The despicable murders in Toulouse, France, on Monday, March 19, 2012 that took the lives of Rabbi Yonatan Sandler (30), his two small children, Aryeh (3) and Gavriel (6), and Miriam Monsonego, the eight-year-old daughter of the Ozer Ha’Torah school’s principal by Mohammed Merah (24), an Arab-Muslim French citizen, has raised anew the question of whether France is a safe place for Jews.
When this writer asked Lyda Peltz, a French citizen born to Jewish parents who came from North Africa, if France is safe for Jews, her response was fast and furious, “France is no longer a safe place for Jews.” Lyda, who moved to Israel several years ago, joined thousands of other French Jews whose accented voices fill the streets of Netanya, Ashkelon, and Eilat. She contends that the influx of millions of Muslims into France enabled the anti-Semitism that already existed to rise above surface and become legitimatized.
A spate of violent anti-Semitic attacks on Jews throughout France during the 2008-09 “Cast Lead” Israeli operation in Gaza, aided in great measure by the French media’s anti-Israel posture, prompted the exodus of thousands of Jews from France. In the aftermath, terrorists crashed two vehicles, one loaded with firebombs, into the façade of a synagogue in Toulouse, France January 6, 2009, while a lecture was going on. Fortunately, there was only physical damage and no one suffered any injuries. This attack was, however, the second serious terrorist attack on Jewish targets in France in less than a week.
A 29-year old Jewish man was attacked on January 4, 2009 at a Paris subway station by a gang of 20 people who yelled “Palestine will win.” They hit the man in the face and filmed the scene. Three days later, a 15-year-old Jewish girl in suburban Paris (Villiers-le-Bel) accused a gang of ten which included three of her classmates, of an anti-Semitic assault. She had been thrown to the ground, kicked, punched, and the attackers told her that they were “avenging Palestinians.” On January 8, 2009, “Death to the Jews” was spray-painted outside a primary school in Nice. On that same day, the ORT Bramson High School in Marseille was attacked by vandals who threw aerosol cans soaked with flammable liquid at the school building.
Prior to last Monday’s calculated murders, the brutal murder of Ilan Halimi, a23-year-old Parisian Jew in 2006, was the country’s most shocking. Halimi had been lured to an apartment by a female gang member, and sadistically tortured to death by Arab and African Muslim Frenchmen. One gang member admitted to having put out a cigarette on Halimi’s face “because he did not like Jews.” The anti-Semitism of this gang of barbarians went much further. According to one witness the torturers recited verses from the Koran while Halimi was tortured.
On August 9, 1982, during the First Lebanon War, Arab terrorists used grenades and machine guns in an attack that targeted Chez Jo Goldenberg, the famous Jewish establishment located in the Marais district of Paris. Six people were killed and 22 wounded.
The work of the French media and academia reveals that a majority of members are not only leftist in their outlook, but anti-American and anti-Israel as well and, elements are allied with radical Islamists. Official policies of the French government since 1967 show they have sought cooperation with the Arab world at the expense of Israel. The actions of the media, academia and the government have all contributed to the rise of anti-Semitism. However, the multi-cultural and political-correct French elites, who have looked the other way rather than face the violent excesses of many of the Arab Muslim immigrants, and have not spoken out against the radical Islamic imams who preach hatred against all non-Muslims and Jews in particular, are ultimately responsible for the harvest of anti-Semitism being reaped in today’s France.