Saturday, 29 Feb 2020 - 4 of Adar, 5780

Leader of French Jewish community calls for ‘national effort’ against antisemitism after series of antisemitic incidents in Paris

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PARIS—Francis Kalifat, president of Crif, the umbrella representative group of Jewish institutions in France,  called  for a “national effort against anti-Semitism” following a series of antisemitic incidents in Paris including swastikas and other antisemitic graffiti across the city.

A Paris prosecutor has  opened four investigations into the antisemitic incidents. Portraits of late minister and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil was desecrated with swastikas, trees in memory of Ilan Halimi, a French Jew brutally murdered in 2006  because he was Jewish,  were vandalized, the word ‘’Juden’’ (the German word for Jewish) was tagged on a Jewish-owned shop window in Paris.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced a rise of 74% in antisemitic incidents in 2018 and called it a “spreading poison.”

‘’The  last days alone testify to the trivialization and violence of anti-Semitism in the France of 2019,’’ said Crif President Francis Kalifat in a statement. The 74% increase in anti-Semitic acts in 2018, announced by the minister, reflects a disturbing liberation of anti-Jewish hatred, he said.

Criff recalls that these statistics do not include acts that did not lead to a complaint, or anti-Semitic remarks on the Internet. They therefore only very partially reflect the reality of the “everyday anti-Semitism” facing French Jews.

Kalifat expressed concern about the violence of anti-Semitism on social networks that contributes to  anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories to be rooted in the minds of younger generations.

For Crif, the general plans to fight against hatred unfortunately seem ‘’ineffective.’’ ‘’It is now necessary to provide targeted responses to each of the hatreds that tear our society apart,’’ Kalifat said.


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