's a premium version of TPM, more of what you already love. And your support goes a long way.

Is There a Future for French Jewry?

Does French Jewry have a future?

As you can see, one of two unfolding hostage situations in Paris is at a kosher supermarket where gunman have already killed two people and appear to be holding five hostages, including women and children. On a Friday afternoon, such a venue would be filled with mothers and children. (As I wrote this piece, the hostage standoff ended; there are still conflicting reports about how many of the hostages survived.) This comes after a series of attacks on French Jews over recent years and a series of crowd actions and riots last year during the latest Gaza War which were more ambiguous but still contributed to a climate of generalized menace. A leader of French Jewry predicted late last year that the number of French Jews emigrating to Israel (making 'aliya') would reach 6500 in 2014, double the number in 2013. The estimates of the total population of Jews in France range between just under 500,000 and 600,000. So while these numbers are small, they are substantial for a single year. And they appear to be growing, rapidly.

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More Coming on Social Security

As we noted yesterday, to the surprise of even me, House Republicans have put in place a new rule aimed at manufacturing a Social Security funding crisis - with the apparent aim of returning (a decade later) to efforts to start pruning the program. We've been digging in to find out just what the plan seems to be and we'll be bringing you a follow up tomorrow. Stay tuned.