France: The New Anti-Semitism
NOTE: The following is based on a special report which was published in Response, Simon Wiesenthal Center's Magazine:
The report lists 57 of the most serious attacks. The volume of violent incidents against Jewish targets reached a peak immediately after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, especially around the New Year and Yom Kippur.
Most incidents have occurred in Paris suburbs and other neighborhoods where Jews and Muslims live in close proximity. Indeed, Muslim anti-Jewish activity has increased with the rising intensity of the Intifada represented through the extreme imagery and anti-Israel hostility of the media.
A demonstration of Jewish leadership assembled in January in the Cr�teil Synagogue - twice the target of violence - was marked by the sparseness of non-Jews. Indeed, the town's Deputy Mayor used the occasion to publicly revile the Sharon government and was met by jeers from the audience. One of the Cr�teil worshippers asked, "Why are only synagogues targeted... no mosques, no churches? And still the authorities call it general violence and claim that we are oversensitive. The policy of silence regarding Islamic Judeophobia must end."
The report quotes University of Paris Professor of French Literature, Eric Marty, who wrote in LeMonde, "There has been no voice of political authority ready to say simply that there is nothing that can justify a policy of terror against Jews. Individual or group violence against the Jews of France could never have gone so far without the perception that, even if not authorized, there has at least been a certain indulgence or understanding." His conclusion: "Every Jewish building in Paris requires protection, every Jewish festival is an occasion for concern and anguish, anyone walking in Paris or its suburbs wearing a 'kippa' is imprudent and any child leaving school may be beaten because he is Jewish, only because he is a Jew."
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