Rise of Antisemitism in France

By AJC, Special for  USDR

AJC called the latest French report on anti-Semitism “deeply troubling and another wake-up call” for  France.

During the first five months of 2015, 508 anti-Semitic acts occurred in France, according to a new report issued today by the Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ) and the French Minister of Interior. The total represents an increase of 84% in anti-Semitic incidents compared to the same period in 2014, and 161% more than that period in 2013. Many of the incidents were acts of violence. The report includes only anti-Semitic acts reported to French  police.

“Each one of the 508 anti-Semitic acts is a stain on the flag of the French republic,” said Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, Paris-based director of AJC Europe. “The values of France and the survival of its Republican model are at  stake.”

AJC praised the French government for launching in April a comprehensive plan to fight anti-Semitism and racism. “The ambitious plan reflects a genuine commitment by the government to confront the scourge of anti-Semitism that threatens French society,” said Rodan-Benzaquen at the time. But, she pointed out, “it is crystal clear now that more needs to be done and urgently, and that there can be no hesitation in confronting those who wish to destroy the values that France  cherishes.”

In May, AJC convened a groundbreaking strategy conference, “A Defining Moment for Europe,” in Brussels, attended by representatives of nearly all European Union countries. Gilles Clavreul, France’s interministerial delegate for the fight against anti-Semitism and racism, addressed the conference, and discussed the French government’s multi-pronged  plan.

At the conference, AJC released the Call to Action, a detailed eight-point plan for European governments to prioritize and fight the escalating problem. It specified concrete steps for governments to assess the severity of the problem; provide for the security of Jewish institutions and communities; invest in education that imparts European values; take on purveyors of anti-Semitism on the Internet and in social media; and recognize that vilification of Israel is often a cover for expressions of  anti-Semitism.

The Paris office of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, works closely with authorities, the Jewish community, and civil society organizations on combatting anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred and  racism.

SOURCE American Jewish  Committee

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