News Brief 3/20/2007, Nisan 1, 5767
7,000 French Jews ask USA for Asylum
More than 7,000 French Jews have signed a petition asking for political asylum in the United States because of anti-Semitism in France. The petition makes pointed reference to the murder of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Parisian Jew who was kidnapped and tortured to death last year by an anti-Semitic gang, and says that "following the barbarous murder of a young Jew because he was Jewish, in the context of the rise in anti-Semitic acts committed by Islamic fundamentalists, numerous members of the community no longer feel safe in France."
The petition was sent to the U.S. Congress and asks it to enact a law according French Jews refugee status.
Some French Jewish leaders were outraged: "This petition is bizarre, stupid and out of place," said Chaim Musicant, director of CRIF, the umbrella organization of secular French Jewish groups.