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Anti-Semitic acts nearly quadrupled last year in France, says Jewish organisation

France24: https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240125-anti-semitic-acts-nearly-quadrupled-last-year-in-france-says-jewish-organisation

Anti-Semitic acts in France nearly quadrupled in 2023 compared with the previous year, a Jewish organisation said Wednesday, reflecting a surge in discrimination since the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel.

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Citing figures from the French interior ministry and a French-Jewish security watchdog, the Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) said there were 1,676 anti-Semitic acts last year compared to 436 the year prior.

Nearly 60 percent of those acts were attacks involving physical violence, threatening words or menacing gestures, CRIF said in its report.

Worryingly, nearly 13 percent of anti-Semitic acts last year took place in schools, most of them in junior high schools.

“We are witnessing a rejuvenation of the perpetrators of anti-Semitic acts. Schools are no longer a sanctuary of the Republic,” the report said.

The spike in anti-Semitism is the worst on record, according to CRIF, which has figures dating back to 2012.

Read moreFrench Jews speak out amid rising anti-Semitism

The organisation cautioned that its tally reflects only acts “that have been the subject of a complaint or a report to the police”.

France is home to Europe’s largest Jewish community and the largest number of Muslims on the continent, although no precise figures are available as the country’s census does not include religious identity.

According to CRIF, the bloodshed in the Middle East has unleashed a wave of anti-Semitic vitriol.

Read moreFrance’s Jewish community faces a surge in anti-Semitism

In the three months following Hamas’ October 7 attack and Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza, the number of anti-Semitic incidents “equalled that of the previous three years combined”, according to the report.

A third of the acts glorified jihadism, according to CRIF, and a quarter were “calls to murder”.

France has seen previous surges of anti-Semitism, including after a 2012 attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse and a 2015 attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.

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EVENTS

Past events

Auschwitz EJA Conference

Auschwitz EJA Conference

Start Time: 21/01/2024 10:00:00 AM
End Time: 23/01/2024 3:00:00 PM

EJA Annual Conference SHAPING THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN JEWRY TOGETHER

Porto, Portugal

Start Time: 15/05/2023 11:59:00 AM
End Time: 16/05/2023 5:59:00 PM
STATEMENTS

EU Court's Shocking Ruling Threatens Freedom of Religion for Jews and Muslims

The European Jewish Association (EJA) learned with deep shock about the ruling of the EU Court of Human Rights against the human rights, freedom of religion and worship of Jews and Muslims.  “The implied determination of the distorted verdict is that the rights of these citizens to freedom of religion and worship are even less than that of animals.”  Says EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin and warned that the severe restrictions on Jews to live according to their faith will lead to serious damage to the fabric of life throughout the continent.  The European Jewish Association calls on the Belgian Government and all other governments and Parliaments throughout the continent to immediately take all the necessary steps in order to change the ruling that discriminates against Jews and Muslims.

In a letter sent to European Heads of States, EJA’s European Leader’s Forum for Combatting Antisemitism headed by The 10th President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, and including former prominent European Heads of States: Sebastian Kurz, Manuel Valls, Matteo Renzi, Petar Stoyanov, Andrej Babiš, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, Borut Pahor, Milo Đukanović and Stefan Lofven, is calling on governments and parliaments to enact the laws that commit to maintaining the freedom of religion and worship of the continent’s citizens, including kosher and Halal slaughter.

Press Release: European Jewish Association head calls on European Parliament president to suspend chair for relations with palestine for ‘blatant’ antisemitism.

MEP Manu Pineda, chair for relations with Palestine, shares Instagram post of Hitler poster with never again written on it being torn to reveal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving Nazi salute under the headline ‘again’, a clear breach of the IHRA definition of antisemitism, of which the EU Institutions are a signatory.

 

(Brussels 3 January 2024) The Chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin today wrote to European Parliament President Roberta Metsola calling for, at a minimum, the suspension from the European Parliament of the Chair for relations with Palestine, Spanish MEP Manu Pineda.

 

Mr Pineda shared an Instagram story video showing a poster of Adolf Hitler giving a Nazi salute under a banner that reads ‘never again’. A hooded man then rips off part the poster to reveal Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu whose face and Israeli flag replace Hitler’s and the swastika, and leaving the word ‘again’ visible.

 

In his letter to President Metsola calling for the suspension from the House, Rabbi Margolin wrote,

Regretfully, only 3 days into this new year, I must write to you concerning a blatant act of antisemitism committed by a Member of your house. I understand that in a war, feelings can run high. But this can never be an excuse to allow carte blanche to any hate speech, antisemitism included.

