300 French personalities denounce anti-Semitism

More than 300 French dignitaries and stars sign manifesto denouncing "new anti-Semitism" marked by "Islamist radicalization".

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Paris
Paris
Reuters

More than 300 French dignitaries and stars have signed a manifesto denouncing a "new anti-Semitism" marked by "Islamist radicalization" after a string of killings of Jews.

The manifesto will be published in Le Figaro newspaper on Sunday.

The country's half-a-million-plus Jewish community is the largest in Europe but has been hit by a wave of emigration to Israel in the past two decades, partly due to the emergence of virulent anti-Semitism in predominantly immigrant neighborhoods.

"We demand that the fight against this democratic failure that is anti-Semitism becomes a national cause before it's too late. Before France is no longer France," reads the manifesto, co-signed by politicians from the left and right including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and celebrities like actor Gerard Depardieu.

The signatories condemned what they called an "quiet ethnic purging" driven by rising Islamist radicalism particularly in working-class neighborhoods.

They also accused the media of remaining silent on the matter.

"In our recent history, 11 Jews have been assassinated -- and some tortured -- by radical Islamists because they were Jewish," the declaration said.

The murders referenced reach as far back as 2006 and include the 2012 deadly shooting of three schoolchildren and a teacher at a Jewish school by Islamist terrorist Mohammed Merah in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

Last month, 85-year-old French Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was murdered in her apartment in Paris.

Prosecutors have indicted two defendants in connection with what is being tried as a murder with aggravated circumstances of a hate crime. They are also charged with robbery.

One of the suspects in custody, a 29-year-old Muslim man, was a neighbor of Knoll. Prosecutors investigating the murder have confirmed the two suspects in custody targeted her because she was Jewish.

In addition to anti-Semitic violence, there have been several other incidents of incidents targets Jews in Paris in recent weeks.

Several days after Knoll’s murder, the office of the French Jewish Students Union at the University of Paris was broken into and vandalized with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti.

The same week, the French Jewish student union reported that a room that it used at the Sorbonne university in Paris had been completely defaced.

"French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their fellow Muslim citizens," the manifesto says.

It adds that some 50,000 Jews had been "forced to move because they were no longer in safety in certain cities and because their children could no longer go to school".

AFP contributed to this report.








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