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Anti-Semitic acts double in France

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Anti-Semitic acts double in France
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat and Police Chief of Jerusalem Moshe Edry at the kosher supermarket in Paris where four died in a terror attack this month. Photo: AFP
09:28 CET+01:00
There were twice as many anti-Semitic incidents recorded in France in 2014 compared to the year before, the country's main Jewish group announced on Tuesday.
Last year, 851 anti-Semitic acts were registered, compared with 423 the previous year, with acts of physical violence jumping to 241 from 105, France's Jewish umbrella organization CRIF said. 
 
The numbers were released as world leaders readied to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland and less than three weeks after an Islamist gunman shot dead four Jewish hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris.
 
"These anti-Semitic acts represent 51 percent of racist acts committed in France while Jews make up only one percent of the French population," said the group in a statement.
   
The Jewish population in France, the biggest in Europe, is thought to number between 500,000 and 600,000.
   
The CRIF group said there was a "very significant and very worrying increase in the violence of anti-Semitic acts" and warned that "anti-Semitic" prejudices were rife in the country.
 
 
In May last year, a global survey revealed that more than one in three people in France were found to hold anti-Semitic views. 
 
Some experts nonsensed the study, however, including Marc Knobel, head of studies at CRIF.
 
"Stating 18 million French people show signs of anti-Semitic attitudes seems excessive to me," he told The Local at the time. 
 
"I don't doubt that anti-Semitism exists in certain categories of the French population, and there is anti-Semitic violence in France, but France is not an anti-Semitic country."
   
French President Francois Hollande will later Tuesday pay tribute to the 75,000 French Jews deported to Nazi death camps during World War II.
 
Speaking with a handful of Holocaust survivors and their young relatives, he urged them to spread the word so that the crimes are not forgotten.
   
"It's very important that you take young people to show them where you were ... What the Nazis wanted to do was to destroy all traces" of the Jewish people, added Hollande.
 
He added that for French Jews, "France is your homeland". The president's comments come just weeks after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the same community that "Israel is your home", following the terror attacks that left 17 dead in Paris, including four Jewish people who were in a kosher supermarket.
 
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