Friday, January 22, 2016

Anti-Semitism threatens France’s Jewish communities

From the Washington Times
An increasingly violent wave of anti-Semitic words and acts in France threatens the very existence of Jewish communities there, one human rights advocacy group warned in a new report.

The attacks are “a harbinger of societal breakdown,” said Susan Corke of Human Rights First. “Left unchecked, antisemitism leads to the persecution of other minorities, and to an overall increase in repression and intolerance.”

Reported anti-Semitic hate crimes in France have more than doubled from 423 in 2014 to 851 in 2015, according to numbers cited in the report “Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Antisemitism and Extremism in France” released Jan. 7 by the group Human Rights First and authored by Corke.

“These incidents are increasingly violent,” the report stated.


The commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, told CNA/EWTN News last March of the fear in the Jewish communities that she witnessed during a visit to France. Many Jewish parents “don’t see a Jewish future” for their children there, she said. The government has stationed security outside of Jewish buildings and synagogues to protect them from vandalism and violence.

The decline of the situation is largely due to two major factors: the rise of the far-right National Front political party, and the resentment of disenfranchised immigrant and minority groups, the report said.
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