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NYT: New Wave of French Anti-Semitism Poses Many Challenges

NYT: New Wave of French Anti-Semitism Poses Many Challenges
A silent march in Paris on March 28 was in memory of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman murdered in her home in what police believe was an anti-Semitic attack. (Lionel Urman/AP)

By    |   Friday, 27 July 2018 06:52 PM

A recent wave of anti-Semitism in France has Jews fleeing to safer communities from attacks by a growing Muslim population, Islamic leaders outraged that issues of discrimination and police bias issues aren't being addressed — and French officials grappling with the notion that all citizens are equal under the law.

"They spit when I walked in the street," Joanna Galilli, 28, who recently moved to northwestern Paris because of anti-Semitic aggression in her suburban neighborhood, told The New York Times.

"Anti-Semitism is pretty high," she said of her former community, "and you feel it enormously."

While France has a long history of anti-Semitism, including during the German occupation of World War II, debates have arisen of a "new anti-Semitism" linked to a rising Muslim population.

According to the Times, nearly 40 percent of racially or religiously motivated acts of violence were committed against Jews in 2017, though the 500,000 living in France make up less than 1 percent of the population.

Anti-Semitic acts increased by 20 percent from 2016, a rise the Interior Ministry told the Times was "preoccupying."

France has Europe's largest population of Jews and Muslims, the Times reports, and Muslims also face employment discrimination and police bias.

However, French officials fear even acknowledging such a situation violates the idea French citizens are equal before the law.

"We are all citizens of the republic, one and indivisible," J�r�me Fourquet, a pollster who recently co-authored a book on French anti-Semitism, told the Times. "But this doesn't correspond to reality."

"All the politicians speak of living together," he said. "And yet, instead, we have de facto groupings based on culture and community.

"Yet to recognize this is to recognize the failure or breakdown of the French model."

Muslims are outraged at accusations of being linked to growing anti-Semitism, particularly at a time of rising Islamophobia in France, the Times reports.

Violence against Muslims, who make up as much as 9 percent of France's population, has also increased between 2016 and 2017.

"People leave because they have reached another economic level," Mamadou Diallo, who runs a youth center in as western suburb of Paris, told the Times regarding why Jews are fleeing to other areas of the country.

He and nearly a dozen other young Muslims interviewed recently, however, acknowledged that they have heard anti-Semitic remarks.

"Too many for my taste," Diallo said.

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Jews in France are fleeing to safer communities from attacks by a growing Muslim population amid a recent wave of anti-Semitism in France, The New York Times reports.
anti semitism, french, religious persecution, radical islamic terrorism
Friday, 27 July 2018 06:52 PM
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