France

Legislation to tackle antisemitism gathers pace in France

By Shirli Sitbon, April 23, 2015

The French government has presented draft legislation which includes 40 measures aimed at tackling the dramatic rise of antisemitism in the country.

It intends to back the plan with 100 million Euros of funding, to be used to train teachers in fighting intolerance.

A special government unit could also be set-up to challenge antisemitism and racism on social media sites.

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Le Pens at war over Jew-hate? Think again

By Michel Gurfinkiel, April 21, 2015

The famous TV series Game of Thrones has roots in French history: it was modelled on The Accursed Kings, a novel by Maurice Druon about the medieval French monarchy.

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Belgian kindergarten refused insurance over risk of terror attack

By Michel Gurfinkiel, April 8, 2015

A Belgian insurance company has refused to insure a Jewish kindergarten in Brussels on the grounds that "the risk of a terror attack is too high".

A spokesman for the European Jewish Association (EJA), which runs the school, said that several insurance companies had been approached, and that only one expressed such "scandalous" and "cynical" views.

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A love affair that's gone sour

By Natasha Lehrer, March 26, 2015

'Heureux comme un juif en France,'' according to an old French proverb. Happy as a Jew in France. How is it that France, the first country to emancipate its Jews, fiercely proud of its post-revolutionary ideals of ''liberty, fraternity and equality'', is regularly described as the most antisemitic country in Europe?

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Some relief over French poll result

By Michel Gurfinkiel, March 26, 2015

There was a degree of relief for a majority of French Jews as the far-right National Front (NF) came second in local elections on Sunday.

There had been widespread fears that Marine Le Pen's party would beat the UMP, Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party, which came top with 29.5 per cent of the vote.

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Jewish support for Marine Le Pen is deeply disturbing

February 27, 2015

My enemy’s enemy can indeed sometimes be my friend — at least in the short term. But the willingness of Roger Cukierman, chairman of the French Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (Crif) to give Marine Le Pen a clean bill of health on the basis that the National Font is also opposed to Islamism is deeply disturbing.

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French Jewish leader backs Marine Le Pen

February 26, 2015

The head of French Jewry has publicly endorsed National Front leader Marine Le Pen, describing her as "irreproachable".

Roger Cukierman, chairman of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (Crif), said Ms Le Pen could not be "faulted personally" for antisemitism.

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Muslim leader 'pleasantly surpised' by Hebdo poll

By Sandy Rashty, February 26, 2015

The co-chair of a Muslim-Jewish dialogue group said he was "pleasantly surprised" by a poll of UK Muslims, which found that 27 per cent sympathised with the motives of the Charlie Hebdo killers and 11 per cent believed that publishers deserved to be attacked for depicting images of Mohammed.

The survey of 1,000 UK Muslims also found that eight per cent of respondents knew people who strongly su

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Fact is, NF no longer a demon for some Jews

By Michel Gurfinkiel, February 26, 2015

In a rare attempt to solve an interfaith crisis, on Tuesday French President François Hollande summoned to the Elysée Palace the chairman of the Representative Council of French Jewish Organisations (Crif), Roger Cukierman, and the head of the National Council of Muslim Worship, Dr Dalil Boubakeur.

The previous day, Mr Boubakeur had accused Mr Cukierman of Islamophobia and declined to attend

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French Jewish leader backs Marine Le Pen

By Naomi Firsht, February 24, 2015

A leader of the French Jewish community has publically endorsed National Front leader Marine Le Pen, describing her as “irreproachable”.

Speaking on French radio Europe 1, Roger Cukierman, chairman of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (Crif), praised Ms Le Pen and said that her party was no longer violent.

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