Explore More »

French Responses to Anti-Jewish Racism, Bigotry and Discrimination: The “Loneliness” of French Jews

Noam Schimmel is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow. He researched and wrote this article as part of his participation in the 2015 Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship.

Contemporary Anti-Jewish Racism in France 

From 2012 through 2016 France has suffered from a significant increase in the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes and their severity; part of an increase in anti-Jewish attacks across most of Western Europe [1] and increased expressions of anti-Jewish racism and bigotry. France has Europe’s largest Jewish population, estimated at between 500,000 and 600,000 individuals. Attacks against Jews in France have been particularly violent and more frequently so than in other European countries. This climate of aggression against Jews remains ongoing and at high levels without precedent in the post World War II era. 

Attacks include attempted murders and murders - including those at the Hyper-Cacher supermarket in Paris - of Jews shopping for groceries before the Sabbath in January, 2015 and the murder of Jewish school children and a rabbi in Toulouse in March, 2012, physical assaults on Jews using public transport and in the streets, verbal and written threats against Jews, abuse and hate speech against Jewish individuals and communities, defacement and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, and Jewish communal institutions, and anti-Jewish hate speech on the internet and in public cultural performances by popular musicians. [2]  Many French Jews have chosen to emigrate from France, in large part in response to this rise in insecurity and violation of their human rights and their rights as French citizens. [3] The number of French Jews who emigrated to Israel in 2014 – just over 7,000 - was the highest recorded ever since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. The figures for 2015 were similarly exceptional and high. [4] Many others emigrate from France to the United Kingdom where anti-Jewish racism is perceived as being a problem but less violent and severe than in France and to Canada and the United States, where the situation for Jews is all together different than in France; far safer and characterized by greater freedom and a general sense of security. 

The Interior Ministry of the French government and the Jewish Community Security Service (SPCJ) have partnered to collect data on anti-Jewish acts in France. The 2014 report states that in the course of one year there was a “100% increase in anti-Semitic threats and actions, with a significant rise in violent actions and assaults.” [5] 851 such acts were recorded in 2014. The report further highlights the fact that Jews are victims of most racist attacks. “51% of racist acts committed in 2014 targeted Jews. Jews represent less than 1% of the French population. Less than 1% of this country’s citizens are the target of half of all racist acts committed in France.” The report further states, “In 2014, violent acts increased by 130% compared to 2013. There were 241 violent acts in 2014 versus 105 in 2013.”  [6]

The report describes the multi-dimensional character of anti-Jewish attacks in France and their prevalence across all major French regions and cities, with a particularly high concentration in Paris. 

"Anti-Semitism has become increasingly violent and hyper-violent. Today, Anti-Semitic threats in France include persistent bias, sectarian stereotypes, deep hatred, but especially Anti-Semitic jihadist terror. Men and young children are killed for the sole reason that they are Jewish. [7]" 

Stressing that anti-Jewish attacks have become the predominant form of racist attacks in France the report notes that, 

"The 30-percent increase in racist acts committed in France in 2014 compared to 2013 comprises exclusively an increase in Anti-Semitic acts. Indeed, racist acts, excluding Anti-Semitic acts, that were recorded in 2014 decreased by 5 percent compared to 2013. This demonstrates once again how much we need tailored programs, adequate measures, and specific tools to fight Anti-Semitism efficiently. Many anti-racism programs do not stop the rise of Anti-Semitic acts, far from it. [8]" 

While the executive branch of The French government has responded fairly forcefully to anti-Jewish attacks in France in the last two years the response of local governments, civil society, and France’s National Assembly has been less apparent and decisive. Moreover, the current responsiveness follows the relative indifference of the French government to a large increase in anti-Jewish attacks and social prejudices between 1999 and 2001 [9] and continuing at a very high rate until 2004 and then spiking upwards again and rising from the late 2000s until now. [10]

In her January 22 address to the United Nations General Assembly, Elisa Massimino, President and CEO of the human rights NGO Human Rights First stated,  

"At Human Rights First, we view antisemitism as a grave threat to human rights. To us, that is obvious. But antisemitism is sometimes viewed as distinct from—and even subordinate to—other human rights issues. That is a mistake. Antisemitism, left unchecked, invariably leads to the persecution of other minorities, and an overall increase in repression. Make no mistake: the rise of antisemitism in Europe presents a daunting political challenge. Ultimately, the most effective response is good and accountable governance. [11]"  

Human Rights First recently released a report in early January, 2016, “Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Antisemitism and Extremism in France” [12] concerning the rise in anti-Jewish attacks and discrimination. Susan Corke, the lead author of the report states, 

"Antisemitic violence harms not only its direct victims but entire Jewish communities preventing them from exercising their fundamental rights…Left unchecked, antisemitism leads to the persecution of other minorities, and to an overall increase in repression and intolerance. An increase in antisemitism is a harbinger of societal breakdown. [13]"  

The report reveals that anti-Jewish crimes in France are rising but are “underreported and inadequately researched [14]” and notes that “Government action to denounce antisemitism, if not part of broader, inclusive efforts, may paradoxically exacerbate it.” [15] The report states that right wing supporters of the National Front are most likely to hold anti-Semitic views and to be intolerant towards minorities generally. However, it also states that, “…surveys indicate that other groups in France that are likely to harbor antisemitic views, but to a lesser degree, include supporters of far-left political parties, observant Catholics, and certain minority groups including Muslims and immigrants, although more research is needed on this issue.” [16]

The report explains that the rise in anti-Semitism is fueled in part by the marginalization of French Muslims, immigrants, and French citizens hailing from the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa who, “also suffer from hate crimes, prejudice, and discrimination that arises in an environment in which racist, xenophobic, and antisemitic discourse is on the rise.” [17] The report notes that social media directed at marginalized French Arabs and Muslims scapegoats Jews, depicting them as powerful, wealthy, domineering, and evil, and the cause of Arab and Muslim marginalization. It also acknowledges that traditional media plays a role in exacerbating the pejorative anti Jewish stereotypes and incitement to hatred against Jews found in social media. The report states, “The impact of this antisemitic content is further intensified by certain media coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as well as fierce anti-establishment and far left-wing criticism of Israeli policies in France.” [18]

The French government’s response to anti-Jewish hate crimes and to the social climate of hostility towards Jews and discrimination against them is mixed, with substantial strengths as well as serious weaknesses. It is essential to recognize the sustained efforts of the French government to address anti-Jewish racism, including its legislative branch which has initiated laws such as the Gayssot Act (Act NO. 90-165 of 13 July 1990) on the prosecution of all acts of racism, anti-Semitism or xenophobia. [19] Furthermore, the French government has in the last twenty years more fully and honestly accounted for France’s role in the Holocaust and supported education promoting knowledge and awareness of its history and advancing the values of human rights and non-discrimination. As Philippe Allouche, Director General of France’s Paris-based Holocaust Memorial and education center, Fondation pour la Memoire de la Shoah affirms, 

"French public authorities have played an exemplary role since 1995 with the recognition of the French responsibility in the catastrophe of the Shoah, and this positive path has been fully pursued. Nevertheless, and even if Jewish population is fully integrated into French society today, we can see a certain resurgence of anti-Semitism, either direct, or under cover of anti-Zionism. [20]" 

It is this resurgence which currently challenges both the French government and French society. 

