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January 1, 2015 1:52 pm

Paris Chief Rabbi: French Jewry is Reeling From String of Anti-Semitic Attacks

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A rally against antisemitism in France. Photo: CRIF

After a month of assaults in France against Jewish targets, including a brutal rape during a home invasion, and shooting attacks against synagogues and other businesses, the Chief Rabbi of Paris, Michel Guggenheim, has told the Israeli religious journal Shvi’i that the crisis is having “a powerful effect on the community.”

The attacks, which have taken place against a wave of stabbing and vehicular terror attacks by radical Muslims in several cities in France, have shocked many in the nearly 500,000-strong community.

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Guggenheim, who is currently visiting Israel for a rabbinical conference, acknowledged that “Paris police are taking very severe measures against the phenomena, and, of course, we have no complaints against the security forces.”

He added, however, that “to my great regret, the judges aren’t handing down sentences sufficient to cause the individuals to think twice or deter them from their deeds.”

“There is a law that was passed that exacts a severe price for racist or antisemitic attacks. What good does it do us if there’s no deterrence?” he asked.

When asked if it was safe to walk around Paris as an identifiable Jews, Guggenheim replied, “It’s totally possible – but only in certain neighborhoods, and at certain times. Jewish schoolchildren walk around these areas without a problem.”

But, he added, “the present antisemitism we’re dealing with in France, we haven’t encountered before, and I really hope it calms down; there are neighborhoods it’s really not worth your while approaching wearing a kipa [skullcap].

“It’s more like Ramallah than Paris,” Guggenheim concluded.

The situation has become so dangerous that French President Francois Hollande used his New Year’s Eve television speech to say that the fight against racism and antisemitism will be his national cause for 2015.

Some 6,000 French Jews emigrated to Israel in 2014 – double the number a year earlier, and the greatest annual number of the 300,000 who have made their home in Israel since its creation in 1948. Jewish Agency officials responsible for their aliyah say they are expecting upwards of 10,000 immigrants in 2015.

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  • Your correspondent Julian Clovelly is a little naive. Jews are usually identifiable by one of three things: name, facial looks (beard or no beard), speech or a combination of all three.
    Only occasionally will a Jew exhibit none of these.

    But this is not the point. In a truly free and civilized Society, a citizen will walk tall howsoever he or she is attired.

    Way back in 1957, jailing (white) youths for attacks on blacks in London’s Notting Hill district, the Judge, Mr. Justice Salmon, declared: “It is the sovereign right of every law-abiding British citizen to walk the streets with his or her head held high, free from any fear of intimidation.”

    What applies to Britain applies to any and every other country in Europe, including France.

    • ben smus

      i know loads of relatively secular/secular jews that DONT have beards or any special name (except maybe last name in some cases) and speak perfectly normal english

      ex: Me

  • Louis Hayden

    The world and MOST Christians and even Jews refuse to acknowledge we are the final generation before Jesus comes back for HIS believers and 7 year tribulation to start a short time after 3-4months? Rabbi prophecies from centuries ago being fulfilled. Israel reborn in 1948 just as Abraham was born 1948 years after Adam. It is almost 120 years (like Noah’s time to warn humanity)Since the first Jewish congress called for return of Jews and need of homeland. The times in Bible 40, 50, and 70 year periods are being repeated. we are in The midst of the four blood moons – which occurred previously only around 1492 when Jews thrown out of Spain and God led them to America, a New Babylon; again they occurred around 1948 when Israel reborn and finally the blood moons in 1967 during 6 day war time frame and Jerusalem returned to Jews hands for first time in 2000 years- setting off the final 50 year Jubilee. the nations are aligned exactly for the Psalm 83 war. Both Christians and Jews look at the Bible but do not SEE what it says. The Book of revelations declaration of a one world government enslaveing all mankind staring one in face and few believe. The nations despise the Jew and Israel because they represent GOD -Elohim – and the devil has and is running a great deception ensnaring most of humanity. Good has been rebranded evil and evil now called good. YES, it is time for all Jews that accept God as their Lord and Savior to rush to Israel immediatley. Obama is no friend of Israel and runs around with Muslims that praise Shariah law and ISIS. God promised many times and very clearly HE would bfing back the Jewish Peoples to their original homeland. The nations are all turning against israel because the Jews refuse to lay down and die and walk into the med. sea like lemmings. The whole planet has become a prison as God and Satan battle it out with Jerusalem as the prize.

