Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with French Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave after presenting his condolences following the deadly attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on January 9, 2015 at the Prime Ministe
Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with French Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave, after presenting his condolences following the deadly attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie HebdoGetty

The head of Europe's largest association of Jewish organisations has condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for Jews to emigrate to Israel after the Paris terror attacks.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association (EJA), told news website NRG that he regretted that "after every anti-Semitic attack in Europe, the Israeli government issues the same statements about the importance of aliyah [immigration to Israel], rather than employ every diplomatic and informational means at its disposal to strengthen the safety of Jewish life in Europe," reports Haaretz.

The rabbi said that "every such Israeli campaign severely weakens and damages the Jewish communities that have the right to live securely wherever they are.

"The Israeli government must recognize this reality and also remember the strategic importance of the Jewish communities as supporters of Israel in the countries in which they live."

Four Jews were killed in an attack on a kosher supermarket by gunman Amedy Coulibaly on Friday, 9 January, and are to be buried in Israel.

They have been named as Yoav Hattab, 21, Yohan Cohen, 20, Philippe Braham, 45, and François-Michel Saada, 64.

In a statement issued before setting off for today's rally in Paris in memory of the victims of the attack, and in defiance against terrorism, Netanyahu said.

"I am going to Paris in order to participate in the rally, along with world leaders, for a renewed struggle against the Islamic terrorism that is threatening all of humanity, which I have been calling for, for years.

"This evening I will attend a special rally, along with French president François Hollande, with the Jewish community in France. I will say there that any Jew who wants to emigrate to Israel will be received here with open arms."

Margolin said that Israel's government "must cease this Pavlovian reaction every time Jews in Europe are attacked," and called for measures to be introduced allowing Jews to defend their communities.

He said the said that the EJA had "asked the interior ministers of European Union nations to approve weapons carry permits and self-defense training for the heads of Jewish communities… as well as for owners of businesses with substantial Jewish customer bases," NRG reported.

After a meeting with Jewish community leaders, President Hollande pledged that French synagogues and Jewish schools would be protected by the French army if necessary.