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  • Dr. Shimon Samuels meeting Pope Francis
    Dr. Shimon Samuels meeting Pope Francis
  • Inauguration Place Simon & Cyla Wiesenthal
    Inauguration Place Simon & Cyla Wiesenthal

Paris, 1 February 2018

Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, in an interview with Radio France International, highlighted the deteriorating situation of Jews in France.

- There are almost daily incidents of antisemitism, especially in the Paris suburbs where there are high-density communities of French born youth of North African origin living cheek by jaw alongside smaller Jewish neighbourhoods.

Turned on by Jew-hating internet sites, social media and radical Imams, they play out a Middle Eastern scenario of Palestinians and Israelis transplanted to France.

- Once identified and arraigned, magistrates are loath to view those who have been targets of racism now themselves become perpetrators of hate. Hence, the resistance to name these assaults as antisemitic.

- The end of the state of emergency and the removal of armed guards from Jewish institutions by President Macron, without a clear replacement mechanism, has left a vacuum filled with increasing attacks on Jewish individuals.

Recent violent assault victims include:

- a Jewish couple in their 80’s, dragged from their bed and viciously beaten – the husband an important Jewish leader and supporter of the Wiesenthal Centre

- a 62 years old woman teacher, Sarah Halimi, beaten by her neighbour in her apartment and thrown from her balcony to her death, to the screams by her attacker of “Allaha Akbar.” Police were waiting outside her door. The court was again reluctant to view the assault as antisemitic

- a Jewish municipal official was thrown from his bed, beaten, requiring an emergency eye operation

- a Jewish 15 years old schoolgirl whose face was slashed by a knife-bearing assailant

and now

- an eight years old child thrown to the ground and kicked by two teenage assailants, simply for wearing a Kippa

- more generally, prison guards from across France are striking due to attacks on them by self-styled Jihadi prisoners, while a plan is in the works to free many of the country's 60,000 currently incarcerated ,due to budgetary considerations.

Though, it is aimed at non-violent criminals who will forced wearing electronic ankle chains, there is fear that these may include prisoners radicalised in jail.

- Finally, the unexplained return to Canada of the Paris Copernic synagogue bombing suspect, Hassan Diab, adds fuel to the flares of antisemitic terrorism. Extradited from Ottawa four years ago to face justice in a Paris tribunal, his passport confiscated and a no-fly order at the airport did not prevent his escape from pending appeals.

From an alleged bombers’ release to savaging against victims from 80 to 8 years old, the Jewish spectrum in France grows over bleaker.