‘Relentless’: Anti-Semitic acts rise by 69 percent in France in 2018

'Relentless': Anti-Semitic acts rise by 69 percent in France in 2018
French Israelis attend a gathering in memory of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman murdered in her home in France. Photo: AFP
Anti-Semitic acts in France rose by 69 percent in the first nine months of 2018, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Friday, the 80th anniversary of the infamous "Kristallnacht" of Nazi attacks against Jews.
“Every aggression perpetrated against one of our citizens because they are Jewish echoes like the breaking of new crystal,” Philippe wrote on Facebook, referring to the start of the Nazi drive to wipe out Jews on November 9, 1938, also known as the Night of Broken Glass.
“Why recall, in 2018, such a painful memory? Because we are very far from being finished with anti-Semitism,” he said, calling the number of acts “relentless”.
After a record year in 2015, anti-Semitic acts fell by 58 percent in 2016 and went down a further seven percent last year, however there was an increase in violent acts targeting Jews.
In his Facebook post, Philippe quoted Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel as saying that “the real danger, my son, is indifference”, pledging that the French government would not be indifferent. 
It is not clear where the figures quoted by Philippe come from. 
The government plans to toughen rules on hate speech online next year, pressuring social media giants to do more to remove racist and anti-Semitic content. 
Philippe said it would also “experiment with a network of investigators and magistrates specially trained in the fight against acts of hate”, which could be extended nation-wide. 
He added that from mid-November a national team would be mobilised to intervene in schools to support teachers facing anti-Semitism.
Of the anti-Semitic acts perpetrated during the first nine months of 2018 one took place in the 18th arrondissement of Paris where graffiti reading “Jewish scum live here” was scrawled on the door of an apartment building.
A photo of the graffiti was circulating on Twitter and a woman living in the building filed a formal complaint with the police.
In March, several thousand people took part in a silent march in Paris in memory of an 85-year-old Jewish woman, killed in a grisly anti-Semitic attack.
Anti-Semitism: Macron vows to tackle the 'shame of France'
Photo: AFP

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