Partly it’s political: Every Fifth Republic presidency (with the arguable exception of François Mitterrand’s) has ended in failure. Partly it’s economic: Since 1978, French economic growth has clocked in at an average rate of 0.45%; unemployment hasn’t fallen below 7% in over 30 years. Partly it’s ideological: Égalité begat egalitarianism, and egalitarianism is what animates the politics of envy. Partly it’s cultural: Too many French Muslims don’t want to conform to the norms of modern society, and too many French don’t want to conform to the realities of a globalized world. When National Front leader Marine Le Pen says “the multinational interests that impose their own ways are not good for France,” she is attempting to stuff the French body politic into an economic burqa.
Above all, it’s cumulative. Similar-size countries like Germany or Britain have had their highs and lows in recent decades, periods of growth or recession, feelings of confidence or malaise. French decline has been constant, unrelieved, embittering. “In one of my finance seminars, every single French student intends to go abroad,” Sorbonne economics Prof. Jacques Régniez told the Daily Telegraph in 2013. It isn’t just the Jews who want out.
But it’s especially the Jews who need out.