The French government also faces structural challenges inherent in the politics, laws, and culture of France which due to the French Republican tradition favor an assimilationist model for French minorities that shows discomfort with and at times disrespect for individuals who identify with distinctive communities; ethnic, religious, or otherwise that are perceived (often wrongly and pejoratively) as a threat to French national identity and social solidarity and cohesion. This can lead to popular attitudes of discrimination against and resentment towards minorities in France, including well integrated ones who identify positively with France and contribute fully to French society. The legacy of French Republicanism in its legal, political, and socio-cultural components can make the French government reluctant to address injustices faced by minority communities -  whatever their background - and the consequences are felt not only by the Jewish community but also by the Arab, Muslim, and African communities and by many visible minorities who hail from outside France.  

The French Constitution and French laws also place strict prohibitions on the ability of the French government to gather information on the percentage of the population from minority groups and on their particular socio-economic characteristics, i.e. poverty rates, experience of the criminal justice system, access to education, and health outcomes; consequently, this makes it difficult to ascertain and acknowledge social injustices of inequality and discrimination, their scope and depth, and potential policy responses to address them and advance citizen welfare. Although this paper does not focus on these limitations posed by the French Constitution and French laws it is essential to recognize them. They are likely to exacerbate the challenge of responding effectively to anti-Jewish racism and racism and discrimination generally in France. They render the French context and circumstances somewhat different from those of other European countries, despite also sharing some areas in common with regard to the prevalence of anti-Jewish racism and the increase in its expression. 

Perhaps the most tangible and visible expression of the French government’s response to anti-Jewish attacks and its defense of the rights and well-being of Jewish citizens are the significant resources it has invested in guarding Jewish communal institutions, schools, and related facilities. However, while such police protection is fundamental to protecting Jews and the freedom of Jews to practice their culture and religion and to sustain their communities it has limitations. Police protection does not address broader patterns of prejudice and discrimination against Jews in French society – particularly expressions of anti-Jewish hate in popular culture by musicians with a huge following such a Dieudonne and hate speech on social media which is prevalent. With a population of 500,000 – 600,000 Jews living in France there is no way that police protection can ensure the physical safety of every Jewish citizen particularly because attacks take place in so many contexts – from private homes and public subway lines to supermarkets, on the streets, and in schools and other public institutions. Furthermore, because France is a democratic, open and free society the police have necessary and appropriate limitations on where and how they can act in enforcing the law and their reach is limited. The French government has gone beyond a police protection approach to combating anti-Jewish racism and hate crimes towards a much more comprehensive and holistic one, through the creation and development of a three-year program to combat anti-Jewish and racist hate crimes, discrimination, and prejudices. 

France’s 40 Point Comprehensive Plan to Address Anti-Jewish Hate Crime and Racism

One of the primary reasons why the French government has announced a program funded with 100 million Euros to respond to anti-Jewish and other racist crimes and attacks on the Muslim community is because until now such programs have been largely weak, ineffective, and in many towns and locations, non-existent. [21] To succeed, this program will need to be implemented in a manner that reaches the French population as a whole; across all generational, ethnic, and economic strata of society and for a sustained period of time that can consolidate its aims. 

The introductory statement in the government report describing the program,  “Mobilizing France Against Racism and Anti-Semitism Action Plan,” is bold and defiant in its orientation and uses strong language that denounces anti-Jewish racism and other forms of racism and bigotry, 

"Prioritizing the combat against racism and anti-Semitism, mobilizing the State, the local governments, civil society and the citizens in both metropolitan and overseas France, means recognizing the urgency of the situation: the urgency of the new outbreak of anti-Semitism which we believed to have been extinguished and is at its highest level since the end of the war; the urgency of the social, territorial and identity divide in areas left to tackle delinquency and radicalism alone, and where all values will be gradually distorted if we are not careful; the urgency of the flood of hatred spouted daily on the Internet and social networks by preachers of hate and back-room ideologies; and lastly, the urgency when racist and anti-Semitic insults become the norm in school playgrounds and sports grounds… This abuse is not only a threat to those who fall victim to it, French citizens who are Jewish or Muslim, and more broadly all those who suffer racism or discrimination due to their skin colour, origin or beliefs: this abuse undermines the pact on which our Republic is founded. It jeopardizes the national community’s very ability to continue living together, under the laws of the Republic, with a shared love of its values. [22]"

This program offers more than robust and well intentioned rhetoric; the program is well organized, well-funded, and coordinated in dialogue with diverse branches of the French government.  

Elements of the 40 point program addressing anti-Jewish racism, Islamaphobia, and discrimination against ethnic and other minorities in France include expanded Holocaust and human rights education in French schools, a public awareness campaign on the harms caused by anti-Jewish racism, permitting class action suits for discrimination, the creation of a national police unit to combat hate on the internet, and tougher sentencing guidelines for hate crimes including hate crimes against religious, ethnic, racial, and other disadvantaged groups. [23]

The program engages with civil society and supports civil society initiatives alongside those of the government. Particularly noteworthy and innovative amongst the 40 planned actions are Actions 3 and 4 to mobilize civil society to confront racism and anti-Semitism, Action 5 to create an operational body to combat racism and anti-Semitism in each Department, Action 9 to carry out an annual survey of victims of racism and anti-Semitism, Action 11 to include punishment of hate speech in the field of general criminal law,  Action 12 to make racism and anti-Semitism aggravating factors for all crimes, Action 17 to provide specialized assistance to victims of racist and anti-Semitic acts, Action 19 to create a national unit against hatred on the internet, Action 24 to strengthen training and resources to combat racism and anti-Semitism, Action 27 to create a network of racism and anti-Semitism advisers in higher education establishments, Action 28 to evaluate the quality of the reporting system on racist and anti-Semitic crimes in schools, and Action 32 to create educational opportunities that link French sites of national remembrance with efforts to combat racism and anti-Semitism. 

The main body overseeing the 40 Point Program to combat antisemitism and racism, its development and implementation is the Interministerial Delegation for the fight against racism and anti-Semitism (DILCRA) which reports to the Prime Minister and meets with him annually. It is also required to meet with a steering committee representing various ministers of the government on a quarterly basis and to report annually to members of Parliament, the Defender of Rights, the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, and the European and EU bodies that deal with human rights. [24] Education in schools to promote human rights, historical knowledge of human rights violations including slavery, colonialism, and the Holocaust is included in the program and formal relationships between museums addressing these topics and schools will be initiated as part of the program. 

According to Philippe Allouche to combat anti-Jewish racism effectively it is essential to address anti-Jewish hate speech on the internet, which is one of the key areas that the 40 Point program addresses and one which is particularly important given that the internet and not the mainstream media is the key purveyor of the harshest, most hateful, most overt and violent anti-Jewish propaganda. 

