Anti-Semitism in France up 69 percent

French PM says anti-Semitic acts in the country rose by 69 percent in the first nine months of 2018.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff,

Paris
Paris
iStock

Anti-Semitic acts in France rose by 69 percent in the first nine months of 2018, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Friday, as Jews in Europe and around the world marked the 80th anniversary of the infamous "Kristallnacht" Nazi pogrom against Jews.

"Every aggression perpetrated against one of our citizens because they are Jewish echoes like the breaking of new crystal," Philippe wrote on Facebook, referring to the start of the Nazi drive to wipe out Jews on November 9, 1938, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, according to AFP.

"Why recall, in 2018, such a painful memory? Because we are very far from being finished with anti-Semitism," he said, calling the number of acts "relentless".

After a record year in 2015, anti-Semitic acts fell by 58 percent in 2016 and went down a further seven percent last year, however there was an increase in violent acts targeting Jews.

In his Facebook post, Philippe quoted Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel as saying that "the real danger, my son, is indifference", pledging that the French government would not be indifferent.

The government plans to toughen rules on hate speech online next year, pressuring social media giants to do more to remove racist and anti-Semitic content.

Philippe said it would also "experiment with a network of investigators and magistrates specially trained in the fight against acts of hate", which could be extended nation-wide.

Starting mid-November, he added, a national team would be mobilized to intervene in schools to support teachers facing anti-Semitism.

In recent years, France has seen several cases of extreme violence against Jewish victims whose attackers singled them out for robbery, rape and murder because they were Jewish.

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

Prosecutors later 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.

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.

This past week, two Jews were assaulted in two separate incidents on the streets of Paris, in what police said may have been hate crimes.

In addition, worshipers last Saturday discovered graffiti about Jews and “Palestine” written on the wall of a synagogue in Les Lilas, an eastern suburb of Paris bordering on the 19th District.

France recently increased vigilance at places of Jewish worship around the country following the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)


More Arutz Sheva videos:


top