France / 27-06-2012
Meteoric increase of antisemitic incidents in France
The Jewish community in Toulouse is finding it difficult to recover from the brutal massacre that took place in the Jewish school about three months ago. This morning it seems to be official – it is not alone. During the last year there has been a 53% increase of antisemitic violent incidents throughout France. The majority of the incidents occurred after the massacre, which seems to have fueled the hate crimes.
The murder of Jonathan Sandler and the three children in the Toulouse school about three months ago, points to a worrisome trend: a sharp increase of antisemitic manifestations in France. After years of decline in the number of incidents, there has been an upsurge of 53% in their number from the beginning of the current year, compared with the same period last year.
The fear is felt within the French Jewish community, which is the third largest in the world. Meir Habib, Vice President of the roof organization of the French Jews, said: “ there is great concern. I have three children in a Jewish school, and although there is a security service there, one cannot station a policeman behind every child.”
According to the Defense Service of the Jewish Community in France (SPCJ), 274 antisemitic incidents have been recorded from January till May of this year, compared to 179 in the previous year. The Immigration and Absorption Committee headed by Knesset Member Danny Danon will utilize these data today in order to call for action on this matter.
“It is Unpleasant to be a Jew in France these days – this cannot go on.” emphasized Danon. I expect the French government to take action. It is not enough to speak and to condemn the murder in Toulouse – there is a need to act, to educate and to enable Jews to live in safety.”
The main surge in the number of antisemitic incidents was recorded in the months of March and April, in proximity to the murder in Toulouse. The French ambassador to Israel, Christophe Bigot, believes that the rise is connected to the murder. “We have seen a series of dramatic and barbaric crimes, but in the last weeks data similar to those prior to the attack in Toulouse have been registered; however, this does not mean that we can relax – we must continue fighting this phenomenon.” he said.
Meanwhile, the Jewish community in France continues to record the antisemitic incidents monthly, in order to better understand – whether this is a specific wave of violent incidents, or if there has been a turn for the worse in the improvement trend during the last decade.