Three Jew-hate incidents 'every day' since Paris


A hate crimes watchdog has revealed that there has been an average of around three antisemitic incidents a day in France since the supermarket murders in Paris earlier this year.

In addition, the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l'Antisemitisme (BNVCA) believes that there are even more antisemitic crimes than it has recorded because French Jews are reporting hate incidents "less and less".

BNVCA director Danielle Ferra said that Jews are now feel that talking to police about a hate attack is a waste of time. "If the perpetrators get arrested they are released again and just continue with the attacks, and if they go to prison, they become Islamist extremists. We don't know what to do," she said.

Since the Paris killings, BNVCA has registered 22 complaints of physical violence, 72 online incidents and around 60 accounts of verbal abuse and threats.

The figures indicate that antisemitic crime in France has risen even beyond the increase seen in 2014.

BNVCA co-founder Sylvain Zenouda said: "The general atmosphere in France has been very morose since the Paris attacks and it is amplified in the Jewish community.

"Some people don't want to invest any more in community projects. It's difficult to pray, all the synagogues have reinforced security and three or four soldiers outside. That's why there are more and more attacks on young people or people on their own - they cannot attack the community centres any more."

Two weeks ago, a teen wearing a kippah in a Jewish area of north-east Paris was surrounded by four individuals, beaten up and had his phone broken.

According to BNVCA, the victim has lost 30 per cent of the vision in one of his eyes as a result of the attack.

"Since the Hyper Cacher supermarket attack, the Jewish community don't know where to go, whether to make aliyah or stay in France," said Ms Ferra.

A spokesperson from SOS Racisme said that around 10,000 are likely to make aliyah in 2015, up from 6,500 last year.

Gilles Clavreul was appointed head of Prime Minister Manuel Valls's new inter-departmental group to fight racism and antisemitism (Dilcra) in December 2014, when the government realised how bad the situation was.

"The attack in January confirmed the seriousness of the problem and made us move faster in our preparations. We could no longer be content with improving existing procedures."

He confirmed BNVCA's figures, saying the average was nearer to three incidents per day.

Dilcra's action plan for "mobilising France against racism and antisemitism" was announced last month and includes sanctions against online hate and giving schoolchildren aged six-18 compulsory classes on the French values of secularity and tolerance.

"Antisemitism has become ingrained and become a banality in some areas of France - it is a huge task."

Mr Clavreul said that the current high level of security outside Jewish establishments will continue for as long as it is deemed necessary, despite the high costs. After the Hyper Cacher murders, 10,000 troops were deployed across France to protect Jewish sites. President Hollande declared in March that any decisions made on community security would be taken with regard to level of risk rather than budget.

However, Mr Clavreul said he has noticed a feeling of resistance among French Jews: "There is strong anxiety. Having the military in front of schools is a troubling situation, but at the same time Jewish leaders - including the Chief Rabbi, Haim Korsia - are saying, we are not leaving, that the place for French Jews is France."

He added: "We are dealing with a threat not only against France or French Jews but on a worldwide scale; a war that we are obliged to enter because we are being attacked. For us, defending French Jews means defending France. We will not give in. No matter how alarming the situation is, we are completely determined and we will not give up."

Belgian prime minister Charles Michel attended a ceremony on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the attack on the Brussels Jewish Museum in which four people were shot dead.

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