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Antisemitic attacks rise in France

    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.

    According to official figures, there were 123 antisemitic acts and 581 antisemitic threats between January and September 2009. These include verbal aggression and attacks on Jewish buildings and cemeteries.

    Since 2003 the French police and community representatives have worked together to gather statistics on antisemitic incidents. These rose sharply in January after the Israeli military incursion into Gaza.

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