"The Internet is another front line in the fight against anti-Semitism. Struggle against the spread of hate speech on the Internet has become crucial. The Internet is a place where the most nauseous ideologies can be expressed, nearly unhindered, and we have to track them down. We shall devise effective digital strategies to assess the size of the audience and to identify the influential web-users on the anti-Semitic sites, and respond to anti-Semitic propaganda by formulating adapted counter-arguments. [25]"

Allouche notes that legal action is taken against the most egregious offenders and that the Ministry of the Interior has a special platform, called Pharos, to alert it of violations of laws that prohibit incitement to discrimination, hatred, and violence. He further emphasizes that education must be at the heart of an effective strategy to prevent, reduce, and respond to the increase in anti-Jewish hate crimes and racism and unlawful discrimination more broadly.

"Intolerance is often based on ignorance. In order to reduce those prejudices, it is necessary to pursue an educational work and continue to promote knowledge of Jewish history and culture, in schools and beyond. Public authorities and French civil society, as well as our Foundation, shall support educational and citizen-based initiatives intending to combat racism and anti-Semitism in all their forms, by targeting prejudices and attempting to conflate different issues. Just one example: the association CoExist, that aims to dismantle clichés or ethnic and social stereotypes at school.  Given the alarming rise in intolerance, schools must redouble their efforts to transmit history and battle dangerous prejudices. Expanding on history classes, an educational work on the Shoah provides students with new perspectives. Drawing on witness accounts, the visits to memory sites offers them an opportunity to better understand what happened during the Shoah. [26]"  

As noted earlier, education on the history of the Holocaust and on international crimes including slavery is an integral part of the 40-point government program. 

In addition to coordinating with the Jewish community on measuring and seeking to combat anti-Jewish crimes the French government has undertaken its own studies and reports issued by the National Consulting Commission for Human Rights which address anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-Roma, and other racist acts and has been doing so since 1990. [27] These inform the French government response to hate crimes and unlawful discrimination in France. Clearly, however, there was a gap between the French government’s studying and reporting of these issues of anti-Jewish and other forms of discrimination and racism in France and their willingness to organize, fund, and implement sufficient and effective programs to address the discrimination until the development and implementation of the 2015-2017 ‘Mobilizing France Against Racism and Anti-Semitism’ 40 Point Action Plan.

How French Jews Perceive and Experience the Rise in Anti-Jewish Attacks and Prejudices 

The SPCJ report of the French Jewish community makes an extremely important point about the vulnerability Jews currently feel in France, 

"…the author of this report invites members of the commission to come meet, on their grounds, French Jews who are worried and feel very lonely in their fight. Although they are reassured to see the authorities and various governments rallying in the fight against Anti-Semitism, they also voice their surprise and disappointment when society as a whole doesn't mobilize at a time of dramatic events, such as the murder of Ilan Halimi and the attack against the Jewish school in Toulouse. [28]"

This ‘loneliness’ is a response to the perception of many in the Jewish community of France that French society as a whole – as opposed to the executive branch of the French government - has been largely indifferent to the vulnerability of Jews and to their persecution. 

The report compiled by the Jewish community compares the perceived contemporary indifference of French society with the vigorous response of a large cross-section of French society in 1990 to anti-Jewish attacks in which a cemetery was massively desecrated with headstones and tombs smashed and overturned and the body of a man who had recently been buried exhumed and gruesomely violated. 

"Older citizens remember the popular movement after the desecration of the [Jewish] cemetery in Carpentras that brought the French populace to the streets, uniquely led by the President of the French Republic François Mitterand. Hundreds of thousands of people came to voice their anger and outrage. In 2006, after the Anti-Semitic murder of Ilan Halimi, and in 2012, after the attack against the Jewish school in Toulouse, rallies were almost exclusively composed of members of the Jewish community. [29]"

A New York Times article reporting on the protests in Carpentras in 1990 noted that anywhere from 80,000-200,000 individuals participated in the march and that there was wide support and solidarity from a broad cross-section of French society including minority African, Asians, blacks, and many non-Jews. France’s 6 major television networks at the time cancelled their regular programs and screened ‘Night and Fog’ – a documentary about Nazi death camps at the request of members of the French Jewish community who hoped it would help in educating the French public about the consequences of anti-Semitism in France and in Europe. [30] As James Shields writes, 

"Religious leaders of all denominations were swift and unanimous in condemning an ‘odious crime’ which, as the head of the Shiite Muslim community in Europe, Ayatollah Rouhani, put it, ‘dealt a blow to the moral, human, and religious conscience of each and every one of us.’ Across the political spectrum, too, there was unanimous condemnation. President Mitterrand broke with presidential protocol and lent his presence to a mass rally in Paris on 14 May to show solidarity with the Jewish community against what the Interior Minister, Pierre Joxe, denounced as a ‘crime against humanity. [31]'"

Civil society and the French government rallied comprehensively and forcefully in support of the Jewish community and against anti-Jewish racism. But the French Jewish community did not experience anything near this level of solidarity in defense of their rights during the latest attacks including the murder of four Jews buying groceries at the Hyper-Cacher kosher supermarket in January of 2015 and to other attacks on Jews and cemetery desecrations in the last three years. 

Many of the attacks against Jews have been perpetrated by Muslim extremists who sympathize with radical Islamist supremacist movements. [32] Because anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination remain prevalent in French society – including significant hate crimes against Muslim individuals, mosques, and communal facilities - there is also resistance by politicians and government officials to acknowledge that much of anti-Jewish violence stems from a small sector of the Muslim community for fear that such acknowledgment would only stoke anti-Muslim prejudice. This resistance makes it difficult to address the issue effectively and to protect the rights of France’s Jewish minority.

This is a common problem that is addressed in the extensive literature on intersectional experiences of discrimination and injustice in which both willful and unwillful collusion with discriminatory behaviors takes place on the part of political and legal authorities, society at large, [33] and the media. This may be because of a combination of insensitivity towards and/or willful ignorance of unique, multiple, and overlapping forms of discrimination and vulnerability faced by minority groups and inhibitions about addressing discriminatory behavior one disadvantaged minority shows towards another because it may jeopardize the already precarious social situation of the former. The net effect is to allow experiences of abuse and oppression to grow in prevalence and capacity for harm through an indifference that benefits no one and exacerbates social tensions and human rights violations. This creates a dangerous enabling environment for abuse and injustice and the marginalization of the most vulnerable and often numerically small minority groups and the most vulnerable subgroups within minorities. 

There are positive efforts to build strong relationships between the Jewish community and the Muslim community in France. These are currently very small scale but could be scaled up with sufficient investment of resources by the French government. Still, they are unlikely to address attitudes and beliefs that are already well entrenched and in many cases hardened and thus it is important not to overstate their utility as there are real limitations on the audiences that they can impact successfully. According to Philippe Allouche, 

"Various organizations support projects working to foster closer links among the different cultural families that form French society. Our Foundation intensified its action in this field and supports innovative projects aiming to promote knowledge and mutual respect. The Aladdin Project and the Amitié Judéo-Musulmane de France, for instance, are working to foster intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. [34]"

As noted in the report on anti-Jewish racism in France issued by Human Rights First, tolerance for France’s Jewish minority is sometimes undermined by parts of the French media. One of the greatest challenges that the French Jewish community and the French government have not been able to address effectively is how the media transmits – sometimes unconsciously – anti-Jewish messages [35] and fosters anti-Jewish prejudice and bigoted attitudes. Such prejudicial media coverage exacerbates the more overt and extreme often conspiratorial and violent anti-Jewish bigotry found in social media and perpetuates a social climate in which anti-Jewish prejudice is rationalized and normalized.  

