France’s anti-Semitic Problem
What is going on in France?
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,” 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.