Riots in France
Riots in FranceREUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Amid severe rioting in the country, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, sent a letter to France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, addressing the antisemitic incidents during the protests.

In the letter, he notes that “since the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket terrorist attacks in 2015, the quotient of Jew-hatred in demonstrations across France has been sizeable, from the Yellow Jackets rallies to the anti-mask/anti-vaccine protests, where anarchists, extreme right and Islamists have infiltrated the movements, making antisemitic slogans go viral and vandalizing anything Jewish.

Today", the letter continues, "The protests around the tragic death of a teenager see some sincere indignation drowned by the unacceptable violence by opportunists and delinquents. Notwithstanding the curfew, there have been hundreds wounded and over 2000 arrests so far."

The letter notes that looking at other similar riots in France as elsewhere, the bloodletting might stop only if the mayhem produces another irreparable tragedy. "Not only rocks, Molotov cocktails, and crowbars are used each night, but there have been cases of car-ramming and rifle shots," it states.

"In recent days, some of the 'protest' has directed its attention to the Holocaust Memorial in Nanterre and Jewish shops. In every riot, there has been a quotient of antisemitism," it continues.

The letter then directly addresses Macron: "Mr. President, during the terrorist surge of 2015, your predecessor, President Hollande, correctly placed the military on the steps of most Jewish institutions. They were then removed and replaced by mobile patrols."

Samuels then proposed several suggestions to deal with the issue: The return of the military to protect Jewish institutions, especially in and around Paris, the verification that all Jewish cemeteries and memorials be equipped with CCTV and an alarm linked to local police, and the establishment of a telephone hotline, manned 24/7, especially for the elderly and handicapped, who risk not being able to escape from a sudden burst of violence.

Mr. President, these riots will come to an end, we hope, as soon as possible. But as a side effect, they have brought together isolated youth, delinquent wolfpacks, organized criminals, and antisemitic Islamist terror cells."

The letter concluded: “Mr. President, the Wiesenthal Centre is ready to work with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in her project against hatred.”