France / 07-05-2012
Toulouse – the president of the Jewish students’ organization in France called on the University of Toulouse to fight antisemitism following the disruption, last week, of Israeli students’ lecture by screams, threats and antisemitic cries.
The incident, which occurred on Aril 25, took place just one month after three Jewish students and a rabbi had been shot by an armed Moslem in Toulouse.
A delegation of Israeli students from an apolitical organization was in the middle of a tour of French universities and conducted successful events in the cities of Lille and Lyon, before visiting the campus of Le Mirail, in the region where the terrorist Muhammad Merah grew up.
The members of the delegation were standing near a booth on campus, distributing leaflets and talking with students, when a group of protesters arrived and started shouting at them via a megaphone.
“They started chanting slogans against Israel and said that Israel is a criminal country”, said Sacha Reingewitz, vice president of UEJF (the Jewish student organization of France). They said that the Jews should be exterminated and that Israel commits genocide”.
The protesters demanded that the Israeli group take away the flag from its booth and when the group refused they took it away by force.
“The security people had to intervene – it was very worrisome” said Mr. Reingewitz. – “The protesters said ‘get out of here’ and yelled antiesemitic screams in Arabic: Haibar Haibar Oh Jews, Muhammad’s army shall return.”
“The event continued after the security people removed the protesters, but the Israeli guests were very shaken.” said Mr. Reingewitz
“They did not expect this at all” he said. “They were distressed. They were of course ready to have a discussion, albeit a tense discussion, but they did not expect something like this”.
The students, who visited also British campuses, have now returned to Israel.
The incident occurred a few days after the first round of the French presidential elections.