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September 12, 2017 3:27 pm

European Jewish Group Calls on French Authorities to Take Strong Action Against Antisemitism

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A wreath left outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris in January 2015, to pay homage to the victims of the Islamist terror attack that took place there. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – The European Jewish Congress (EJC) is calling on French authorities to take strong action against antisemitism in the wake of a recent attack on a Jewish leader.

Last week, three attackers entered the home of Roger Pinto, president of Siona, a group that represents French Sephardic Jews, in the Paris suburb of Livry-Gargan. The attackers cut the electricity and confined three members of the family — Pinto, his wife and son — beating them and threatening to kill them, until one of them managed to escape and alert the police, said antisemitism watchdog BNVCA. The attackers eventually fled after they were told police were on their way.

Following the Pinto attack, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the French government was determined “to do everything to combat every form of racism and antisemitism, which have no place in the French Republic.”

Prior to the attack, a former principal at a Marseille preparatory school, Bernard Ravet, told L’Express newspaper that he actively encouraged Jews not to apply to his school out of fear they would “get beat to a pulp.”

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Dr. Moshe Kantor — president of the EJC — said in a statement, “Unfortunately, we see these two incidents, and many others, as intertwined, where parts of French society are becoming increasingly antisemitic on the one hand, and this hate towards Jews is being accepted and tolerated by other parts. We call on French authorities to firmly root out societal antisemitism and its passive acceptance.”

“We appreciated the important words of the French government in trying to make Jews feel safe in their country,” Kantor continued. “However, it doesn’t appear that much has changed on the ground for French Jews who are still regularly attacked.”

“If in a society where free education as a basic right for all citizens is being denied some Jews because of safety matters, it is clear that the central principals of the Republic is failing them,” he added.

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