Paris, 10 November 2021

The Wiesenthal Centre recalls the December 2016 withdrawal of armed guards outside Jewish schools, synagogues and institutions – who had been placed by former President Hollande during the “state of siege” following the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket terror attacks.

The Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, had requested that then Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, “announce the deployment of plain-clothed officers even if there were none.”

Since then, Samuels has pleaded for greater attention to security, to little avail.

Two days ago a teenager was waving a machete outside a Jewish school near Lyon, screaming “dirty Jews!” The police arrested him on time.

In the case of this young “wanna-be Jew-killer,” he must not be allowed to become a model for other radicalized antisemitic youth. His age is no reason for clemency, nor can he be allowed the “under the influence of drugs or alcohol” ploy.

“Probably influenced by the March 2012 Islamist murder spree in the Toulouse Ozar HaTorah school and by the October 2020 beheading by a young Jihadist of a schoolteacher, for trying in class to voice freedom of expression regarding the Charlie Hebdo caricatures of Mohammed, all schools require security, but especially Jewish schools that are more likely to be targeted,” concluded Samuels.

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“My cause was justice, no vengeance. My work is for a better tomorrow and a more secure future for our children and grandchildren.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)