Thursday, February 19, 2015

France: Jewish representatives no longer count the number of desecrations of cemeteries, focusing on more serious crimes

New York Times:

For the Jewish community in France, while this was hardly the most worrisome of the attacks, it had a symbolic importance, especially after the January shootings in Paris. “Today they are attacking both the living and the dead because they are Jewish,” said René Gutman, the rabbi of Strasbourg and the surrounding Lower Rhine region.

The area once had a significant Jewish population, but many left in the 1870s when the area changed hands and became German territory. The cemetery dates to the 18th century, Mr. Gutman said.

Representatives of the Jewish community here saw the desecration as a symptom of a larger problem rather than a major incident. Roger Cukierman, head of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, said they no longer counted the number of desecrations of cemeteries, focusing on more serious crimes.

“For me, it shows that France has missed something in its education of its young people, because they should have learned either from their parents or teachers to have respect for the deceased,” Mr. Cukierman said.

Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, the director of the American Jewish Committee in Paris, noted that it was important not to lump all crimes against Jews together and that there was a difference between killing Jews and desecration, though both are part of a larger problem. “We’re witnessing a moment of growing tension and growing hate in Europe, and the anti-Semitism is an expression of something more that is going wrong,” she said.

No comments :

Post a Comment