“In November 2022, I had the privilege of handing over our King David Award to you in Krakow, the next day we toured Auschwitz together. You are a leader who understands what is at stake, and the dark path that antisemitism can lead us to. I remember your inspiring words well. You said we should honour the legacy of the victims of the Shoah “by never forgetting, by never being indifferent, and by always, always speaking up”.

“Madame President, it is time to speak up. People look up to their public representatives, Mr Pineda included. The public often follow their lead.

“There is no doubt, none, that this video that he chose to share is antisemitic and breaches the IHRA definition of which the EU is a signatory. No words can be parsed here. The question is what will be done?

“In such a febrile time, with rates of antisemitism in Europe at levels unseen since WW2, doing nothing is not an option and only emboldens others to do the same.

“Mr Pineda has shown, in public, his antisemitism. You must show him that antisemitism is not welcome in the European Parliament. A suspension from the house would be the minimum we would expect.” Ends.

The delegation of Jewish leaders of EJA

The delegation of Jewish leaders of EJA was excited to meet today as part of the solidarity visit to Israel Shira and Moshe, the parents of the late hero Aner Shapira, who on October 7 pushed 7 grenades thrown by Hamas terrorists into the bunker where they were hiding near Kibbutz Reim, calmly commanded the event and saved 11 Israelis. The leaders also met Jacob, Elkana’s brother who was kidnapped to Gaza and since then the family has had no information about him. The head of the delegation, the president of the Consistory in Paris Dr. Yoel Margi and the chairman of EJA, Rabbi Menachem Margolin announced a grant to support the family of abductees and gave to the new rehabilitation center of The Hadassah Mount Scopus is a hydraulic medical accessory that will speed up the healing procedures of the patients.

Open Letter MEPs to HRVP Borrell on Qatar

Strasbourg, 1 4 December 2023

It is now sadly over 10 weeks since the Hamas inhumane massacre in Israel and the abduction of civilian hostages, including babies, infants, women, elderly and medically unfit people.

We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, urge your attention on the role of Qatar and their explicit support of Hamas. Both in providing financial assistance of billions of euros over the years but also in harbouring the leadership of Hamas, who live in luxury in Doha with 24-hour security provided by Qatar.

Despite its recent mediation efforts, Qatar could simply pressure Hamas more today to release the remaining hostages and be part of the solution, instead of part of the inhumane problem of terrorism.

As High Representative for the Union on Foreign Affairs, the Qatari government must be reminded that their support for Hamas and terrorism, will affect its future relations with the European Union. We must make clear to Qatar and every other entity in the region that human rights come first, before any business dealings.

Both the Statement of the Members of the European Council of 15 October 20231 and the European Parliament Resolution P9_TA(2023)0373, adopted on 19 October 20232, call for Hamas to “immediately release all hostages” and note “that the taking

of hostages is a violation of international law and constitutes a war crime.

Furthermore, the rhetoric and actions of Qatar contribute towards the incitement and violence that Jewish people are experiencing here in Europe. Following the terror attack of 7 October, antisemitic attacks and hate speech have multiplied by over 1000%. Jewish communities live under fear and are being assaulted, in many instances, by supporters of Hamas on the continent.

The scale and brutality of the attacks, which are some of the worse since the Holocaust, must be a turning point. We no longer can accept that it will be ‘business as usual’.

We call upon you to ensure that Qatar and all key partners put the utmost pressure possible for the safe release of all the hostages as a priority.

We thank you for your consideration and look forward to your update regarding this issue.

Yours sincerely,

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS

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GALLERIES
The EJA 2024 delegation to Auschwitz.
February 12, 2024
Zagreb October 2023
January 17, 2024
The EJA Annual Conference starts in Porto.
May 16, 2023
On eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, over 100 European lawmakers, diplomats, and Jewish community leaders gather in Prague.
January 24, 2023
ABOUT US

It’s a challenging time for Jewish communities in Europe. Anti-Semitism is on the rise as populism and the politics of the lowest common denominator are gaining traction. Our communities often need round the clock protection and our practices and customs such as keeping Kosher are under pressure from increasing political interference.

The European Jewish Association was set up to deal with these and many other challenges.

Acting on your behalf, we are the leading, biggest and widest reaching Associations of Jewish organizations and communities in Europe.

Our associates represent hundreds of communities and thousands of Jews across the continent. We believe that there is strength and influence in numbers.

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VIDEO GALLERIES
February 1, 2023
A short video from the eja delegation to Prague
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June 24, 2022
Short video from the EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION Annual Policy Conference Budapest: 20-21 June
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June 20, 2022
EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION Annual Policy Conference Budapest: 20-21 June LIVE
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May 2, 2022
#EuroChanukah lighting, organized by the EJCC in partnership with the EJA.