'Kill the Jews' abuse on Toulouse campus

By Jennifer Lipman, May 10, 2012

The president of the French Jewish student umbrella body, the UEJF, has called on the University of Toulouse to combat antisemitism after a talk by Israeli students last week was disrupted by protesters shouting abuse, making threats and singing antisemitic chants.

The incident occurred just over a month after three Jewish children and a rabbi were shot by an Islamist gunman in Toulouse.

The delegation of Israeli students from the non-political organisation What Is RAEL were midway through a tour of French universities and had held successful events in Lille and Lyon before visiting Le Mirail campus, in the area where the Toulouse gunman Mohammed Merah grew up.

They were at a stall on the campus and were handing out leaflets and chatting to students when a group of protesters arrived and began shouting at them through a megaphone.

"They began shouting anti-Israel slogans and saying that Israel was a criminal state," said Sacha Reingewitz, vice-president of the UEJF. "They said Jews should be exterminated and that Israel commits genocide." The protesters demanded that the group remove the Israeli flag from their stall and, when the group refused, they took it down by force.

"Security had to intervene - it was very upsetting," said Mr Reingewitz. "The protesters were saying 'get out of here' and they sang an antisemitic slogan in Arabic: Khaybar Khaybar is Yahud, Jaysh Muhammad sawfa ya'ud ['Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return']."

After security removed the protesters the event continued, but Mr Reingewirtz said the Israeli visitors were "very shaken".

Last updated: 3:22pm, May 10 2012