Anti-Semitism Resurges with a Vengeance in France
A new report shows anti-Semitic incidents doubling in France and notes increasing numbers of Jews relocating inside or outside of France for security reasons.
Human Rights First (HRI), a non-profit international human rights organization that issued the report, says the anti-Semitic resurgence in France should be of "great concern" to both the French government and its allies, including the United States.
In the report, "Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Anti-Semitism and Extremism in France," HRI notes that "left unchecked, anti-Semitism leads to the persecution of other minorities...an increase in anti-Semitism is a harbinger of societal breakdown."
The report says that anti-Semitic incidents in France doubled in 2014, rising from 423 in 2013 to 850. Half the incidents took place in the suburbs of Paris and in Marseilles and Lyon, where the largest Jewish communities in France live.
It also cites the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency survey in which 82 percent of the Jewish French respondents said they experienced discrimination but did not report it.
Jews account for less than 1 percent of the French population but make up more than half of the victims of hate crimes.
The HRI report also documents a doubling of French Jews moving to Israel. More than 7,200 immigrated there in 2014, twice as many as 2013.
CBN News reports that more than 20,000 French Jews moved to Israel in the last five years.
The HRI report says anti-Semitic attitudes come from both the far right and far left political parties in France. It also notes growing concern that Muslim communities are encouraging such attitudes.
The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) in France notes that some academic research indicates "greater receptivity to anti-Semitic prejudice... among groups with a migration background, notably from North Africa and of Muslim religion."
Also, the Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) notes in a 2014 report that in many countries "growing anti-Semitic trends have been observed among Muslim immigrant communities, in particular the younger generation."