  • charlie johnson

    Why are all those Muslims in France anyway?I believe the average citizen of France wonders the same thing.I have an old friend who was in the 82nd Airborne in WW 2,When they got to Paris there were signs everywhere saying Yanks go home. The bars had signs ,No Americans allowed with communist hammer and sickle signs everywhere.The French hates everyone I suppose.I think they were nice to the NAZI only because the NAZI would use them for bayonet practice.

  • Nathan

    The litmus test for France and other European countries where Muslim anti-Semitism is spreading into the general population is whether they are prepared to see this phenomenon as a threat to their own existence. If so, the penalty for involvement in anti-Semitic acts should be revocation of citizenship and expulsion from the country, thereby saving the country’s own future.

  • victoria brandeis

    IF YOU DON’T LEAVE PARIS OR FRANCE THEN IT IS IN YOUR HANDS

    I MAY HAVE TEARS FOR YOU NOW BUT NOT LEAVING A PLACE OF HARM IS IN YOUR HANDS……YOU SHOULD BE LEAVING IN DROVES

    PARIS AND EUROPE IS GONE…EVIL AND IF YOU BELIEVE ME WRONG
    STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND DON’T CRY………YOUR ACTIONS OR MOVEMENTS MUST MEAN SOMETHING.

    THE WORLD DOES NOT CARE……I DO…..JEWS DO…LEAVE…..THEY ARE MERELY GENTILES AND MUSLIMS…….

  • France like the rest of Europe is once again screaming for the blood of the Jews. This time however, the Jews in France have a choice, either to stick it out or exit the country. The way things look, it is safer to exit the country. Israel will welcome these French Jews with open arms, as well as other Western countries.

    There is no need to inflame the the savages any more than necessary. The Muslims in Europe have exposed themselves to be the true savages that they are. There is nothing redeeming in these people.

  • Eric R.

    Jews will have to leave and let the native French be enslaved under their new Islamonazi overlords.

    Meanwhile, their economy will collapse and they will starve.

    And my sense of schaudenfreude will be immeasurable.

  • Yonit

    Voting to recognize Palestine in the absence of borders that will keep the country alive and declaring war on antisemitism are strange bedfellows. If they are unwilling or unable to govern their country, they should be taken to international court.

    In the interim I hope the Rabbi has a meeting or two about help with self defense while in Israel.

  • Marcio

    The fight against racism and antisemitism will be his national cause for 2015 voting for Palestine?

  • A.Franklin

    Emigration to Israel a good idea.

  • anon

    It’s almost like crimes against Jews aren’t really “crimes” to them. Why do they allow this lawlessness? We need to send them Giuliani for a couple of years. Broken windows and all that.

    • Lauren Goldman

      You are so right. If the attacks were against muslims instead of Jews, the police and the media would be in a frenzy, there would be massive riots by masked thugs, and Jews would surely die.

      We all need to be armed or learn a martial art (say, Krav Maga). If a person does choose to carry a weapon, learn how to use it and do not hesitate if/when it is needed. That slight hesitation is when the attacker will grab it and use it against the victim. Remember, if you have to defend yourself, your life is the only one which matters.

  • dannykid

    they murdered and expelled their Jews and welcomed the muslim arabs.
    Gezundheit.

  • Brian Shapiro

    I really hope it calms down? That will not help. You must confront the problem before it destroys you.

  • Julian Clovelley

    For anyone to wander around any community, anywhere, as identifiable as a minority group member is simply crazy and unneccessary in my opinion. This applies to muslims as well, and sikhs etc. It is particularly sad when this happens in childhood. To my mind it constitutes child abuse to put your child at risk

    Yes you have a “right” to do it – but why draw attention to what to my mind are only minor cultural differences? Cultural dress codes are like wearing a uniform that says “I’m different, I’m special” – and that creates emotional reaction, and sometimes deeply seated resentment. It shouldn’t, but it does – turning prejudice into victimisation and ruining lives.

