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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:


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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:


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.


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.


  • 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!

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