Last December, vandals desecrated 107 Jewish graves with anti-Semitic inscriptions in Westerhoffen in eastern France. Anti-Jewish graffiti was also found in the nearby town of Schafhouse-sur-Zorn. No suspects were arrested. Earlier in 2019, in February in Alsace, also in eastern France, 100 Jewish graves were desecrated with Nazi symbols.
The desecration occurred just hours before the French government’s lower legislative house was to adopt a motion modeled on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism which states that denying Jews their right to self-determination is anti-Semitic.
In the same month, an Israeli student was attacked by two strangers on the subway for speaking Hebrew into a cell phone. His nose was broken. A 17-year-old, arrested with a stolen phone and known to police, was taken into custody. His ethnic origin was not given.
And perhaps most frightening, U.K.’s leading freedom fighter Katie Hopkins stated in a recent Glazov Gang video that 18 Jewish families in Paris had received letters telling them to “get out” or be killed.
Perhaps to indicate the senders of these poisonous letters meant business, Hopkins also cited the case of the 82-year-old Jewish woman last year who lived in one of the poorer suburbs surrounding Paris. She was stabbed to death and thrown off her balcony by her Muslim neighbor.
Anti-Semitic attacks are on the increase in France. According to Wikepedia, in 2018, they rose by 69 per cent amounting to about 500 assaults. Anti-Semitism surged during the Second Intifada from 2002-2004 to disturbing levels.
Despite only making up one to three per cent of the population of France, Jews are subjected to 40 per cent of all racially or religiously motivated attacks. There are about 500,000 Jews in France and they make up the third largest number of Jews in the world after Israel and the United States.
Anti-Semitism has a long history in France. From the Dreyfuss affair, in which a Jewish French officer was convicted of treason on false charges, through to the Vichy regime.
But at no time did Jews feel they were in such danger as today with the Muslim immigration to France. Some Jews are now so concerned with their security that they have emigrated to Israel with their families. In 2014, the number of French Jews leaving for Israel for the first time exceeded the United States. Seventy per cent of Jews are concerned about anti-Semitic insults while 20 per cent are concerned about physical assaults. Prior to this, Jews never felt compelled by anti-Semitism to leave France.
Muslim anti-Semitism is virulent and also deadly. The best proof of this occurred when Mohmmed Merah, a petty Muslim criminal, attacked a Jewish school in Toulouse and killed three students and a rabbi. There have also been numerous other attacks on Jews and against Jewish institutions, which are guarded by special security guards with some coming from Israel.
Some of these, such as the one against Ilan Halimi, are notorious. Halimi was a French Jew of Moroccan descent who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Muslims calling themselves “gang of barbarians.”
The problem with anti-Semitism in France is, essentially, that hatred of Israel and the Jews has become a major part of the identity of Muslims of north African and African origin.
“Hatred for Israel and for Jews has become a major component of the identity of French of Arab or African background; it is the cement of the second generation,” said Gil Mihaely, founder and director of the Causeur, a French magazine dedicated to intellectual debate.
Mihaely further states that the anti-Jewish demonstrations of 2014 in France, in which two synagogues were attacked in Paris, “betray a profound need to identify oneself as an adversary of Israel and of the Jews.”
The French historian Georges Bensoussan also states about anti-Semitism in his country that Muslim families in France “drink it with the mother’s milk.”
This does not augur well for the future of a Jewish presence in France.
Anti-Semitism is so bad that Jewish students are avoiding going to public schools.
In a “large number of schools” students are “beaten and insulted because they are Jews,” said the president of the council representing Jewish institutions in France in a story in Le Figaro.
“In my time we all went to secular schools. Today not more than a third of third of Jewish children go to secular schools, the other two thirds go to private schools, either Jewish or Christian,’ said the president.
One high school principal was reported to have warned Jewish students in 2017 not to attend his school for fear of harassment and assaults.
It is also disturbing to see members of the French left ally itself with anti-Semitic Muslims. The Communist mayor of Valenton, a community near Paris, insulted France’s Jewish community in 2014 when he named a street after Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti. Barghouti was actually made an honorary citizen of Valenton five years earlier.
Barghouti was sentenced by an Israel court in 2004 to multiple life sentences for planning deadly terrorist attacks. But that didn’t stop Valenton’s mayor from calling the terrorist “…the face of the of the resistance of the Palestinian people against the occupation,,,”
As a counter, Sammy Ghozlan, founder of The National Bureau For Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, said: “The celebration of a murderer is unacceptable.”
It is noticeable that Muslims in France become very agitated about what they regard as Israeli crimes but don’t utter a word about their 300,000 fellow Muslims killed in the war in Syria or about the thousands killed in Yemen or Libya.
And when in 2012 a moderate imam tried to mobilize people, including Muslims, to demonstrate against Merah’s anti-Semitic crimes, only about 50 people showed up. But such apathy now appears among the entire population. In 1990, after a Jewish cemetery was desecrated, thousands of people showed up to protest against anti-Semitism. But after the Merah murders, only Jews showed up to demonstrate.
As one writer stated about Muslims and non-Muslims in France, the sentiment today is that two communities are forming side by side who regard one another with hostility. One can see this, in one respect, with their different attitudes anti-Semitism. And this sentiment, the writer states, is shared by many. In other words, France is a fractured society.
If the flight of French Jews, and Jews from other western European countries as well, is not stopped, then they all will wind up looking like the Muslim countries of North Africa and the Middle East whose Jewish communities were chased out decades ago. In other words, Hitler’s dream of a Jew-free Europe will finally be realized. Western Europe will be ‘Judenrein’.