Paris, 3 October 2020

The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, acknowledged messages of solidarity with the Jews of France, following Friday night’s antisemitic destruction of the kosher hamburger restaurant “Mac Queen” in Paris’ 19th District, dubbed “Petit Jérusalem” (Little Jerusalem).

“Messages from the Mayor of the District, the Mayor of Paris, the Minister of the Interior and the Prime Minister were welcome, but unlikely to carry the teeth necessary to reassure French Jewry,” claimed Samuels.

The graffiti were clear: “Out with the Jews”, Swastikas and SS signs alongside “Hitler was Right”, “Jews = Dirty, Queers, Thieves” and “Free Palestine”, representing a mix of extreme right and Jihadi slogans, an alliance which puts anything Jewish in the line of fire.

Following last week’s stabbing of two journalists on the doorstep of where Charlie Hebdo was attacked in 2015 and this ransacking of a kosher restaurant, the Centre stressed that “the authorities must take action, including:

- the return of former President Hollande’s state of siege policy, with military guarding all endangered targets;

- the end of ‘rotating door justice,’ where perpetrators are simply warned instead of being sentenced, where psychiatric or narcotic conditions justify a differed justice;

- harsh pressure on social media outlets in France that continue to accept racism, conspiracy theories and hate speech;

- heightened school curriculum content on Jihadism and extremism, with visits to synagogues and Jewish museums.”

“The Mac Queen restaurant is not an isolated incident and its message – ‘Out with the Jews’ – is of vicious intent. Repeated voices of solidarity, without action, places French Jewry and France at the brink of the abyss and is a warning for Jews across Europe,” concluded Samuels.

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“There is no Freedom without Justice.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)