France Facing Violent 'New Form of anti-Semitism,' PM Says After Jewish Boy Attacked

Philippe condemns an assault in a Paris suburb on an 8-year-old boy wearing a Jewish skullcap

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe delivers his speech during a press conference in Paris, January 17, 2018.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe delivers his speech during a press conference in Paris, January 17, 2018. Credit: Charles Platiau/AP

France is facing a "new form of anti-Semitism" marked by violence, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Wednesday, deploring an assault this week in a Paris suburb on an 8-year-old boy wearing a Jewish skullcap.

President Emmanuel Macron has denounced the attack Monday in Sarcelles, a northern suburb with a large Jewish population, as "heinous."

French media have described the attackers as teenagers who ran away after tripping and kicking the boy to the ground. Police were investigating but there have been no arrests.

Speaking before lawmakers, Philippe noted the emergence of a new kind of anti-Semitism in France, which has the largest Jewish population in Western Europe.

To fight something, one must have "the courage to put a name on it ... to acknowledge that, yes, there is a new form of anti-Semitism, violent and brutal, emerging more and more openly in our land," Philippe said.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb and Jewish leaders say the number of anti-Semitic acts in France has risen this month after a drop in previous years.

An annual national count of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian acts — mainly threats — dipped in 2017 compared to the year before. However, the count, released Wednesday by the Interior Ministry, shows that violent racist acts in France increased overall, and notably anti-Semitic acts went up 20 percent, from 77 in 2016 to 97 last year.

Collomb told Jewish leaders last week that such acts are "an attack on the principles that unify our nation."

Macron tweeted: "Each time a citizen is attacked because of his age, appearance or religion, it is the whole nation that is attacked."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

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