Sent to (in alphabetical order): Nathalie Arthaud, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Jean Lassalle, Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Valérie Pécresse, Fabien Roussel, Éric Zemmour
Paris, 5 March 2022
Madam, Mr. Candidate to the Presidency of France,
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with 400,000 members. It was founded in 1977, its headquarters are in Los Angeles. The Centre draws lessons from the Holocaust to analyse contemporary issues of intolerance. It is an NGO accredited at the United Nations, UNESCO, the Organization of American States, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
Despite the horrifying context of the outbreak of war in Ukraine, a series of issues will require the attention of the future President of the Republic.
Since 2006, a wave of Jihadist terrorism has targeted France and its Jewish community. The banalization of antisemitism, the murders and bombings have made the country dangerous not only for its Jewish population.
Since 2001, the antisemitic BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign against Israel and Jews continues to poison society. Despite the adoption in France of the Antisemitism definition of the IHRA (the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), there is a repetition of hateful tropes, often under the guise of “anti-Zionism”.
With the recent outbreak of Covid-19, countless conspiracy theories have animated social media and street protests. In 2021, anti-Jewish hatred reportedly increased by 75 % in France, a sad record among world democracies.
For this reason, we ask the following questions to the Presidency candidates:
1. As President, how would you enforce the protection of Jewish institutions and schools in France?
2. What effective measures would you envisage, as President, to penalize the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, especially violent during public demonstrations and in the media?
3. Will your Presidency oppose the disproportion of votes against Israel within international organizations?
In contradiction to the historical breakthrough represented by the normalization of relations between the Jewish state and a number of Arab states (the Abraham Accords), these votes fuel antisemitic incitement and violence both in France and internationally.
Please confirm receipt of this request and when we may receive your response, which could provide an element of hope for French Jewry. Please do not remain indifferent to their concerns.
Dr Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations
cc: Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder, Simon Wiesenthal Centre
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean, Director for Global Social Action, Simon Wiesenthal Centre