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July 13, 2015 4:13 pm

Jewish Leader Calls for Urgent Online Campaign to Combat Antisemitism in France (INTERVIEW)

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Police outside Ozar Hatorah school in France., the site of a deadly terrorist attack targeting Jews in 2012. Photo: screenshot via AFP.

Police outside the Ozar Hatorah school in France, the site of a deadly terrorist attack targeting Jews in 2012. Photo: screenshot via AFP.

A widespread online campaign to infiltrate social networks and disrupt a dialogue of antisemitism and Holocaust denial is necessary to stem the growing tide of antisemitic attacks in France, the vice president of one of France’s largest Jewish umbrella organizations told The Algemeiner on Monday.

The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions believes that antisemitism in France is spread among today’s younger generation — where the trend is most severe — through the Internet, said Vice President Yonathan Arfi. Therefore, that’s where the fight must be trained.

The French government recently pledged 100 million euros to combat antisemitism, but antisemitic incidents were already up 84 percent in the first quarter of 2015, a survey by the SPCJ French security service for Jewish communities revealed on Monday. Of the antisemitic incidents reported this year, 23%, or 121 attacks, were violent, said the group.

Arfi explained that antisemitic attacks generally increase following a severe incident, such as the siege at a Paris Kosher supermarket in January where a lone gunmen killed four people. He said there was a similar spike in incidents in 2012 following an antisemitic attack against a Jewish school in Toulouse.

While the French government pledged to boost education about the Holocaust and antisemitism, that was a “long-term issue,” said Arfi, and “short-term efforts” are also crucial. Calling on the U.S. for additional support, he said policy must be crafted to crack down on known antisemities online and in social networks.

The vast majority of French are not antisemitic, said Arfi, which is underlined by a recent Anti-Defamation League survey indicating a substantial dip in antisemitic attitudes among the French, from 37% expressing antisemitic beliefs of some sort in 2014 to 17% this year so far.

But antisemitism is growing among a younger population of immigrants and children of immigrants, which many fear is susceptible to radicalization by groups such as the Islamic State, which is known to spread its ideology and recruit through online fora.

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  • The West imported Muslim labor Then shipped the jobs and
    industries to Asia
    Enoch Powell in Britain warned against such folly
    He was dismissed as bigot racist xenophobe

  • Wm. J. Levy

    The only way Jews will ever be safe in Europe is they have to become strong and organized and be prepared to harm those who would walk into a Kosher market in Paris “to kill Jews”.

    Perhaps if they knew they were putting their family’s lives in danger they would not be so quick to “kill Jews”.

  • Peter Joffe

    This anti antisemitism as well as antichristianism, as well as all anticivilizationism is orchestrated by Muslims and we all need to see the growth of these evils that are in the interests of Muslims in their desire to set the world back 14 centuries.

  • Lauren Goldman

    Fighting anti-Semitism on the Internet is a good idea, though it would have been more effective years ago, when the hate sites were emerging. Now, all one has to do is a cursory search for these groups and with a click, there is immediately an entire universe of Jew-hatred. I truly hope that the proposed program will have a positive effect. It is all so sad.

  • Ephraim

    Ask the US for help? You are dreaming! You actually expect an active jihadist and antisemite to assist in fighting antisemitism? Why not just ask David Duke, Patrick Buchanan, or Ron Paul?

  • eduardoN

    Are the French anti-Semitic? Probably not more than any other group. Are they envious? Are they greedy and preoccupied with financial security? Probably more than most groups. French writers from Balzac and Mauriac, both before and after, are fixed on the pursuit of wealth, and Jews, having fewer children than immigrant families, more focused on education rather than procreation, unable to accept, the sense of Jews without money do exist, are much more vulnerable are willing to being perpetually envious.
    One gets a similar attitude in many of the side comments that are written about wealthy people who are Jewish, and how there was something essentially corrupt about them. And how their good deeds are very occasional, and there has never been a (really) decent person featured in the short articles. In most cases their evil will out.

  • To the Webmaster of Algemeiner:

    1. Please ling the items listed on the right pane to the proper URLs.
    2. When clicking on “2 comments” at the top of the page, I see none.

    These anomalies have been going on for some time.

  • art frank

    You can’t stop 1500 years of church induced Jew hatred in france, coupled with the influx of muslim Jew haters. Best way to cure it is for the Jews to make aliyah to Israel. There’s no future for them in francostan.

  • HaDaR

    The idea of combating antisemitism via internet is as idiotic as the idea of German Jews in the ’30s of combating antisemitism with letter writing.
    Comes a time when action must replace or AT LEAST accompany words.