On the fifth anniversary of the murder of French Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, and to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this week, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF) released a survey on the French people’s knowledge of Judaism and the Jewish world.
CRIF recently commissioned the study from Ipsos on “French people’s knowledge of the Jewish world,” which it explained sheds light on “understanding of the relationship and the knowledge of the French to the Jewish world.”
The survey revealed a higher level of antisemitic prejudice among new generations compared to older ones, according to CRIF.
In particular, the study noted that 42 percent of respondents under the age of 35 subscribed to six or more antisemitic prejudices.
"We were convinced for a long time that antisemitism would die out over time, but we realize today that time is now against us,” CRIF President Yonathan Arfi told the Le Point newspaper.
The organization pointed out that modern antisemitism in France has taken on new “contemporary” forms in the “face of which our traditional tools of struggle are no longer relevant.”
“We also retain from this survey [evidence of] the loss of knowledge by the French of religions in general, and of Judaism in particular,” CRIF said.
The survey reveals that more than 70 percent of respondents did not know the chronological order of appearance of the three monotheistic religions. Only 20 to 30 percent of respondents knew how to answer basic questions about the Jewish world ("Shabbat, main dietary restrictions, etc.").
“If, according to this survey, having Jewish people in one's close entourage makes respondents more sensitive to possible antisemitic words and allows them to be more receptive to the positive contribution of Jews in France, 85 percent of those questioned do not have Jewish people in their entourage,” CRIF pointed out.
“Also, and even though this week is devoted to education and actions against racism and antisemitism, the survey revealed that for 16 percent of French respondents under the age of 35, the departure of French Jews to Israel or other countries is ‘a good thing for France,’” the Jewish communal body added.
CRIF stressed that “antisemitism has many faces” today, and that “the challenge is no longer just pure Holocaust denial.”
“We are witnessing a competition of victimhood on the subject of the Holocaust and speeches of radical hostility towards Israel are multiplying in an uninhibited way,” they said.
“When we criticize Israel for what it is and not for what it does, we treat Israel exactly as antisemitism treats Jews: guilty in essence,” Arfi told Le Point.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)