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September 17, 2015 6:38 pm

Official Says Threat to French Jews Has Likely Increased Since Paris HyperCacher Attack (INTERVIEW)

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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The French Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket chain was targeted in January by an Islamic extremist, who killed four people. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The French Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket chain was targeted in January by an Islamic extremist, who killed four people. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

France is fighting a long-term battle against domestic antisemitism, and the threat of a terrorist attack against the country’s Jews remains as high as it was after the grisly attacks last January in Paris, if not higher, France’s Inter-Ministerial delegate to fight against antisemitism and racism, Gilles Clavreul, told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

As part of the government’s efforts to protect some 717 Jewish sites in the country, 7,000 soldiers and 3,000 police forces have been mobilized in what Clavreul says may be the largest mobilization of French troops in the country since World War II.

“The risk [of terrorist attack] is as high as it was in January if not higher,” he said, adding, “and it will be for some time.”

This is why France has agreed to assign millions of euros annually for efforts aimed at combating antisemitism, Islamophobia and racism, said Clavreul, who was tapped by President Francois Hollande’s office to lead this initiative.

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France has taken a four-pronged approach to tackling this issue, he explained: mobilization of NGOs and local groups to jointly develop working plans to fight racism; strengthening law enforcement’s hand to ensure that criminal acts are reported and criminals effectively prosecuted; regulating the Internet to ensure netizens are protected from hate speech; training citizens through education, sports, culture and other social activities.

Clavreul is confident the government plan, which actually launched last December before the January attacks in Paris against the HyperCacher kosher supermarket and Charlie Hebdo satire magazine, has begun to yield results. He said reports of antisemitic and racist abuse have increased since January, and punitive actions against the perpetrators of racist crimes is on the rise.

Additionally, the government has boosted its cooperation with major Internet platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google to prevent the dissemination of hate speech online. Clavreul said these companies have been receptive “more or less.” He noted that Facebook in particular has been responsive in developing tools to report and flag inappropriate content.

Still, he said the Internet giants “are more responsive to pornography than hate speech,” and they should “do more in terms of moderation and taking down inappropriate content.”

The most serious breeding grounds for antisemitism are low-income neighborhoods especially in and around Paris, where disenfranchised young people are most susceptible to radicalization, he said, noting the thousands of French who have traveled abroad to fight alongside terrorist groups like ISIS in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, only to return trained and possibly equipped to France. It is among these communities that education is most important, he said.

In a melancholy twist of history, Clavreul explained that while many of France’s older Jewish and Muslim immigrants from North Africa share a similar cultural heritage and language, the younger generation has dissociated from this common past.

“The history of Jewish and Arab [Muslim] relations in North Africa was at times [hostile] and at times brotherly. But they have so much in common, which is particularly conspicuous among the older generation. These Jews speak Arabic, and as of now in the suburbs, these people, the old Arabs and the old Jews, they eat together and speak together. The problem is in the younger generation,” he said.

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  • sidney sands

    France always known for its anti-semitism, we saw it during the last war, with the willing help they gave the Nazis, to round up and find Jews, and now with the great influx of Muslims, France is not a country for Jews, we in England, are now getting more Anti semitism, as the Muslim population grows, T.G there is Israel, our Jewish Homeland.

  • Jay Berman

    Let the Muslims into Europe. Let Europe be another Islamic wasteland. Europe is an old graveyard of Jewish culture and history. Why there are still Jews in Europe makes no sense. Move to Israel where they will be welcomed as long lost family members.

  • Atilla

    It would be a far more effective to remove the threat
    ( and a whole lot cheaper …), by deportation, forced repatriation, paid repatriation, whatever; use ANY and all available means to remove the sources of the threat.

    It’s too long to wait for Marine Le Pen in 2017.

  • Stan Nadel

    This whitewashes Facebook’s terrible record. Facebook has made it easy to register complaints, but it has generally rejected complaints about even the most crude Antisemitism.

  • tan

    With regard to Islam, the problem will always be with ‘the younger generation’. The Islamic holy texts are replete with hate for all, other than Muslims, and most particularly for Jews. When a young person is taught these texts, given the black and white world that many young people inhabit mentally/emotionally, many of them will accept the texts as written, Allah’s words, Allah’s thoughts, Allah’s commands, and will consider doing as Mohommed did, as Allah’s perfect human construct, he obeyed Allah’s instructions, and murdered Jews, among others.
    If you were young, and you really believed in God or Allah, i mean really believed, then surely you would obey Allah/God’s instructions…
    The problem then is at the very core of Islam. To those who would suggest that there is similar nonsense in Jewish texts, i would point out that there is not a ‘perfect person’ for Jews, no central character such as Christians have in Christ, and Islam with their prophet, and thus nothing in the Jewish texts that, incontrovertibly, must be taken as God’s word…albeit the super orthodox would have it otherwise.
    The world is not willing to question whether Islam truly offers a good, or bad, template for human behaviour, likely because that would presume that we should look at all religions in the same manner.
    Thus, Islamic parents who arrive in a western country, grateful for the opportunities and freedoms there, can and do end up with a child who learns the Koran and hadiths, decides his parents are not good Muslims, and that he will show them what a good Muslim is……..there are many alternative scenarios whereby young Muslims become terrorists, but all start with the Koran and hadiths, where the ideology, and the methodology, is scripted.
    Good luck planet Earth.

  • steven L

    It will become prohibitive to spend that much money in the long term.
    Time is for the fanatics. More Islamists will move into the EU and France in particular.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    You noticed how many thousands of French Jews and others marched in protest and solidarity for the Jews in Paris murdered by radical Islamists. NONE.

    Kill a Jew, bury him or her and forget about vengeance and that’s the story of the Jews for the last 2,000 years besides Israel.

    Not one Jew should be put in harm’s way and I call for 500 ex-military Israelis to form an army to protect and attack the Muslims who perpetrated the attacks on the Jews in Toulouse, Paris and elsewhere.

    Why should Jews be murdered because they are Jews. Strike them first and strike them hard and put the fear of God into them because they’re all cowards.

    Aren’t you tired of Jews being killed? I AM!!!

  • The problem is the younger generation of French Muslims continues to be brainwashed by imams, who incite Jew-hatred in their mosques and online. The solution is young and old French Jews must make Aliyah, and live in the Jewish homeland where they belong.

  • Emanuel

    So they admit the JDL was working and legitimate and what they are doing is a joke worst of all is this joke mark zuckerberg who as a French official says regulates pornography over hate speach and of course he sells our info to governments or the highest bidder , and he’s one of ours ?

  • HaroldT38

    Hollande/Clavreul are a lot of lying anti-Semites. If they were sincere they would reign in the virulent anti Israel rhetoric from France TV and Euronews.
    And not a word from Hollande about Abbas’s support for terrorism and anti Jewish tirades on PA TV.

  • Paul Grad

    French Jews’ Right to own arms must be acknowledged since the French deny this basic Right to its Citizens. WWII taught that defense against racism only comes out of the barrel of a gun, not a bunch of words about “fighting racism”.Israel should supply every Jewish household in France with an Uzi and train them in its use and safe handling.

  • Fred

    France is as impotent in preventing anti Semitic attack if
    Hollande goes to the Jordan and sides with terrorists of the Temple Mount. What does it say ???

  • rachel robinsonr

    Now that they have so many more Moslems in France I am not surprised.

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