The mainstream French media covers the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in tendentious ways that often inflame anti-Jewish prejudices and devalue Jewish lives due to discriminatory double standards in how the Palestinian-Israeli and broader Arab-Israeli conflict is depicted. [36] This can manifest itself in claims (often implicit and deliberately evasive) that French Jews are responsible for Israeli government policies, the grafting of anti-Jewish stereotypes onto Israeli citizens and government officials so as to make bigoted sentiments less obviously explicitly anti-Jewish and more socially acceptable, the denial of Jews their fundamental human rights in accordance with international human rights law, including the right to national self-determination, and the claim (again, often implicit but no less pernicious for its insidious nature) that attacking Jewish civilians and Jewish communal institutions and sites is a form of political protest rather than a criminal act and a violation of human rights and of international human rights law. [37]

Speaking Out Against Anti-Jewish Racism: The French Government’s Rhetorical Response

It is not only the French Jewish community that feels loneliness [38] and is concerned about the lack of solidarity of French citizens. In a scathing speech to the French National Assembly the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, spoke powerfully and passionately about the failure of French citizens to feel sufficient indignation in response to the persecution of the Jewish population. “We haven’t shown enough outrage… I say to the people in general who perhaps have not reacted sufficiently up to now, and to our Jewish compatriots, that this time [anti-Semitism] cannot be accepted.” [39]

Valls explicitly recognized the feelings of ‘loneliness’ of the French Jewish community. 

"Since Ilan Halimi [who was tortured and murdered] in 2006, after the crimes of Toulouse, [the murder of Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi] anti-Semitic acts in France have grown to an intolerable degree. The words, the insults, the gestures, the shameful attacks, as we saw in Creteil a few weeks ago, which I mentioned here in the Chamber, and which did not produce the national outrage that our Jewish compatriots expected. There is a huge level of concern, that fear which we felt at the HyperCacher at Porte de Vincennes and in the synagogue de la Victoire on Sunday night. How can we accept that in France, where the Jews were emancipated two centuries ago, but which was also where they were martyred 70 years ago, how can we accept that cries of  “death to the Jews” can be heard on the streets?  How can we accept these acts that I have just mentioned? [40]"

Valls did not mince words on the multifarious nature of anti-Semitism and its tendency to renew itself and mutate, refusing to downplay new, political manifestations of it which find ways to attack Jews implicitly. He deplored those who advance anti-Jewish pernicious images, slanders, tropes, and accusations while trying to do so in insidious ways that avoid taking responsibility for their hate speech and discriminatory intent. 

"There is a historical anti-Semitism that goes back centuries, but there is also a new anti Semitism that is born in our neighborhoods, coming through the internet, satellite dishes, against the backdrop of the loathing of the State of Israel, and which advocates hatred of the Jews and all the Jews. It has to be spelled out, the right words must be used to fight this unacceptable anti-Semitism… When the Jews of France are attacked France is attacked, the conscience of humanity is attacked. Let us never forget it. [41]"

In a meeting with French Jewish youth in Creteil, the town where a Jewish couple was attacked - the woman was raped and the attackers said they attacked them because Jews have money – Prime Minister Valls discussed the new 40 Point program to combat anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim attacks, racism, and other discrimination. He said, “Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred of Muslims, of foreigners and homophobia are growing in an insufferable manner in our country.” [42] Valls was accompanied by five ministers, including the Justice, Interior, and Education ministers, demonstrating strong government response to anti-Jewish and other discriminatory and racist attacks.  He further stated that, “French Jews should not afraid of being Jewish. French Muslims should not be afraid of being Muslims.” [43] In Manuel Valls the Jewish community of France has found a leader who exercises leadership to defend their rights and welfare speaking out vigorously, publicly, and repeatedly against anti-Jewish racism. [44]

But Valls’ voice is often an isolated and lonely one in its appreciation of the gravity of these crimes and their damaging impact on the French Jewish community. His rhetoric and expressions of solidarity appear, unfortunately, to be exceptional. He was himself subject to anti-Jewish comments by former Socialist French Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas, who questioned why he spoke out so forcefully on anti-Jewish attacks, implying with pejorative insinuations that it was a function of Valls’ wife being Jewish. [45]  Dumas stated, “He has personal influences which make him prejudiced.” [46] Valls later commented on Dumas’ statement, “It is anti-Semitism of the worst kind, and certain compulsive anti-Semites act on the fact that my wife is Jewish.”  [47]

Equally important - although Francois Hollande, the President of France does not speak with the same frequency and intensity on the issue - he has also forcefully condemned anti-Jewish attacks and expressed solidarity with the Jewish community in diverse fora including addresses to the Jewish community and to the French nation as a whole. In an address at Paris’ Shoah Memorial Hollande stated, 

"You, French people of the Jewish faith, your place is here, in your home. France is your country… France will protect all its children and tolerate no insult, no outrage, no desecration. How in 2015 can we accept that we need armed soldiers to protect the Jews of France? [48]"

After vandals desecrated 300 Jewish graves in February 2015 in the worst attack on a Jewish cemetery in France in 20 years Prime Minister Valls spoke out again, stating, “France is wounded with you and France does not want you to leave… France tells you again of its love, support, and solidarity. That love is much stronger than the acts of hatred, even if such acts are repeated.” [49] But the response of the French public, of French institutions, and of French citizens was weak and largely indifferent and remains so and is barely reminiscent of the response to the anti-Jewish attacks in 1990. 

The attacks have continued in in late 2015 and 2016. In October of 2015 in Marseille three Jewish individuals were attacked by a man with a knife who hurled anti-Jewish abuse at them. [50] A Jewish teacher was attacked in November of 2015 by individuals shouting anti-Jewish abuse and also expressing support for ISIS. [51]  On January 11, 2016 a Jewish teacher named Benjamin Amsallem was attacked in Marseille by an individual with a machete who justified his actions as an expression of support for ISIS. [52]  After the January attack Prime Minister Valls stated, “"The Jews are again and still abused, victims of a virulent anti-Semitism that is hidden behind hatred of Israel.” [53]

To her credit, Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, is an exception to the widespread indifference to anti-Jewish hate crimes and the rise in anti-Jewish racism– she is the first European mayor to join an international campaign of mayors and other government officials to speak out against anti-Jewish racism - “Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism.” In commenting on these efforts and on her concerns as Paris Mayor Hidalgo stated, 

"The city has a responsibility to fight anti-Semitism, otherwise it will develop in the midst of it… Paris, which is home to the biggest Jewish community of Europe, needs to be a pioneer in the fight against hate so that other cities can benefit from its expertise and commitment. [54]"

Such public acknowledgment of the problem and commitment to addressing it and securing the rights and welfare of the Jewish community is needed across France in Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Strasbourg and beyond and translated into grassroots action that is supported by the French government at all levels, especially the local.

