Too little, too late.
If the PM’s words were coupled with a statement reflecting a new change in policy concerning Muslim immigration, then I might spot perhaps a flicker of hope, but that was not to be the case.
French Prime Minister Warns: If Jews Flee, The Republic Will Be Judged a Failure
SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2015 4:17 AM GMT
The massacre at a kosher supermarket in Paris on Friday reinforced a fear, expressed openly and with distressing frequency by many in France’s half-million-strong Jewish community, that Islamist violence is compelling large numbers of Jews to flee. Already, several thousand have left over the past few years. But it is not merely the physical safety of France’s Jews that is imperiled by anti-Semitic violence, the country’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, argues, but the very idea of the French Republic itself. In an interview conducted before the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket massacres, Valls told me that if French Jews were to flee in large numbers, the soul of the French Republic would be at risk.
“The choice was made by the French Revolution in 1789 to recognize Jews as full citizens,” Valls told me. “To understand what the idea of the republic is about, you have to understand the central role played by the emancipation of the Jews. It is a founding principle.”
Valls, a Socialist who is the son of Spanish immigrants, describes the threat of a Jewish exodus from France this way: “If 100,000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.”
I met Valls at the Hotel Matignon, the prime minister’s residence, in the 7th arrondissement. (We spoke for a while, and I’ll be incorporating the full interview with Valls into a longer article for the magazine about this set of issues. But, given the suddenly intensifying crisis, it seemed worthwhile to highlight some of the things he said.)