French embassy worker accused of anti-Semitism reinstated

French embassy in Tunisia reinstates employee who was suspended over anti-Semitic messages that appeared on his Facebook account.

Ben Ariel and JTA ,

Facebook (illustration)
Facebook (illustration)
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France’s embassy in Tunisia has reinstated an employee who was suspended briefly over anti-Semitic messages that appeared on his Facebook account which he claimed was hacked, JTA reported Wednesday.

Selim Dakhlaoui, a consulting agent for the embassy, was “reintegrated and resumed his responsibilities within the embassy,” a French Foreign Ministry spokesperson told JTA, pending an investigation by Tunisian police of Dakhlaoui‘s complaint that unidentified individuals had written the comments under his name after taking control of his Facebook account without permission.

Dakhlaoui was suspended for three days back in August following the surfacing online of messages made over the past year under his name, including one saying “Hitler didn’t finish the job” in a discussion about Israel’s alleged involvement in Islamist terrorism.

The ministry spokesperson stressed to JTA that the statements were “unacceptable” and run contrary to “France’s values.”

Dakhlaoui's account also featured a comment from October 2015 that read “Soon it will be the end of Israel,” followed by an icon of a missile. A week later the account displayed the message “Go to hell, Israel.”

Shortly after the remarks were featured in an article published in August about Dakhlaoui in a French-language blog, he wrote on Twitter, “Watch out, my account has been hijacked” and deleted it.

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, did not seem to believe his claim, saying, “This is a hateful comment, just like the ones we see too often on social media. Except this one was authored by an employee of the embassy of France in Tunisia. We anxiously await their reaction!”

Anti-Semitism, both in the form of hate language as well as violent attacks, has been on the rise in France – and in the rest of Europe – in recent years.

In 2014 alone, 164 violent anti-Semitic incidents occurred in France - more than any other European nation.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has expressed his "solidarity" toward French Jews and has strongly condemned anti-Semitism.




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