Although this paper focuses on anti-Jewish persecution in France the situation in Europe more broadly shares much in common with that of France, with British and German leaders denouncing the rise in anti-Jewish attacks, prejudices, and discrimination in their respective countries. [55] David Cameron has stated that, 

"What is frightening at the moment, because of the rise of Islamist extremism, is that you see a new threat—a new anti-Semitism—and not the traditional anti-Semitism. Look, there’s always been some difficulties between religions in European history. But this is a new scale of threat against Jewish communities… [56]"

He has spoken out repeatedly against anti-Jewish violence and bigotry. 

"As Jewish communities unite in prayer across the world, thoughts will turn to the tragic loss of life that we have seen following a number of horrific and abhorrent anti-Semitic attacks over the past year. Jewish communities will not be left to live in fear. As Prime Minister I will do everything I can to stamp out such hatred now and in the future. [57]" 

Angela Merkel has criticized the rise in anti-Jewish attacks in Germany, insisting that the German government must do more to combat anti-Jewish racism and to ensure that migrants and refugees who settle in Germany are provided with educational programming and outreach that combats anti-Jewish stereotypes and attitudes.  She recently stated, “We must focus our efforts particularly among young people from countries where hatred of Israel and Jews is widespread.” [58]

The efficacy of France’s program to combat anti-Semitism, racism, and anti-Muslim discrimination will not be discernable for a period of several years – and it may emerge that to be successful it will require a far greater investment on the part of the French government of both human and financial resources, despite the current efforts clearly already demonstrating a serious investment. The US based NGO, Human Rights First, cautions that in its present form the French government’s 40 Point Program to combat anti-Jewish racism fails to confront structural problems in French civil society that make it unlikely to achieve its goals. According to Human Rights First, 

"…these measures fall short of the long term political vision necessary to confront the problem’s root causes. French civil society faces structural challenges including dependence on public funds, recruitment of promising leaders into government service, resistance among activists to coalition-building efforts, and a disconnect between established national NGOs and local grassroots initiatives. [59]"

Human Rights First also stresses – to the French government’s credit - that there is no similar agency in any European country such as the one responsible for the 40 Point Action Plan Against Anti-Semitism and Racism, and notes that there are nine individuals who work at the agency on a full time basis in addition to the chief of party who directs the programming; a significant commitment on the part of the French government. [60]  The French government’s response - while imperfect - is substantial in its investment of both human and financial resources and aspects of it could serve as a model for other European nations. 

As noted at the beginning of this paper, the French Parliament has historically legislated laws to protect the rights of minorities – including the French Jewish community. However, its members and their statements and actions could play a much stronger role in combating anti-Jewish racism by speaking out against it more frequently and forcefully – which has largely been limited to top government ministers. Indeed, Human Rights First has criticized the passivity of France’s parliament with regard to anti-Jewish racism. 

"There is a parliamentary group dealing with antisemitism, but it has taken no concrete actions, such as reports, hearings, or formal questions to the government. Members of the government and civil society who Human Rights First queried about this body were mostly unaware of its existence. The Senate and the National Assembly have issued reports on terrorism and radicalization, as well as civic engagement and integration. Yet there is little to no discussion of antisemitism in these reports, even though these are key issues in the broader fight to confront antisemitism. [61]"

Human Rights First affirms the importance of the parliament taking a much greater role in addressing anti-Jewish racism in France.

"The French parliamentary ad-hoc Committee to Fight Antisemitism should reinvigorate its activities, develop a public platform to disseminate its work, hold hearings and debates, and raise questions with the government on antisemitism, its root causes, and the implementation of the National Action Plan.  French parliamentarians should engage with existing parliamentary groups on antisemitism outside of France, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. [62]"

Further, without a strong local and regional response to accompany the national one it will be extremely difficult to make much headway in curbing anti-Jewish attacks, racism, and discrimination. A comprehensive and well-coordinated approach to responding to contemporary anti-Jewish racism and discrimination is necessary across all sectors of French government and civil society for it to be effective and have tangible impact nationally. 

Human Rights First welcomes the French national government 40 point program to combat anti-Semitism and racism but offers extensive critique of it as well. 

"On the positive side, senior figures have named antisemitism as a priority problem, and many government agencies are helping to implement several previously-planned initiatives. Some projects—such as the public awareness campaigns and the victimization survey—are new elements in the fight against antisemitism. Yet social scientists and civil society activists, along with some government officials, view the government’s efforts as falling short of the long term political vision necessary to confront the problem’s root causes, and therefore fear the prospects to yield substantial results are limited. They also regret the National Action Plan does not include a final evaluation of its effectiveness, and there is no baseline data to assess progress. [63]"

Another critique, echoing concerns raised earlier in this paper, is that, 

"One of the most glaring absences in the plan is its failure to address the issue of antisemitic attitudes and acts on the part of some French Muslims, despite substantial anecdotal evidence on this aspect of the problem. This gap calls into question whether the plan can be effective overall without confronting this root problem directly…Finally, the plan does not lay out a clear path to address institutional racism and discrimination. [64]"

Indeed, research demonstrates that anti-Jewish attitudes and actions are particularly prevalent in large sectors of the Muslim community, especially amongst youth. 

"The CNCDH notes however that some academic research indicates ‘greater receptivity to antisemitic prejudice… among groups with a migration background, notably from North Africa and of Muslim religion’ and concludes that there is a need for more qualitative research on the issue. The FONDAPOL survey found, however, that significantly higher percentages of Muslim respondents held antisemitic views than the national average. Similarly, the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) mentions in its 2014 annual report that ‘in many countries, growing antisemitic trends have been observed among Muslim immigrant communities, in particular the younger generation’ [65]"

These are important critiques that merit consideration and should be addressed, but it must also be acknowledged that one government response – however extensive and well-coordinated – cannot in fairness be the measure by which the French government’s efforts to address anti-Semitism and racism can be assessed in total. 

Various government ministries have also taken initiatives that complement and support the 40 Point Plan including the Ministry of Justice which developed a website called “Stop Discrimination” in September 2015 that “presents information for victims of discrimination on the law, reporting mechanisms, and the actions of the Ministry. In order to foster civic engagement, it permits users to share information about best practices.” [66] Another organization, The Rights Defender, which has a mandate from the government to fight direct and indirect discrimination created a website in September of 2015, “which is intended to be a one-stop-shop for anyone wishing to report on or find information about hate speech. [67]"

The task of addressing anti-Jewish racism and racism generally is not only for the French government and French civil society and for France. It is a broader European task for European society and the European Union as the rise in anti-Jewish attacks and anti-Jewish prejudice and bigotry is a European phenomenon and transcends the political boundaries of France. The European Union has not dealt effectively with the rise in anti-Jewish attacks and has been overwhelmingly passive and indifferent to them with regard to proactive policies; it has largely limited itself to monitoring and reporting on them and even that has been incomplete and ineffective. Several major international human rights NGOs, including those with an extensive and active presence in Europe and those based in Europe have similarly failed to take seriously and respond to anti-Jewish hate crimes and discrimination in Europe. 

