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    A member of the French community sits in a patisserie in Netanya, a city of 180,000 on the Mediterranean north of Tel Aviv, that has become the semi-official capital of the French community in Israel January 25, 2015

    France Wants Jews to Spurn Netanyahu's Call to Return to Israel

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    French Prime Minister advised the country's Jewish population to ignore Benjamin Netanyahu's call to resettle to Israel after a series of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday urged the country's Jewish population to ignore Benjamin Netanyahu's call to resettle to Israel after a series of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe.

    "France has been wounded like you, and it does not want you to leave," Valls addressed the Jews in France during an interview with RTL television.

    "Love and solidarity are stronger than these attacks," he said, adding that with every departing Jew, France would lose "a bit of itself."

    Valls' call came after two shootings in the Danish capital Copenhagen, where two men were shot dead over the weekend, one of them near a synagogue and another at a cafe hosting a debate on Islam. Police said they could have been inspired by the January rampage in and around Paris, including a hostage-taking at a kosher food store, that killed four.

    In addition, 200 to 300 Jewish tombs in the eastern French region of Alsace were vandalized on Sunday in what the French government branded as a "despicable" crime.

    Following the Copenhagen shootings, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Jews in Europe to come back "home" to Israel, claiming the attacks on Jews in Europe would continue. The Israeli government approved on Sunday a $46-million plan to encourage Jewish immigration from France, Belgium and Ukraine.

    France's Valls said he regrets Netanyahu's words and blamed him for using the tragedy to score with voters ahead of the upcoming parliamentary election in March.

    In recent months, the European Union has been rocked by anti-Semitic attacks, starting with the killing of four at the Jewish museum in Brussels. In January, the UN General Assembly held its first ever meeting on the rise of anti-Semitic violence.


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