    I wonder how many who called themselves “Jews” were murdered in the nineteen thirties and forties because dress and the circumcison identified them. My suggestion would be to get over this habit of dressing differently, most especially get rid of the hats, and maybe even the beards

    Truly I don’t think any loving Deity would mind. Time the Rabbis sorted this out, and the mullahs for that matter. At school in England the Jewish children dressed like anyone else and we all played together. That’s when I learnt to love them like any “other” friends (of course there was no “other” – that was a silly idea mum and dad had!).

    Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are religions whose clocks appear to have stopped some time around the end of the Crusades. Get with the times guys – help humanity to look forward instead of back – and if you can’t do that, then get out of the damn way.

    • charlie johnson

      Should the Jews dress up like golfers? Or Rappers? What style of clothing is most likely to prevent an attack? Sheep herding garb?

    • The G-d of Avraham. Yitz’chak, and Ya’akov doesn’t change and neither does his Word. HASHEM intends for His people to dress differently, act differently, live differently in order to manifest the One True G-d to the nations. To do Tikkun ha Olam. To do acts of righteousness in order to heal the world. What you advocate is what G-d calls idolatry. All one needs to do is read the Torah to see what happens when to quote the Torah “Everyone did what seemed right in their own eyes.” To do the above is to think you’re wiser than G-d. Utter foolishness!

    • meryl avni

      No Julian people have a right to walk around wearing beards and hats of any culture!! This is part of their religious beliefs and culture! You and the rest of your group have to be more accepting of other cultures and not be prejudiced!! I guess you did not pay attention to the famous Pastor Niemuller during World War II that said when it came time for him no one was left standing to defend him! (you have read what he wrote in the entirety) it would be a very boring world if we all walked and talked and looked the same!!
      For many people religion guides them and moves them spiritually! You sound like Hitler the way you speak!!

    • meryl avni

      No Julian people have a right to walk around wearing beards and hats of any culture!! This is part of their religious beliefs and culture! You and the rest of your group have to be more accepting of other cultures and not be prejudiced!! I guess you did not pay attention to the famous Pastor Niemuller during World War II that said when it came time for him no one was left standing to defend him! (you have read what he wrote in the entirety) it would be a very boring world if we all walked and talked and looked the same!!
      You sound like you had issues with bullying!! It is ok to be different and especially if you are not hurting anybody else whose business is it? We taught our children to be respectful of people of all faiths and from all walks of life!! They have met the most interesting people from all over the world!! We have taught them to keep an open mind!!! I guess being a daughter of a holocaust survivor we see things differently!!

      For many people religion guides them and moves them spiritually! You sound like Hitler the way you speak!!

  • France is such a beautiful country. My husband and I have visited several times but with the current displays of overt anti-Semitism we will probably avoid Franc and advise our friends and family to also avoid France.

  • Allyson Rowen Taylor

    Why has the world learned nothing from the past? Why are we shimmers to Islam? As they say first they come for the Saturday people then the Sunday people. This is a battle for civilization using Jews as proxy to the caliphate.

  • debbyfayga

    WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US JEWS? AND HASBARA, A COMPLETE FAILURE
    Our general passivity will lead to our demise. Where is your anger, and your disgust for what is now happening in the world- in France, in Israel, in Denmark, in Sweden? In London? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US JEWS? Doesn’t this disturb you?
    I am really hoping that this is the year that my fellow Jews begin to wake up to their degradation as a people- Am YISRAEL. No matter what we do, no matter how many Nobel Prizes we achieve, or cures for cancers, or technology discoveries, we will be delegitimized and hated for not who we are, but for what we are- JEWS.
    BTW Hasbara is a failure.
    If the blacks can do it, and the Palestinians can do it, we can too. Fight, fight fight back or die —- isn’t your pride worth it. Without self dignity, and pride as a people, we will not exist in the next generation. It is up to us. This is the tipping point, because we are now being cornered. Fight or die.

  • truth

    to identify the truly sick racists google: chief rabbi of
    Israel says goyim exist only to serve jews, goyim life worth same as a
    donkey.netanyahu says this chief rabbi was the greatest mind of this generation.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/5-of-ovadia-yosefs-most-controversial-quotations/

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