The European Context and International Human Rights NGO Response

It was only as recently as early October of 2015 that the EU announced two EU officials to serve as commissioners with designated responsibilities to address anti-Jewish and Islamaphobic crimes and discrimination in Europe. [68] While many in the Jewish community in Europe have been urging such a response for some time – and the response is tardy – it provides at least the possibility of the EU having a more centralized address to address anti-Jewish hate crimes and discrimination. However, naming an individual as commissioner will have minimal impact if it is not followed up with a well-organized, funded, and implemented range of programs, such as those announced by the French government to combat anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and other discriminatory attacks and attitudes. 

It is also important to acknowledge that international human rights organizations and their members and supporters have an important role to play in combating the rise in anti-Jewish acts in Europe yet have largely failed to do so.  

Although the Washington, DC based NGO, Human Rights First, has formally and explicitly addressed the rise in anti-Jewish racism and attacks across Europe and made addressing it a programming priority, it is exceptional and lonely amongst the major international human rights NGOs in taking this stance. [69]

Neither Human Rights Watch nor Amnesty International has addressed anti-Jewish racism in a substantive way that recognizes the extent of its threat and vigorously addresses it and calls for and advocates for practical responses to protect the safety and human rights of Jews and to address anti-Jewish racism in a significant way – in sharp contrast to Human Rights First. Human Rights Watch has been criticized for problematic language and statements by its Executive Director, Kenneth Roth, that have been perceived as suggesting that Jews are to be blamed for anti-Jewish [70] attacks even as some Human Rights Watch staffers have spoken out, commendably, against the rise in European anti-Jewish racism, [71] but only in brief, online comments and with no concurrent major effort on the part of the organization to confront the rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes and discrimination in Europe. 

The international board of Amnesty International, comprised of its national representatives from around the world has similarly failed to defend the human rights of Jews in Europe and beyond through sustained research, advocacy, and public outreach. Amnesty International UK is on  record as having  explicitly formally rejected [72] efforts to specifically address anti-Semitism at its Annual General Meeting in London, sending a deeply troubling message to British Jews and European Jews more generally that one of the largest and most influential organizations of the international human rights movement and the one with the greatest membership and grassroots presence does not recognize and will not marshal its resources and energies to confront and challenge anti-Jewish attacks, racism, and discrimination in Europe. It is particularly troubling given the massive rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes in the UK from 2012 – 2015, which shares striking similarities to the rise of anti-Jewish hate crimes in France. [73] Rightly, Amnesty International has issued reports studying and condemning anti-Muslim and anti-Roma hate crimes and discrimination but it has neglected to uphold the most fundamental principles of human rights law; equality and universality, by failing to seriously address anti-Jewish attacks and racism.  

The loneliness that the French Jewish community speaks of and that Prime Minister Valls has observed and urged French citizens to ameliorate will remain acute until real solidarity and defense for human rights becomes the prevalent conviction, commitment, and action, in France and in Europe as a whole and in the community of individuals, organizations, governments, and institutions aiming to advance human rights. The French government is only now beginning to address anti-Jewish racism and hate crimes with a serious investment of financial and human resources, government attention and coordination, and a sense of concern, commitment, and urgency. It is a test of French civil society if it will contribute to these efforts to combat anti-Jewish racism and hate crimes. It will be essential to monitor, assess, and provide feedback on the 40-point program to combat anti-Jewish racism over the next two years so that the French government will have the information it needs to determine how to best to sustain and advance efforts to secure the rights and welfare of France’s Jewish citizens and of all French citizens, including its racial, ethnic, and religious minorities.

References

[1] ‘Antisemitism – Overview of Data Available in the European Union 2004-2014. http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2015/antisemitism-overview-data-available-european-union-2004-2014

‘Perceptions et Attentes de la Population Juive,’ Brice Tanturier and Etienne Mercier. http://www.fondationjudaisme.org/wp-content/uploads/PRESENTATION-GLOBALE-ENQUETE.pdf

See also the publications of Hebrew University’s Vidal Sasoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, specifically its series, “Posen Papers in Contemporary Antisemitism.” http://sicsa.huji.ac.il/pplist.html

Kim Hjemlgaard, “Antisemitic Violence Surged Worldwide 40% Last Year,” USA Today, April 16, 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/04/15/jewish-anti-semitic-attacks-western-europe/25807273/

The Economist, “The Return of Jew Hatred: Europe Has an Obligation to Protect its Jews” February 21, 2015. http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21644152-europe-has-obligation-protect-its-jews-return-jew-hatred

Because this paper concentrates on contemporary manifestations of anti-Jewish racism in France and responses to them most of the data cited originates in reports of NGOs, foundations, government agencies, communal organizations, and the media. For academic research on the history and nature of anti-Jewish racism in France see:

Paul A. Silverstein, “The Context of Antisemitism and Islamophobia in France,” Patterns of Prejudice, 42, (2008).  

The following four articles will be cited in this paper:

Michael. R. Marrus, “French Antisemitism in the 1980s,” Patterns of Prejudice, 17 (1983).

Timothy Peace, “Un antisemitisme nouveau? The Debate About a ‘New Antisemitism’ in France”, Patterns of Prejudice, 43 (2009).

James  G. Shields, “Antisemitism in France: The Spectre of Vichy,” Patterns of Prejudice, 24 (1990).

Nonna Mayer, “Transformations in French anti-Semitism,” International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 1 (2007).

See also:

The Anti Defamation League Global 100 Index of Anti-Semitism. http://global100.adl.org/#country/france/2015

Robert Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel, (Jerusalem: University of Nebraska Press for The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at Hebrew University, 2012.)

Robert Wistrich, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad, (New York: Random House, 2010.)  

See also the 2012 report by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency titled,

“Jewish People’s Experiences and Perceptions of Discrimination, Hate Crime, and Antisemitism” http://fra.europa.eu/en/media/press-packs/survey-jewish-people-experiences

See also follow up research:

‘Hate Crimes against Jews in E.U. Member States: Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism’, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-2013-discrimination-hate-crime-against-jews-eu-member-states- 0_en.pdf (2013

Footnote 17 has additional links to relevant research reports from the Jewish Community Protection Service and the FONDAPOL Report.

[2] For data on the nature, scale, and scope of anti Jewish hate crimes see the reports listed in footnote 1, above, and the Jewish Community Protection Service Report and the FONDAPOL report.

For descriptions of how Jewish individuals feel in the context of a growing anti-Jewish climate in France see:

Marion Von Renterghem, “From Auschwitz to Charlie Hebdo: The Perils of Being Jewish in France,”The Guardian,  March 6, 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/06/jews-france-antisemitism-charlie-hebdo

Natasha Lehrer, “The Threat to France’s Jews,” The Guardian,  January 15, 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/jan/15/-sp-threat-to-france-jews

Jon Henley, “Antisemitism on Rise Across Europe ‘in worst time since the Nazis’” The Guardian, August 7, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/07/antisemitism-rise-europe-worst-since-nazis

David Brooks, “How to Fight Antisemitism,” The New York Times,  March 24, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/24/opinion/david-brooks-how-to-fight-anti-semitism.html 

[3]Economic factors also influence decisions to leave France.

