Anti-Jewish attitudes force French, British Jews to emigrate before Americans

The shift of antisemitism westward from the former Soviet Union has shifted the source of new immigration to Israel westward. Total immigration to Israel is down, but Jewish emigration from France, Britain, and to a lesser extent from North America has increased. L.A. Times' perspective:

Since renewed Palestinian-Israeli violence began six years ago, however, the number of emigrants to Israel has dropped markedly, from 61,542 in 2000 to 19,200 as of November this year, according to Israeli government statistics.

During the same period, however, the number of emigrants from North America slowly but steadily increased by nearly 50%, to nearly 3,000 this year. Unlike other emigrants, many of whom fled persecution and discrimination in their home countries, North Americans tend to be motivated by dreams of spiritual fulfillment or idealistic longing to help build up the relatively young Jewish state, said Nefesh B'Nefesh spokesman Charley J. Levine, who lives in Israel.

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