The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Report on antisemitism in France in 2017

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Report on antisemitism in France in 2017

  • The number of Antisemitic ACTS (ACTIONS and THREATS) leading to a complaint went from 335 in 2016 to 311 in 2017, or a 7-percent drop.
  • However, this number gives false hope. Here are some facts that should be taken
  • The number of Antisemitic ACTIONS (attack or attempted attack, homicide or attempted homicide, violence, arson or attempted arson, defacement or vandalism) leading to a complaint went from 77 in 2016 to 97 in 2017, or a 26-percent increase. Among these cases of violence, we must include Sarah Halimi (zl), a 65- year-old woman who was savagely murdered at her home in Paris’s 11th district.
  • The number of Antisemitic threats (oral threats, threatening gestures or insults, flyers, hate mail, graffiti) decreased by 17-percent in 2017 compared to 2016 (214 cases vs. 258).

A number of factors put this decrease into perspective:

✓ The record of THREATS only includes a few select incidents uncovered on the Internet, but not the full range of Antisemitic activity that occurs online. Indeed it should be noted that a majority of Antisemitic speeches and Antisemitic propaganda has migrated to the Internet in recent years.

✓ Episodes of Antisemitism in France have even encompassed terrorism and the murder of children and elderly ladies; witnesses or victims of common « everyday Antisemitism » are now more likely to display an air of resignation when confronted with such regular occurrences. They do not file complaints for these « minor » incidents, in contrast with physical attacks of an Antisemitic nature. Such daily incidents did result in to official complaints only a few years ago. Thus a number of “weaker markers” go unreported; even though they remain serious and carry disastrous consequences.

✓ Many victims of Antisemitic acts say that they don’t file complaints because they are afraid of retaliation.

✓ Many victims of Antisemitic acts do not believe that a filed complaint will succeed, or that pursuing a criminal procedure prove effective.

The number of Antisemitic THREATS that lead to a complaint is substantially less than the true figure.

In 2017, the dramatic increase in Antisemitic ACTIONS (26-percent higher and the « artificial » drop in threats (17-percent lower) generated considerable concern, in addition to the need to establish a strong and immediate action plan in the areas of education, prevention and punishment.

  • One out of every three racist acts committed in France in 2017 targets a Jewish person. French Jews represent less than one percent of the population, but they were the victim of fully 33-percent of all racist acts.
  • Anti-Zionism and the hatred of Israel are expressed without shame; they may even be permissible. They act as screens that hide or even legitimize Antisemitism. How can one measure and study a phenomenon that needs to be fought, if it is allowed to conceal itself? How can one condone an offense with another offense?