• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Anti-Semitic attacks soar by 82% in France

Ben McPartland · 20 Feb 2013, 09:06

Published: 20 Feb 2013 09:06 GMT+01:00

Anti-Semitic attacks have rocketed in France, according to a new report, which will no doubt increase anxiety among members of France's significant Jewish community.

According to the Protection Service for the Jewish Community (Service de protection de la communauté juive, SPCJ) there were 315 verbal or physical attacks against Jews in France last year compared to 171 in 2011.

The year 2012 was the most violent since 2004, SPCJ reports.

The increase "degrades the image of France, as the land where minorities are protected", said Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France. 

Elie Petit, vice presient of the Union of Jewish Students told The Local the Jewish community were increasingly concerned by these acts.

"This is not just stats, this is about victims who are being hurt and insulted in the street,"  Petit said on Wednesday. "Anti-Semitism in France is becoming more and more violent".

Overall there were 614 anti-Semitic acts, including the physical and verbal attacks, were recorded last year, representing a rise of 58 percent compared to 2011.

The most shocking anti-Semitic attack came in March 2012 when gunman Mohamed Merah shot dead three Jewish children and a rabbi outside their school in the south-western city of Toulouse. In October a grenade was thrown into a Jewish grocery store in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles in another apparent anti-Semitic attack. This time no one was hurt.

"The year 2012 was a year of unprecedented violence against Jewish people in France," the SPCJ said in its report, which will be handed in to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Wednesday. 

What the SPCJ find most concerning is that Mohamed Merah's cold-blooded shooting of three children and a rabbi appears to have inspired others to commit anti-Semitic attacks.

The organisation reports that in the ten days following the Toulouse shooting 90 acts of anti-Semitism were reported, many of which were "committed with reference to supporting or identifying with Merah".

And after the grenade attack in Sarcelles, there were 28 acts of anti-Semitism reported in eight days including "many cases of bullets being fired at Jewish people," the SPCJ reported.

The 19th and 20th arrondisements of the French capital have witnessed repeated anti-Semitic attacks, the report says.

"In the past a rise in anti-Semitism in France has been linked to Israel Palestine conflict but not this time. This is unique to France. Yes there was a Merah effect but anti-Semitism was already here in France," Petit told The Local.

Story continues below…

"When someone like Merah kills three Jewish children, you think anti-Semitism would be banished for good, but his acts have actually promoted it.

"We are asking the government to do more. We want it to declare the rise in anti-Semitism as a national concern so they can put more means into fighting it."

While anti-Semitic attacks have been on the increase in France so too has the number of Islamophobic incidents, with swastikas and other anti-Islam graffiti painted on mosques in recent weeks.

France's Muslim organisations are also calling on the government to do more to stop the rise in Islamophobic attacks.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

2013-02-21 05:34:38 by cujitsu
In all honesty, Islamic immigration to France, and the west, must be severely curtailed if not entirely eliminated.
Until the radical elements can be rooted out, there will never be any peace between Islam and the rest of the world.
Today's headlines
French mayors dismiss suspended burqini ban
Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet /AFP

The row over France’s burqini ban continues with several mayors vowing to keep restrictions in place despite the country’s top court suspending the ban in the resort town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

France's top court suspends burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court has suspended a town's ban on wearing the full-body burqini swimsuit.

Milk price raised, but French farmers still unhappy
The sign on the tractor reads 'We're dying', as farmers blocked Lactalis dairy headquarters. Photo: AFP

Milk prices have been raised by France's biggest dairy group to placate farmers, but unions say their demands have not been met.

Burqini bans 'dividing France's Muslim women'
Photo: AFP

The burqini bans have divided France, but they have also left Muslim women in France in two groups, argues a professor who has spent years studying the impact of the burqa.

Pizza-delivery drones could be on their way to France
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's your pizza. Photo: AFP

No more need to deal with grumpy French waiters...

Heatwave drags on as France faces red-hot weekend
Photo: AFP

France will see searing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, as the heatwave warnings have been extended (once again).

Nice: The French capital of burqini fines
The beach in the Riviera city of Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

It's one of only two of the 30 towns with a burqini ban in place to have actually given out any fines.

How to make France's famed Île Flottante dessert
Photo: Paul Oatway

France-based food blogger Laura Tobin shares her recipe for this delicious French dessert.

France's top court set to rule on burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court will decide this afternoon whether to overturn the burqini ban.

Corsica bushfire leaves 500 hectares scorched
Photos: AFP

A massive fire left 500 hectares of bushland in Corsica ravaged.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,761
jobs available