A Bloody History: Attacks on French Jewry Since 1967

March 19, 2012 5:21 pm 2 comments

The funeral for Sebastian Selam, a French Jew murdered by a Muslim neighbor in 2003 who said, It was what Allah demanded". Photo: screenshot via rosenpress agency.

France has a checkered history of anti-Semitism and in the last few decades there have been bombings at Jewish schools and synagogues; Jewish tombs have been desecrated and Orthodox Jews have been attacked.  The most recent attack occurred on Today, when 4 people, including 3 children, were murdered at a Jewish day school in the southern part of the country.

There are 600,000 Jews in France, comprising the world’s third-largest Jewish community and the largest in Europe.  Since the foundation of the state of Israel, the perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence in France have shifted from those involved in fascist political parties to radical Islamists.

In 2004, former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon urged French Jews to move to Israel immediately to escape anti-Semitism and said “We see the spread of the wildest anti-Semitism”. He made the comments after French government figures showed 510 anti-Jewish acts or threats in the first six months of 2004, compared to 593 in all of 2003.

According to the French Jewish Community Protection Service (Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive – SPCJ) there were 466 anti-Semitic acts in 2010, compared with 832 in 2009.

In 2010, “violent acts” comprised 28% of the anti-Semitic acts committed, while the remainder were “threats and intimidating acts”. In 2009, “violent acts” were 21% of the 832 anti-Semitic acts committed that year.

The following are major attacks carried out against Jews in France since the end of World War II:

2009

In January 2009, attackers launched two cars packed with petrol bombs at a synagogue in France’s southwestern city of Toulouse, causing damage but no casualties.

2006

A high profile case involved the death of Ilan Halimi, a young French Jewish man of Moroccan descent. He was  kidnapped on January 21, 2006 by a gang called “the Gang of Barbarians” and was tortured for 24 days. The murder was motivated by anti-Semitism and money. The gang leader, Youssef Fofana, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

2004

In October 2004, 88 tombs in a Jewish cemetery in Brumath, near Strasbourg, were painted with swastikas and “SS” initials.

2003

In November 2003, a young French Jewish DJ, Sebastien Selam, was murdered by his Muslim neighbor and former friend, Adel Boumedienne. Boumedienne slit Selam’s throat and gouged out his eyes with a knife and is quoted as saying, “I killed my Jew, I will go to paradise” and “It was what Allah demanded.”

In January 2003, a Rabbi in Paris was stabbed and had his car set on fire.

2002

Between March and April 2002, the Orthodox Or Aviv synagogue in Marseille was destroyed by arson and two other French synagogues were set on fire.

1982

In August 9, 1982, “Chez Jo Goldenberg”, a Jewish restaurant in the Marais quarter of Paris, was bombed killing six and wounding 22 people.

1980

In October 3, 1980, the bombing of the Copernic Street synagogue in Paris killed four people and injuring about 40 others.

The following are major anti-Semitic comments and anti-Israeli actions taken by French politicians since the end of World War 2:

2001

Former French ambassador to the United Kingdom, Daniel Bernard, said Israel was a “s—y little country,” that did not merit putting the world “in danger of World War III.”

1980s to 1997

Right-wing French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen was known for his “trivialization of the holocaust” and had repeatedly accused, former President Jacques Chirac, of being “owned” and “held hostage” by the Jewish organization B’nai B’rith.

1967

Charles de Gaulle questioned the Jews over “dual loyalty” and called the Jews “an élite people, self-confident and dominating”. He also reversed his earlier pro-Israel stance; criticizing Israel and imposing an arms embargo on the Jewish state.

2 Comments

  • Most of the attacks are related to the Arab-Islamic bigotry. AKA religious and racial intolerance. (Arab racism, Islamic jihad).
    Tunisian human rights activist M. Bechri called it the ‘Twin fascism’s that dominate the M.E.’ Arabism and Islamism.

    I wouldn’t rule out 9at the recent ‘Jewish school massacre’ in Toulouse) a Neo-Nazi / Islamic-extremists cooperation when it comes to Infidel-Jews. Just as the infamous (rabid racist-Arab and Islamic-bigot) Mufti, the founder of the M.E conflict, Al-Husseini did in WW2. Despite the hard fact that Nazis regarded the Arab “race” as monkeys and Arabs “enjoyed” same treatment Jews got, in Germany.

  • Brigitte Palace

    We have to watch out for Jean le Pen, his daughter running for office now, and not sure if Sarkozy is that loyal to his Jewish background either-
    France and Europe are a blood stained, cursed continent!
    We have to demand the removal of the biased Catherine Ashton as soon as possible.
    If you go onto the site of the European Union where she holds her position, solely based on the money she is luxuriating in, you will read her cabinet made up entirely of non-Jews!
    Shame on her- hugging children in Haiti, Africa, and everywhere else, and having 0 compassion for our beautiful Jewish children!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews The Media, Israel, and Anti-Semitism (REVIEW)

    The Media, Israel, and Anti-Semitism (REVIEW)

    Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-Z by Lee Bender and Jerome Verlin (Pavilion Press, Philadelphia, Pa. 2013) Sophocles said, “What people believe prevails over truth,” Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-Z is ideal for the arm chair reader who would like a basic grasp of the terms used in the mainstream media’s presentation of the Arab-Israeli situation as is reported today. This is a book whose time has come. This is a book where the reader gains a [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs William Shatner’s One Man Show Keeps Him in the Limelight (INTERVIEW)

    William Shatner’s One Man Show Keeps Him in the Limelight (INTERVIEW)

    JNS.org – On Thursday, audiences around the country can feel what it is like to be William Shatner, the Jewish actor best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk on “Star Trek.” Shatner’s one-man show “Shatner’s World”—which was on Broadway and toured Canada, Australia, and the United States—will be presented in nearly 700 movie theaters nationwide for one night only on April 24. Sponsored by Fathom Events and Priceline.com (for whom Shatner has famously served as a pitchman), [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    Romirowsky and Joffe’s book Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief is an important volume for those interested in truly understanding the origins of the Palestinian refugee issue. Utilizing a treasure trove of newly released documents, the authors link UNRWA’s (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) origins to the Quakers/American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). For those readers who thought they knew most of the Middle East story, Romirowsky and Joffe’s version provides another twist. The authors meticulously [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    The Israel National soccer team could be facing a World Cup ban, and other soccer sanctions, unless it alleviates travel restrictions and increases field access for Palestinian players and coaches. The head of the Palestinian Football Association is pushing for international soccer’s governing body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), to issue a ban on Israel competing internationally, claiming Israel’s restrictive travel for Palestinians is equivalent to a form of oppression. “It’s not only the athletes,” Jibril Rajoub explains. [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    JNS.org – While the national debate on “Obamacare” rages on past the recent March 31 sign-up deadline, bestselling Jewish author Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the “current disease care model of what we call ‘health care’ cannot possibly be sustained.” “There is simply not enough money available to support a system in which the lion’s share of expenditures is devoted to acute care, with virtually nothing being spent on preventive medicine, i.e. health care,” Fuhrman says in an interview. “To make [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.