Nicola Abe and Julia Amalia Heyer, “Rising Anti-Semitism: Increasing Number of French Jews Moving to Israel,” Spiegel Online International, January 26, 2015. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/jewish-immigration-to-israel-from-france-rising-after-attacks-a-1015014.html

[4] Ruchama Weiss and Levi Brackman, YNet, “Aliyah to Israel Increases in 2015,” December 29, 2015.

[5] Jewish Community Protection Service, 2014.  http://www.antisemitisme.fr/dl/2014-EN.pdf Human Rights First also quotes from this data extensively in their report on anti-Semitism in France.

[6] Ibid.

David Chazan, “Hate Crimes Against Muslims and Jews Soar in France,” The Daily Telegraph, December 30, 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/12075018/Hate-crimes-against-Muslims-and-Jews-soar-in-France.html

[7]Jewish Community Protection Service Report 2014, Page 21

[8]Jewish Community Protection Service Report 2014, Page 36.

For an additional report on anti-Jewish racism in France see the Fondapol report, November 2014, by Dominic Reynie, ‘L’Antisemitisme Dans L’Opinion Publique Francaise.’ http://www.fondapol.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/CONF2press-Antisemitisme-DOC-6-web11h51.pdf

[9] Eric Conan, “Le Desarroi des juifs de France,” L’Express, October 10, 2002. http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/societe/le-desarroi-des-juifs-de-france_497880.html

Timothy Peace writes that, “In the autumn of 2000, France witnessed an explosion of antisemitism, unprecedented since the Second World War. In that year alone, a total of 744 antisemitic incidents were recorded compare to only 82 the previous year. This wave of anti-Jewish acts continued throughout the years that followed and peaked in 2002 and 2004, with 936 and 974 incidents, respectively.” Peace, 103.

[10] Peace, Ibid.

[11]“Remarks by Elisa Massimino at the UN General Assembly, Informal Session on Antisemitic Violence,”  http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/remarks-elisa-massimino-un-general-assembly-informal-session-antisemitic-violence

[12] Susan Corke, “Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Antisemitism and Extremism in France,” Human Rights First. http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/breaking-cycle-violence-countering-antisemitism-and-extremism-france

[13]Corke,1.

[14]Corke,1.

[15]Corke, 2.

[16]Corke,2.

[17]Corke,2.

[18]Corke, 44.

[19] Interview with Philippe Allouche, President FMS, email, October, 26, 2015.

[20] Ibid. 

[21]Alissa J. Rubin and Aurelien Breeden, “France Announces Stronger Fight Against Racism and Anti-Semitism,” The New York Times, April 17, 2015.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/world/europe/france-announces-stronger-fight-against-racism-and-anti-semitism.html?_r=0

Timothy Peace discusses similar government campaigns which had minimal effect and did not realize their aims. On December 8, 2003 President Chirac created the ‘Comite Interministeriel de Lutte Contre Le Racisme el l’Antisemitisme.’ This was part of a “sustained campaign against anti-semitism. Measures included the creation of a ministerial committee charged with tackling the problem, a massive urban regeneration programme and a substantial contribution towards the costs of increased security at Jewish private schools. A series of new laws were also passed in order to improve the monitoring of antisemitism, institute more severe punishments for hate crimes and increase the number of people convicted of such misdemeanors in order to send out a clear message.” Peace, 105. Given the lack of success of these efforts the new efforts of the French government will need to learn from their limitations and reflect upon why earlier government efforts failed to achieve the desired results and to ensure that this new effort does not face a similar trajectory. 

[22]Mobilizing France Against Racism and Anti-Semitism: 2015–2017 Action Plan. http://www.gouvernement.fr/sites/default/files/contenu/piece-jointe/2015/05/dilcra_mobilizing_france_against_racism_and_antisemitism.pdf

[23]Ibid.

[24]Ibid.

[25] Email interview Philippe Allouche, October 26, 2015.  

[26]Ibid. 

[27]Commission Nationale Consultative Des Droits De L’Homme: La Lutte Contre Le Racism, L Antisemitism, el la Xenophobia, 2014.  http://www.cncdh.fr/sites/default/files/cncdh_-_essentiels_rapport_racisme_2014.pdf

[28] Ibid. 

[29] Jewish Community Protection Service, 37-38.

Academic researchers in the fields of sociology, political science, and history have also noted anti-Jewish hate crimes and racism are now met in contemporary France largely with indifference (aside from the leadership of the executive branch of government) in comparison to the reactions to the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Carpentras.

See Nonna Mayer, ‘Transformations in French Anti-Semitism,” 52.

[30]Stephen Greenhouse, “Parisians Join in Protest Against Hate, The New York Times, May 15, 1990. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/15/world/parisians-join-in-protest-against-hate.html

[31] Shields, 6. 

[32] According to Nonna Mayer, the profile of individuals engaged in anti-Jewish violence since 2000 has changed. “Whereas previously this violence was initiated almost exclusively by the extreme right, and continues to be so in the case of desecrations, since 2000 a significant portion of the perpetrators identified were youths of Arab-Muslim immigrant origin in revolt against society and full of resentment towards a community that they see as more privileged, as investigations conducted by Michel Wieviorka among youths in working-class districts of Roubaix have found. These youths are especially reactive to the international context, given that the peaks of violence correspond very closely to the start of the Second Intifada (September-October 2000), to 11 September 2001, to Operation Rampart conducted by Israel in the Jenin refugee camp (April 2002), to the American intervention in Iraq (March-April 2003) and to the Madrid bombings (March 2004).

[33]Kimberle Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color,” Stanford Law Review, 43 (1993).  

[34] Email Interview, Philippe Allouche, October 26, 2015. 

[35] Paul Foster, ‘Les Medias Francais seraient-ils devenus anti-Semites? In Alexandre Feigenbaum, Jacqueline Rebibo and Monique Sanders (eds), (Nouveaux) visage de l’antisemitisme: haine-passion ou haine-historique? (Paris: NM7 2001), 221-8.

[36]Corke, 44.

[37]David Horowitz, “Does a Gritty Ex-Cop’s Move to Israel Symbolize the End for France’s Jews?” Times of Israel,  October 28, 2015,. http://www.timesofisrael.com/does-a-gritty-ex-cops-move-to-israel-symbolize-the-end-for-frances-jews/, 

[38] Other religious, racial, and ethnic communities express similar sentiments and concerns. The French government began a program of dialogue with and outreach to France’s Muslim community in the summer of 2015 in part because of substantial increases in anti-Muslim attacks across France.

Joshua Melvin, “Hate and Extremism Not Islam Says French Prime Minister,” Yahoo News/Agence France Presse, June 15, 1915. http://news.yahoo.com/hate-extremism-not-islam-french-pm-114115987.html

[39] To see the video of Valls’ speech and the translation see, http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/14/we-havent-shown-enough-outrage-french-pm-issues-blistering-denunication-of-antisemitism-video/#

[40]Ibid.  

[41]Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner, January 14, 2015. http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/14/we-havent-shown-enough-outrage-french-pm-issues-blistering-denunication-of-antisemitism-video/

[42]“France to Invest $107 Million in Fighting Anti-Semitism, Racism”, Haaretz, April 17, 2015. http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.652353

[43] Ibid. 

