The soul of the French republic would be at risk if there were a mass exodus of Jews from France, the country's prime minister said.
In an interview published Saturday, Manuel Valls said that the emancipation of the Jews was a "founding principle" of the republic and that if they were to leave, "The French Republic will be judged a failure."
"If 100,000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore," said Valls, who is the son of Spanish immigrants. "But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure."