Thursday, February 11, 2016

France: Country ignored pattern of antisemitic attacks on Jews for more than a decade

Via PRI:
France has been living with smaller attacks on Jewish institutions for some time. Marc Weitzmann, a journalist, says the situation started to escalate in 2000, around the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada. He says Jews in France became a target for young radicalized Muslims, but the country was slow to recognize the pattern of anti-Semitic attacks.

“That's when the Jews really started to feel very lonely in the country and it's a sort of perverse dynamic. The more you say you're lonely the more you turn out being lonely because everybody thinks you're crazy,” Weitzmann says.

But since 2014 it’s become harder to dismiss the escalation of anti-Semitic incidents in the country. That January, right-wing protests in Paris included large groups of people chanting anti-Semitic slogans.

“That [chanting] was really a first,” Weitzmann says. “You know, ‘Jews, France doesn't belong to you.’ This was unheard [of in France] since World War II.”

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