Jewish 100, 2014: Manuel Valls – Government
Prime Minister of France
When, in the wake of the January 2015 terror outrages in Paris, Prime Minister Manuel Valls stood before the French National Assembly to denounce the rising antisemitism that has gripped France, he electrified the entire world with a speech in which he stated, “We haven’t shown enough outrage.” Valls’ publicly stated conviction that a France without Jews will no longer be France is a welcome antidote to the often anodyne, cautious words of other European politicians. Because of the Prime Minister’s efforts, security around Jewish buildings and institutions has now been massively boosted – yet paradoxically, as Valls himself has acknowledged, the sight of armed soldiers outside schools and synagogues has heightened the sense of a community under threat. Having announced that the fight against antisemitism is a “major national cause,” Valls now faces the formidable task of persuading French Jews that they can finally be safe – and feel safe – in a country where they have lived for centuries.