Monday, June 11, 2018

France: University of La Sorbonne in Paris Jewish students chapter office vandalized

Via European Jewish Press:
If Sacha Ghozlan had any doubts about whether there would be more anti-Semitic attacks in France following the March murder of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, he quickly got an answer.

Ghozlan, the president of the French Jewish Students Union (UEJF), planned to attend a rally on March 28 with more than 10,000 others in response to the murder of Mireille Knoll, who was found stabbed 11 times in her Paris apartment a few days earlier.

Hours before the gathering, Jewish students at the University of La Sorbonne in Paris found that its UEJF chapter office had been vandalized, with materials tossed on the floor and stepped on and “Death to Israel” and “Zionist racist anti-goy office,” written in French on the walls, according to videos of the office.

“At that particular time, it was very difficult to organize a gathering of the non-Jewish students,” said Ghozlan. “They refused to release a public statement [condemning the vandalism]because they didn’t want to be involved in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” (...)

After the vandalism, the UEJF wanted to get political leaders’ attention, so they commissioned a survey that measures attitudes among French people towards Israel and Jews. The study by the Institut français d’opinion publique, a market research firm, found that 54 percent of the respondents ages 18 to 24 believe that “Zionism is an international organization that seeks to influence the world and society in favor of Jews.” 
Fifty-two percent considered Zionism a racist ideology, and 57 percent had a bad image of Israel.(…)  
Jews in France and elsewhere in Europe now face not only traditional anti-Semitism from the far-right, but also from far-left parts of European society and from Muslim immigrant communities, according to Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, director of the American Jewish Committee-Europe. The focal point is a “biased view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

She would like to see European governments adopt a “zero-tolerance policy” towards anti-Semitism.

“There seems to be a discrepancy between the words and the actual actions,” she said. “You will have very strong words from the president, from the prime minister, on anti-Semitism, but then you will have small incivilities or anti-Israeli demonstrations in the streets of Paris that suddenly turn sour.”
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