[44]Jeffrey Goldberg, “French Prime Minister: ‘If Jews Flee, The Republic Will Be a Failure,’” The Atlantic, January 10, 2015. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/01/french-prime-minister-warns-if-jews-flee-the-republic-will-be-judged-a-failure/384410/

[45]“’Stay in France’, PM Valls Urges Jews After Attacks”, BBC, February 16, 2015,  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31485681

[46] Ibid.

Dumas insisted that his comments did not justify apology. France 24, ‘Ex Minister Unrepentant for Comments on French Prime Minister’s Jewish Wife,” February 17, 2015. http://www.france24.com/en/20150216-ex-french-minister-dumas-jewish-valls-slur

The Socialist party released the following statement in response to Dumas’ impugning Valls’ integrity because his wife is Jewish stating that Dumas’ comment was: “unworthy of a socialist decorated by the Republic.” “French Socialist Condemn Ex-Minister’s Jewish Remark,” Reuters, February 16, 2016. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-jews-dumas-idUSKBN0LK1NY20150216

[47]JTA News, “French Prime Minister: Attacks in France, Israel ‘Show we are in a World War,” January 18, 2016. http://www.jta.org/2016/01/18/news-opinion/world/french-pm-attacks-in-france-israel-show-we-are-in-world-war

[48]DW News, “Hollande Appeals to Jews, ‘France is Your Homeland,’” January 27, 2015. http://www.dw.com/en/hollande-appeals-to-jews-france-is-your-homeland/a-18217796

[49]“Stay in France, PM Valls Urges Jews After Attacks,” BBC, February 16, 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31485681

[50]Angelique Chrisafis, “Teenager Faces Charges Over Marseille Jewish Teacher Attack,” The Guardian, January 13, 2016. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/13/teenager-to-appear-in-court-over-marseille-jewish-teacher-attack

[51]“Jewish Teacher Stabbed in French City of Marseille,” BBC, November 18, 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34864509

[52]“Following Anti-Semitic Attacks in Marseilles, Jewish Leaders Divided Over Skullcap” The Huffington Post, January 13, 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/anti-semitic-attacks-marseille_us_5696ace5e4b0b4eb759ce7b8

[53]Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, http://eajc.org/page32/news53663.html

[54]Paris Mayor Joins Global Anti-Semitism Initiative, Haaretz, October 7, 2015. http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.679245

[55] Jeffrey Goldberg, “David Cameron on Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism,” The Atlantic, April 17, 2015.  http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/04/david-cameron-on-anti-zionism-and-anti-semitism/390759/

Jeffrey Goldberg, “Is it Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?,” April, 2015.  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/is-it-time-for-the-jews-to-leave-europe/386279/

[56]Ibid.  

[57]Tom Parfitt, “David Cameron Vows to Stamp out Shocking Rise in Anti-Semitic Attacks Across Britain,” Express, September 14, 2015. http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/604984/David-Cameron-anti-Semitic-Jewish-attacks-Jeremy-Corbyn-Rosh-Hashanah

See also:

Marcus Dysch, “CST Figures Reveal 2015 was Third Worst Year for Antisemitism,” Jewish Chronicle, February 4, 2016. http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/153077/cst-figures-reveal-2015-was-third-worst-year-antisemitism

[58]“Angela Merkel: ‘Fighting Anti-Semitism is German Duty’” The BBC, September 14, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29195685

Simon Rocker, “Merkel: ‘Antisemitism More Widespread Than Thought,” The Jewish Chronicle, January 24, 2016. http://www.thejc.com/news/world-news/152658/merkel-antisemitism-more-widespread-thought

Agence France Press, “Angela Merkel Opens Holocaust Art Show with Warning on Anti-Semitism,” January 26, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/26/angela-merkel-opens-holocaust-art-show-with-warning-on-anti-semitism

Matthew Holehouse, “Attacks on Jews Rise to Five Year High in Germany: More Than Any Country in Europe,” The Daily Telegraph, October 1, 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11904654/Attacks-on-Jews-rise-to-five-year-high-in-Germany-more-than-any-country-in-Europe.html

[59]Susan Corke, “Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Antisemitism and Extremism in France,” Human Rights First. http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/sites/default/files/HRF-Breaking-the-Cycle-final.pdf

[60]Corke, pages 29 and 30, footnote 47.  

[61]Corke, 16.

[62]Corke, 28.

[63] Corke, 16.

[64]Corke, 16.

[65] Corke, 8.

[66] Corke, 14.

[67] Corke, 14.

[68]Sam Sokol, “Jewish Groups Welcome Announcement by Timmerman of EU Anti-Semitism Czar,”  Jerusalem Post, October 4, 2015. http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Jewish-groups-welcome-announcement-by-Timmerman-of-EU-anti-Semitism-czar-419873 For an interview with the new EU Anti-Semitism Envoy see Moment Magazine.

Thomas Siurkus, “Q & A: EU Anti-Semitism Envoy Katherina Von,” Moment,  Schneurbein http://www.momentmag.com/22574-2

[69]Human Rights First, ‘Antisemitism’  http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/topics/antisemitism

Human Rights First Press Release, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/press-release/three-young-activists-working-combat-antisemitism-europe-receive-2015-human-rights

Human Rights First Remarks of Elisa Massimino, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/remarks-elisa-massimino-un-general-assembly-informal-session-antisemitic-violence 

[70]Jeffrey Goldberg, “Does Human Rights Watch Understand the Nature of Prejudice?”The Atlantic Monthly, September 21, 2014.  http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/09/does-human-rights-watchs-kenneth-roth-understand-the-nature-of-prejudice/380556/

[71] Human Rights Watch Staff Commentary, https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/02/18/2015-anti-semitism-should-no-longer-be-reality-europe

[72] Amnesty Votes Down Proposal for UK Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, Haaretz, April 22, 2015.  http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.652962

2015 AGM Amnesty International AGM Resolutions, See page 12: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/sites/default/files/2015_agm_resolutions.pdf

Amnesty International UK National Conference and AGM 2015, Decisions, See page 9: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/sites/default/files/aiuk_agm_2015_decisions_booklet_final.pdf 

[73]“Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes on Rise in UK,” The Daily Telegraph, July 30, 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11772169/Anti-semitic-hate-crimes-on-rise-in-UK.html

Ramzy Alwakeel, “Rise in anti-Semitic Crime in London’s Largest Jewish Community,” The Evening Standard, December 30, 2015. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/rise-in-antisemitic-crime-in-londons-largest-jewish-community-a3146101.html

Harriet Sherwood, “2015 Sees Fall from Record Rate of AntiSemitic Hate Crimes: Despite Large Fall Compared to 2014, Last Year Third-Worst Since Community Services Trust Began Monitoring Hate Crimes Against Jews 30 Years Ago,” The Guardian, February 4, 2016. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/04/2015-sees-fall-from-record-rate-of-antisemitic-hate-crimes

Explore More »

Share this Article

About This Article

Location:

Diplomacy & Diversity

Authors:

Related Media

Browse all content