A new report says Jews from Europe emigrated to Israel in record numbers in 2015; the leading cause being the rise in anti-Semitic attacks.

The Jewish Agency, a non-profit organisation which works with the Israeli government and acts as a link to Jews around the world, has told the Associated Press that 9,880 western European Jews emigrated to Israel in 2015 – the highest annual number ever.

Of the 9,880 western European Jews who made aliyah in 2015, the highest number (around 7,900) came from France.

Jews from the United Kingdom were the second highest number to emigrate from Europe with over 700 leaving Britain for Israel in 2015, a 25% increase on the previous year.

Jews have been targeted in Belgium, Denmark, the UK and other European countries, but France has experienced the worse level of attacks. Jews have increasingly reported assaults and intimidation, mostly from Islamic extremists.

Attacks targeting Jews continued in 2015, including the killing of four Jews at a Jewish supermarket in Paris in February. Even this week a Jewish man was attacked by a machete wielding teenager simply because he was wearing a kippa (Jewish skullcap).

France’s Jewish community of some 500,000 Jews is the largest in Europe, but makes up only 1% of the French population. Despite this small number, French officials said more than 50% of all reported racist attacks in 2014 were directed against Jews.

As a result, Jewish schools and synagogues in France are often guarded by uniformed soldiers who patrol the streets with automatic rifles.

It has been no surprise to some that Europe is seeing such a high number of Jews make aliyah, with experts saying European Jews have not felt this threatened since World War II.

About the findings, Jewish Agency Chairman, Natan Sharansky, said, “That a record number of European Jews feel that Europe is no longer their home should alarm European leaders and serve as a wake-up call for all who are concerned about the future of Europe.”

Christians United for Israel UK has been raising awareness about the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Europe. As Christians, we believe it is essential to stand with the Jewish people against this tide of hate.

We encourage you to get involved with our ‘Christians Against Anti-Semitism’ campaign and add your voice to thousands of others by signing our petition here or clicking the image below.

/Christians United for Israel UK (CUFI UK)