“While terror in the UK is predominantly indiscriminate, in France, Jews are still the privileged target.”

“The current defence system in France is inadequate, as shown by an attack on a teenage student in her Jewish school.”

“Most disturbing is the courts' reluctance to acknowledge the antisemitic nature of attacks.”

Paris, 18 June 2018

In a letter to French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels noted that, “in 2014, Andrew Hussey published The French Intifada and in 2017, French Jewish Parliamentarian, Meyer Habib, called it the ‘knife Intifada’ (‘uprising’ in Arabic, first used by Palestinian terrorists against Israelis).”

Samuels continued, “a France24 news analysis, last night, spoke of the impact of ‘Allahu Akhbar’ screaming attacks on Jewish targets, increasingly upon schoolchildren.”

The letter stressed that “some 60,000 French Jews - 10% of the community - have departed, plus a growing internal move from heavily Islamist suburbs to the city centres. The result has been the closure of synagogues and kosher restaurants, a drop in cultural activities due to onerous costs for minimal security, whereas few Jewish children remain in non-Jewish schools”... “while departures continue to Israel, a third French synagogue group has opened in Britain.”

The letter added, “while terror in the UK is predominantly indiscriminate, in France, Jews are still the privileged target”... “In the UK, for many years Jewish security has been a state-community joint project. Your newly appointed British counterpart, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, is reportedly accentuating that policy.”

“Only yesterday in England, in the Jewish neighbourhood of Stamford Hill, a woman brandishing a knife ran after children shouting 'I want to kill all you Jews!' She was apparently held by the ‘Shomrim’ (in Hebrew, local trained security ‘guards’) until she was arrested by the Police.” 

The letter argued that, “in France, despite the Jewish volunteer agencies, security was taken seriously only after the Hyper Cacher supermarket terrorist attack in January 2015, when President Hollande announced a state of emergency with armed military placed at synagogues, Jewish schools and other community organizations. A situation dissolved by President Macron.”

Samuels claimed that “the current defence system is inadequate, as was shown last week, by an attack on a teenage girl student by three North Africans outside her Jewish school. Fleeing inside the building, her assailants pursued her, until, fortunately she was rescued by a teacher.”

The Centre urged the Minister “to take security measures across France, to prevent another Toulouse-style attack, where in 2012, a teacher and three students were shot in the playground by Mohammed Merah.”

Samuels protested that, “the most disturbing aspect of antisemitic terrorism in France, however, is the courts' reluctance to acknowledge the antisemitic nature of these attacks, ostensibly saving the perpetrator from an aggravated penalty:

- The kidnapping and murder of Ilan Halimi in 2006;

- The savage murder of 65 year-old Sara Halimi in 2017 by an assassin screaming 'Allahu Akhbar';

- The multiple stabbing and torching of 85 year-old Mireille Knoll in the same circumastances, in 2018;

- And so many other cases... all with long delays for recognition as Jew-hatred"

The Centre called on the Minister of Interior, “though this pertains to your colleague, the Minister of Justice, such atrocities - as ipso facto hate crimes - must be acknowledged as such immediately. Procedures excusing the violence on grounds of mental disorder add to serial and mimetic assaults.”

“Antisemitic terrorism is the mother of indiscriminate terror in Europe, for what starts with the Jews, never ends with them,” concluded Samuels.