French Police Launch Probe of Paris Youth Who Threatened to ‘Kill Jews’ on Television (VIDEO)
Police in France have launched a criminal investigation against a young man who threatened, in an interview for a television program exposing the rise in anti-Semitic violence in a Paris suburb, to “kill” Jews.
JTA reports that Yves Jannier, the prosecutor of the Pontoise region north of Paris, ordered the probe after the program was broadcast on the France 2 network last Friday. In the clip, an unnamed youth wearing a white tracksuit top is shown loitering with friends outside a Middle Eastern takeaway restaurant in Sarcelles, a heavily Muslim suburb of Paris which also contains a Jewish population of 60,000. “What they are doing over there in Palestine, we are doing here to the Jews, ” the man says during the interview. “And if we get real angry, we might just kill them.” Later on, he adds: “If I get angry, I will light up all of them, all the Jews.”
As anti-Semitic incidents rocked France during the summer, during widespread protests against Israel’s counter-offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, relations between Muslims and Jews in Sarcelles were on a knife-edge. On July 20, Muslim youths rampaged through the suburb, attacking a synagogue and Jewish-owned shops. 18 people were arrested during the violence. The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, slammed the rioters, declaring: “What’s happened in Sarcelles is intolerable: attacking a synagogue or a kosher grocery, is quite simply anti-Semitism, racism.” Roger Cukierman, head of the French Jewish organization CRIF, echoed the prime minister’s concerns, saying: “They’re shouting ‘Death to the Jews’ and attacking synagogues. It’s completely out of control.”
Jannier’s decision to investigate comes amidst widespread shock across France at the revelations in the France 2 special report. Speaking after the broadcast, Francois Pupponi, the Socialist Party Mayor of Sarcelles, warned that over “the last five or six months,” there had been a “trivialization” of anti-Semitism. “We know that a number of youths have become involved in this radical violence,” Pupponi told the AFP news agency.
Pupponi also took to his Facebook page over the weekend to urge Christiane Taubira, the French Justice Minister, to prosecute those involved in inciting violence against Jews. The France 2 program observed that the July 20 riot in Sarcelles, known colloquially as “Little Jerusalem,” was unprecedented.
Watch a video of the shocking interview below at 13:30 (French):