100 Arrested in France for anti-Semitic Actions

Around 100 individuals have been arrested recently in France on suspicion of attacking Jews and Jewish property, according to the Charge d'Affaires in the French Embassy in Tel Aviv, Michel Miraillet. The envoy said that the French authorities had issued orders to take strict action against such offenders.

Miraillet was speaking at a meeting of the forum on coordinating the struggle against anti-Semitism that was held yesterday at the office of Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior.

The French diplomat cited the case of a man who had been found guilty of setting ablaze a synagogue in Lyons last month and had been sentenced to two years in jail.

Miraillet said he understood the dissatisfaction expressed by participants in the meeting over the attitude of the French authorities, but assured them that stringent measures were being adopted.

The gathering also heard reports about anti-Semitic activities in Germany and Denmark, and about the ties between the far-left in Europe and extremist Islamic groups.

Miraillet provided Malchior with information about the presidential elections in France, noting that some 80 percent of the eligible voters in Israel (14,000) had chosen not to cast their votes. The forum also heard a report about an anti-Semitic book found in Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah.