Daily Israel Report

'Jews, Out of France!'

Chilling video shows hundreds of anti-Semites on the march in Paris, illustrating the frightening rise of anti-Semitism in France.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 1/29/2014, 9:04 PM

Illustration: Anti-Semitic demonstration
Illustration: Anti-Semitic demonstration
Reuters

It is nothing short of chilling.

A video, taken on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, shows masses of French protesters marching down a Paris thoroughfare chanting openly anti-Semitic slogans and calling on Jews to get out of France.

Chants include "Jews, France is not yours!" "Jews out of France" and "The story of the gas chambers is bull***!" At one point, in a show of raw, seething hatred, the crowd simply spits out the word "Jew, Jew, Jew!" 

Many of the marchers can be seen giving the "quenelle" inverted Nazi salute popularized by anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne. The gesture is seen as a way for anti-Semites to give a Nazi salute without incurring the wrath of authorities - although one demonstrator can be seen giving a full-on Nazi salute as well.

It was part of a "Day of Anger" called by anti-government activists in protest of a variety of "anti-establishment" causes. French police estimated that around 17,000 people had attended the march, and said that 250 had been arrested. Police told AFP news agency that 19 police officers were injured in clashes with demonstrators, one seriously.

Despite claims by Dieudonne and some of his supporters that it is simply an innocent "up yours" or "anti-establishment" gesture, it has been adopted by a vast range of anti-Semites, from the far-right to Muslim extremists, many of whom post online pictures of themselves making the salute in front of sensitive sites such as Holocaust memorials, synagogues, and even the school in Toulouse at which an Islamist gunman murdered a rabbi and three Jewish children.

Dieudonne himself has a long history of anti-Semitic comments and shows, including a recent video in which he implies the Jewish victims of the Holocaust may themselves be to blame for their own genocide.

Apart from the quenelle gestures, the marchers can clearly be heard singing a song mocking the Holocaust composed by Dieudonne, entitled "Shoananas". The song is yet another masterful attempt by Dieudonne to trivialize and legitimize anti-Semitism; it is a play on the Hebrew word for the Holocaust (Shoah) and the French word for pineapple (ananas).

The footage provides the most alarming evidence yet that the popularization of anti-Semitism by the bigoted French comic is reaching terrifying heights, and raises serious concerns for the country's Jewish community.

France's Jewish community - the third largest in the world (after Israel and the US) - is seeing an unprecedented exodus, and the continuing tide of anti-Semitism has triggered preparations in Israel for a major influx of olim (immigrants to Israel) from the country.

A recent poll by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency recorded that 40% of French Jews fear publicly identifying as Jews, and that 75% of European Jews feel that anti-Semitism is on the rise.