Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that Jews "on the average" are "safer in France" than in Israel, despite a massive uptick in extremist violence that has targeted Jewish people living in that country.
Carter’s claim came in response to a recent call by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inviting France’s endangered Jews to move to Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.
Jews have fled Paris en massage due to growing anti-Semitism and the recent the massacre of Jews in a kosher food store by Islamic extremists. The editor of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle said that the problem is so bad that "every single French Jew I know has either left or is actively working out how to leave."
However, Carter said that Jews are still safer in France than in "some place in Israel," an apparent reference to areas often struck by terrorism from groups such as Hamas.
"My guess is that the Jews who live in France will maybe not take this as a positive step, and say the only way you can be safe is to go to Israel," Carter said in an interview with HuffPost Live. "I would guess that you may be, on the average, maybe safer in France than some places in Israel, but I’m not trying to make a judgment."
Carter also said that the recent attacks in Paris should provide an opportunity for the West to discover what makes Islam "great."
"I think this is going to give a lot of people incentive to look into Islamicism, what is it about this religion that makes it great, that makes it appeal to really billions of people and to understand that Islamic leaders condemn this kind of terrorism just like the rest of the world," he said.