After Rash of anti-Semitic Incidents, French Jews Demand Action

Past weeks have seen swastikas scrawled on kosher shops and young girl's face slashed in what community says is a 'dangerous atmosphere'

File: A sign reading "Jews out" and swastikas are painted at the entrance of a Jewish cemetery in Herrlisheim, eastern France.
File: A sign reading "Jews out" and swastikas are painted at the entrance of a Jewish cemetery in Herrlisheim, eastern France.Credit: AP Photo

Citing a “dangerous atmosphere” in France due to a rise in recent weeks in anti-Semitic attacks, the federation of the country’s Jewish communities demanded authorities take tough action to stop it.

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, made the appeal Tuesday in a statement following threats to burn down a Jewish community center in the Paris suburb of Saint-Maur.

“In recent days, numerous serious incidents have begun occurring in the Paris region: The scrawling of swastikas and arson in Creteil, the slashing of a young girl’s face in Sarcelles, an anonymous letter and threats against the synagogue in Saint-Maur,” CRIF wrote.

In the Saint-Maur incident, the letter sent to the community center and synagogue on Tuesday read, “After Creteil, it is you, you bastards, who are going to burn in this neighborhood.”

It was a reference to the torching earlier this month of two kosher shops in Creteil, a Paris suburb adjacent to Saint-Maur. A week before what police suspect may have been arson, individuals painted swastikas on the facades of those kosher stores.

On Jan. 10, a Jewish teenager had her face slashed by an unidentified assailant on a street in the suburb of Sarcelles while she was wearing the uniform of her Jewish school.

The events have left the Jewish community feeling “a real sense of disquiet,” CRIF wrote, urging “authorities to take every measure to deter those who attack French Jews in their neighborhoods.”

Only “a real and effective application of the principle of zero tolerance, coupled with dissuasive measures, could reverse the feeling of disquiet and concern,” the statement read.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid Is the Most Israeli of All

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

An anti-abortion protester holds a cross in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court Leaves a Barely United States

A young Zeschke during down time, while serving with the Wehrmacht in Scandinavia.

How a Spanish Beach Town Became a Haven for Nazis

Ayelet Shaked.

What's Ayelet Shaked's Next Move?

A Palestinian flag is taken down from a building by Israeli authorities after being put up by an advocacy group that promotes coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis, in Ramat Gan, Israel earlier this month

Israel-Palestine Confederation: A Response to Eric Yoffie