Lapid urges French Jews to immigrate to Israel
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Lapid urges French Jews to immigrate to Israel

Yesh Atid leader, son of a Holocaust survivor, says European Jewry must realize that the Jewish state is their only true home

Yair Lapid, January 1, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
Yair Lapid, January 1, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid called Saturday on French Jews to immigrate to Israel, following Friday’s deadly attack at the kosher supermarket Hypercacher Alimentation Générale in Paris’s Porte-de-Vinnence.

“Terrorism and racism must be dealt with firmly and without compromise; this realization is now reaching the Europeans,” Lapid said during an event in Beersheba.

“European Jewry should understand that there is only one home for Jews and that is the State of Israel.”

The terrorists killed four people in the attack, and held several more people captive including women and children.

Lapid, a former finance minister, is the son of a Holocaust survivor, the late broadcaster and politician Yosef “Tommy” Lapid.

Earlier Saturday, Hatnua party leader Tzipi Livni claimed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had isolated Israel internationally, and that despite the fact that following the attacks in France “there is an international coalition against radical Islam in the world, unfortunately Israel is not part of it.”

Tzipi Livni on December 12, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)
Tzipi Livni on December 12, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)

Amedy Coulibaly, a self-described member of the Islamic State and Hayat Boumeddiene, his wife, laid siege to the kosher market for over six hours as security forces massed outside while hostage negotiations were taking place with police. Coulibaly was coordinating with two brothers who carried out a massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, killing 12 people. Police said he had also killed a policewoman in Montrouge on Thursday, as part of a series of radical Islamist attacks in and around Paris.

On Friday, Cherif and Said Kouachi, who were on the run since Wednesday’s attack, holed up a print business in Dammarin-de-Goel north-east of Paris and held one person captive, while Coulibaly and Boumeddiene attacked the grocery store. The brothers were killed by French security forces and the hostage freed.

At the printing business, one employee took refuge “under a sink in the canteen” upstairs, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters.

This combination of images released on January 9, 2015 by the French police shows Hayat Boumeddiene, left, and Amedy Coulibaly, right, suspected of killing a policewoman in Montrouge on January 8, 2015. Coulibaly was killed on January 9 after police stormed a kosher market where he and Boumeddiene had taken hostages. He is linked to two brothers who massacred 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday. (Photo credit: AFP/FRENCH POLICE)
Hayat Boumeddiene, left, and Amedy Coulibaly, right, suspected of killing a policewoman in Montrouge on January 8, 2015. Coulibaly was killed on January 9 after police stormed a kosher market where he and Boumeddiene had taken hostages. He is linked to two brothers who massacred 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday. (Photo credit: AFP/FRENCH POLICE)

During the grocery store siege, Coulibaly threatened to kill his hostages if the police stormed the building where the terrorist brothers were holed up.

Coulibaly did not know of several shoppers two floors below who were huddling together in the refrigerated room to keep warm, praying they would not be discovered.

Coulibaly was killed in a shootout with the police when they stormed the store; his wife escaped amid the confusion over the hostages who ran out once police swooped in. Police were still on the hunt for Boumeddiene Saturday, fearing she may ready to carry out another terror attack.

Members of the French police special forces evacuate the hostages after launching the assault at a kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris, on January 9, 2015. (Photo credit: AFP/ THOMAS SAMSON)
Members of the French police special forces evacuate the hostages after launching the assault at a kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris, on January 9, 2015. (Photo credit: AFP/ THOMAS SAMSON)

The attack at the kosher store prompted police to increase security in Jewish neighborhoods and order shops in a famous Jewish area in Paris to close early, fearing more attacks.

In the wake of the deadly attack at the kosher store, an influential British journalist said in a series of tweets that French Jews he knows have either left France or are preparing to leave the country, amid rising anti-Semitic attacks.

“Every single French Jew I know has either left or is actively working out how to leave,” said Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle.

“So, it’s a fluke that the latest target is a kosher grocer, is it? What’s going on in France — outrages that have been getting worse for years — put our anti-Semitism problems in perspective,” he said.

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