French Prime Minister Manuel Valls
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls criticised calls for French Jews to leave for Israel.Reuters

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has urged French Jews to ignore Benjamin Netanyahu's call to return to Israel following a series of attacks on the continent that has fuelled insecurity among Europe's Jewish community.

Valls said his government will defend French Jews, in the wake of this weekend's deadly shooting at a Danish synagogue as well as the desecration of a Jewish graveyard in eastern France.

"My message to French Jews is the following," Valls told RTL radio. "Like you, France is also hurt and it doesn't want you to leave. She [France] repeats once again her love, support and solidarity.

"Every Jew who leaves is a piece of France that goes away."

The PM criticised his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, who repeated a call for Jews to emigrate en masse to Israel. The Israeli head first issued his plea after four people were killed at a kosher supermarket in Paris last month.

"The fact that you're in an election campaign doesn't mean you can just make any statement. The place for French Jews is France," Valls said.

After a 22-year-old gunman killed two people, including a 37-year-old Jewish security guard who was patrolling a synagogue in Copenhagen, Netanyahu's office tweeted:

Hours later police were called to a Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, a small town near the German border, that was left "in ruins" by vandals who smashed more than 300 tombstones.

France's Jewish community, the largest in Europe, has lamented the increase in anti-Semitism in recent years.

Anti-Semitic attacks more than doubled in 2014, with some 851 incidents reported in the country, according to the Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF).

Many were blamed on young Muslims under the influence of radical Islamist ideology spread online.

Tensions have resulted in a record number of Jews starting a new life in Israel, with more than 7,000 leaving France in 2014 compared to 3,300 the previous year.