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

February 16, 2024


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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החופשה נהרסה: התלמידים היהודים גילו במלון צלב קרס

אירוע אנטישמי בקרואטיה: תלמידים מבית ספר יהודי בצרפת שיצאו למחנה קיץ במלון בעיירה טרילז’ שבקרואטיה, הלכו לישון ביום שני בלילה ונדהמו לגלות כשקמו למחרת בבוקר צלב קרס ענק בצבע אדום שרוסס על כיכר גדולה שנשקפת מחלונות חדריהם.

איגוד הקהילות היהודיות באירופה העביר את המידע לשגרירות ישראל וכן לממשל הקרואטי שפתח בחקירות האירוע.

גורם רשמי קרואטי אף הגיע להתנצל בפני הילדים ותוגברה משמעותית האבטחה על הילדים שחלקם חש בחרדה רבה בעקבות המקרה.

יו”ר איגוד הארגונים היהודים באירופה, הרב מנחם מרגולין, הגיב לאירוע ואמר: “הילדים התעוררו וראו צלב קרס אדום ענק, סמל הכאב והרצח ליהודים בכל מקום, שאומר בבירור – אתם לא רצויים כאן. זה הצלב הבוער, הלולאה סביב העץ ליהודים. החופשה הזאת עבור הילדים האלה תהיה עכשיו חופשה בלתי נשכחת, מהסיבות הלא נכונות. אף על פי שאני בטוח שדעותיהם של האחראים לציור צלב קרס ענקי אינן מייצגות את הרוב המכריע של הקרואטים, תקיפה זו מסמלת עדיין כאב עמוק ליהודים בכל מקום”.

“המלחמה באנטישמיות באירופה עדיין בעיצומה. ההתקפה הזו היא תזכורת לכך שלעולם לא נוכל להרשות לעצמנו להיות שאננים ולאפשר לנגיף האנטישמיות להתפשט ללא בקרה”, הוסיף.


With war in Gaza and Europe-wide Antisemitism peak, Jews bring president Von der Leyen and other friends in Brussels to ‘shine together’ on Channukah

“Defiant and hopeful, just as we have always been,” says organisers of EU event after traumatic few months. Chanukah is first significant Jewish holiday since events on October 7th.

(Brussels 7 December 2023) European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen and other European Dignitaries will be at EuroChannukah 2023, taking place between the European Council and Commission buildings at Schuman in Brussels, Belgium on Sunday evening. The Commission President will light a giant Menorah marking the Jewish Holiday of Chanukah – the festival of light.

The theme of EuroChannukah this year, which takes place in the heart of the European Quarter, is ‘Shining Together’.

Chanukkah this year takes place against the backdrop of huge spikes in antisemitism and is the first major Jewish holiday following the Hamas Massacre in Israel and subsequent war in Gaza. The organisers, the European Jewish Community Center , say that it is a showcase for unity and resilience in difficult times.

Avi Tawil, Director of the European Jewish Community Centre, speaking ahead of the event said,

“We were concerned that this year, we would hear from communities across Europe that they were scaling down Chanukah celebrations, hiding away, keeping their heads down. In fact, the opposite is true, now more than ever, the desire is to come out and celebrate the holiday. To Shine together.

“Chanukah, at its core, is a holiday about light overcoming darkness, that good can and will always prevail. Our friends, like Commission President Vpn Der Leyen, are standing with us in solidarity, in a common bond, and in this spirit of unity and resilience.

“It’s been an awful few months. But Jews are defiant in the face of darkness, and always hopeful in the light, just as we have always been, and especially during Chanukkah.”


New Cooperation with Nederlands Israëlitische Gemeente De Achterhoek

The European Jewish Association is proud and delighted to welcome another organisation to our growing roster of partners and communities.
We have just concluded and signed a memorandum of understanding with Nederlands Israëlitische Gemeente De Achterhoek.
We are sure that this cooperation will bring with it beautiful and important accomplishments. We look forward to working for the betterment of Dutch and European Jewry together.

“You All Say ‘Never Again’, Make It So”, Urges Rabbi Menachem Margolin

“You all say ‘Never Again’, make it so”, urges Rabbi Menachem Margolin .
At 10am today morning (CET) a major Munich based auction house Hermann Historica is conducting an online sale of personal items such as cutlery sets, jewellery and signed letters and photographs belonging to the leadership of the Nazi Party – Himmler, Goring and Hitler himself among them.
European Jewish Association (EJA) Chairman Rabbi Menachem has written to the leadership of all of Germany’s mainstream political parties to put in place legislation that will ban the public sale of such items and – in the meantime – compel sellers to divulge the names of buyers so that they can be kept on government watch lists in the interests of public safety.
In his letter to all the political leaders, the EJA Chief suggested that the authorities would want to know who was buying the personal items of Osama Bin Laden, Anders Breivik or Stephan Ernst for public safety reasons, and those glorifying, sentimentalising or adulating the Nazis are every bit as dangerous.
Rabbi Margolin wrote,
“Almost every week we at the European Jewish Association are having to respond to attacks on community buildings and more worryingly still, physical or verbal attacks on Jews themselves. Alarmingly, it is Germany that leads Europe in the sheer volume of reported anti-Semitic incidents.
“Selling such items should be no different to selling the personal items belonging to Osama Bin Laden, or Anders Breivik. The argument of historical interest is pure semantics. As political representatives concerned with the wellbeing and safety of your citizens, we cannot help wonder if you would not want to know who was buying Bin Laden’s fruit bowl or Stephan Ernst’s photographs and why they would even want them.
“In waiting for a ban to be put in place, we urge the German authorities to compel auction houses to divulge the names of those who are buying such material, in order to know whose hands they have fallen into. The names should then be put on a government ‘watch’ list, for public safety.
“Six Million Jewish lives were lost during the Nazi regime. Today an increasing number of Jewish lives are being lost and more are threatened because of the “oldest hatred”.
“Politicians are wont to say ‘never again’. We urge you to make it so.”

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