Saturday, 29 Feb 2020 - 4 of Adar, 5780

Are French authorities doing enough to combat antisemitic acts ?

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According to an opinion poll, the French government is not doing enough to combat antisemitic acts. The Ifop survey carried out for i24News shows that 66% of Israelis believe that the measures taken on this subject by the Macron administration are not effective, against 34% who have an opposite opinion.

“Anti-Semitism is not only the problem of the Jews, it is first of all the problem of others.Antisemitism is the problem of the Republic,” declared French President Emmanuel Macron in Israel where he spoke, along other world leaders, at a ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem marking 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.

The day before he noted that “anti-Zionism, when it is the negation of the existence of Israel as a state, is anti-Semitism.’’

Speaking to members of the French community in Israel at a memorial near Jerusalem for Jews deported from France during WWII, Macron pledged to intensify his fight against “rising anti-Semitism” and also said he wanted a trial for the murderer of Sarah Halimi in 2017. The decision of a French court of appeals not to put Sarah Halimi’s murderer on trial has provokes anger in the Jewish community. “The need for a trial is there,” the president said. “An appeal in Cassation was formulated and constitutes a possible way.’’he said.

“French justice has recognized the anti-Semitic nature of this crime”, which “no one can question,” he said. “Even if in the end the judge decides that the criminal responsibility is not there, the need for a trial is there,” he concluded to the applause of the  some 600 French people living in Israel.

Macron cited several examples of anti-Semitism in France: ‘’In France, this violence, the desecration of cemeteries has no place. The use of the yellow star does not have to be done in an unbearable amalgam. ” In this last sentence, he was referring to a controversy that arose in the middle of November during a demonstration against Islamophobia in which members of the parade had displayed this yellow star.

The president then detailed the measures taken against anti-Semitism. He listed heightened surveillance of around 868 Jewish places of worship, the dissolution of associations calling for hatred and violence. ‘’More will follow,” he noted, “covering the whole territory” by teams of investigators and gendarmes, the establishment of a “structure dedicated to the fight against hate crimes”, and that of the platform against online hate content.

But according to an opinion poll, the French government is not doing enough to combat antisemitic acts. The Ifop survey carried out for i24News shows that 66% of Israelis believe that the measures taken on this subject by the Macron administration are not effective, against 34% who have an opposite opinion.

The survey was conducted before the visit of Macron in Israel and his statements about anti-Semitism.

The same poll reveals that 36% of the Israelis have a “good opinion” of the French leader. He is preceded by Donald Trump (57%) and Angela Merkel (59%). Among Jews of France, only 38% have a “good opinion” of President Macron.

Another survey, jointly conducted by French think-tank Fondapol and the American Jewish Committee found that 70 percent of Jews in France said they have been victims of anti-Semitism at least once in their lives, including 84 percent of those aged 18-24.

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