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France Struggle against Antisemitism

French universities minister announces new educational sanctions against antisemites on campuses

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Source: etudiant.lefigaro

France’s minister for universities has unveiled plans to hold college students guilty of antisemitic or racist offenses “accountable” for their actions with sensitivity training and community work.

Frédérique Vidal, the French minister of higher education, announced on Thursday that offenders would now face a range of “educational” sanctions.

Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, in May 2018 in front of the Elysée. (Credit: AP / Christophe Ena)“Students guilty of racism or antisemitism must now participate in ‘solidarity, culture or training activities, whether to visit a place of remembrance, or to devote time to an association fighting against discrimination.’”

The paper highlighted a poll conducted in March by the French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) that revealed nine out of 10 Jewish students “had been victims of antisemitic acts, a sign that this violence was becoming commonplace.”

Alongside rising antisemitism on French campuses, there is also a climate of racism. In one incident last April that received national attention, black students were the target of racist jokes and videos exchanged by sociology majors on a private messaging service.

Addressing “the proliferation of racist and antisemitic messages in the university, especially on social networks,” Vidal announced the creation of a “National Day Against Racism in Higher Education,” to take place each March 21.