France

Jewish WW1 soldiers reburied

By Marcus Dysch, July 22, 2010

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were joined in France this week by 12 veterans from the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, as the Prince dedicated the first new Commonwealth War Graves cemetery for 50 years.

Two thousand people gathered at Fromelles, near Lille, for the reburial of 250 British and Australian soldiers on the 94th anniversary of the battle in which they were killed.

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International Israel support initiative launched

By Leon Symons, July 22, 2010

An unprecedented show of support for Israel has come from a group of almost entirely non-Jewish European and American politicians, statesmen and women and theologians.

Led by former Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar, they have formed the Friends of Israel Initiative, to oppose the rising tide of criticism and delegitimisation that has questioned Israel's right to exist and act in self-defence.

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France to reveal Nazi collaborators

By Jennifer Lipman, June 30, 2010

Archives containing the names of French citizens who collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust are to be published online.

The release of the names of thousands of collaborators will enable survivors to find out who betrayed them and their loved ones during the four years France was occupied by the Nazis.

Until now the hidden files dating back 70 years have been stored in a Paris basement, but now a court ruling means they can be opened to the public.

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French war graves vandalised with swastikas

By Jennifer Lipman, June 14, 2010

Nicholas Sarkozy has made a public apology after vandals defaced graves in a First World War cemetery in northern France with neon pink swastikas, SS insignia and other obscenities.

The French president called the graffiti covering 12 British and Canadian graves “revolting” and said in a letter to the Queen that it was an “odious act”.

He said he condemned “with the greatest firmness this horrible act” and asked that the Queen should pass on his sympathy and solidarity.

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Diaspora critics rallying to challenge Israel

By Simon Rocker, Nathan Guttman and Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2010

Signs of growing diaspora discontent with Israeli policy have emerged with the launch of a petition by American Jewish figures calling for a settlement freeze and a compromise over Jerusalem's sovereignty.

For the Sake of Zion was inspired by a European initiative, JCall, headed by French Peace Now earlier this month.

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Antisemitic comic Dieudonné London gig cancelled

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

A planned London performance by a controversial French far-right comedian has been cancelled following complaints from the Jewish community.

Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, who was last year fined by a French court for performing an antisemitic stunt, was due to perform in Kensington on Saturday evening.

The Cameroon-born performer has previously stood for the European Parliament as head of the Anti-Zionist Party, which he formed with Alain Soral, a former member of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme-right National Front.

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Imam attacked for being ‘too pro-Jewish’

By Natasha Lehrer, February 4, 2010

A French imam has received death threats for promoting positive relations with the Jewish community.

Hassen Chalghoumi, the clean-shaven imam of Drancy mosque, just outside Paris, has been targeted by a group of young Islamists who object to his position on interfaith relations and to his vocal support for a ban on the wearing of the burka, which he calls a “prison for women, a means for sexist subjugation and a tool for fundamentalist indoctrination”.

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French cemetary vanadalised by neo-Nazis

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

Dozens of Jewish graves were found desecrated in a French cemetery on Holocaust Memorial Day.

At least 30 headstones in Strasbourg were daubed with antisemitic graffiti. Swastikas were painted on 18 graves, and 13 were overturned. The phrase “Juden Raus” [Jews Out] was written on one grave.

The umbrella group Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), which represents the French Jewish community and tackles antisemitism, said it was not clear whether the incident was linked to the memorial day.

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Antisemitic attacks rise in France

December 17, 2009

The French ministry of the interior will appoint a representative to monitor and deal with antisemitic incidents, which have more than doubled in 2009.

The announcement was made by Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux at the annual meeting for the Union of French Jewish Professionals, where he was awarded the organisation’s prize for the Fight Against Racism.

He called antisemitism “a poison for our Republic” and emphasised that his ministry would deal appropriately and firmly with antisemitic crime.

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Iran funds comic's 'anti-Zionist' film

By Jessica Elgot, November 30, 2009

A French far-right comedian famed for his antisemitic stunts has revealed he has been receiving funding from Iran to make ‘anti-Zionist’ films.

Comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, 43, had previously stood for the European Parliament as head of the Anti-Zionist Party, which he formed with Alain Soral, a former member of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme-right National Front.

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