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“This is the first time since President Mitterrand’s 1996 call to a protest march that a French Government takes the initiative against an antisemitic epidemic.”

“After these declarations, President Macron should return the military to guard Jewish institutions and campaign to exclude extremist candidates from the May European Parliament elections.”

Paris, 12 February 2019

“Yesterday’s French government report announcing a 2018 spike in antisemitic incidents marked a sea change following years of ‘politically correct’ denunciations, while perpetrators went through tribunal revolving doors or were sent to psychiatric wards – rather than prisons,” stated Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

Last month, the Centre drew international attention to “the infiltration and hijacking of the ‘Yellow Jacket’ demonstrations across France by anti-Jewish hatemongers, attacking synagogues and Jewish stores”...

“International media began to pay attention to the resurgence of Jew-hatred across Europe... The spike in incidents in the UK was reported by the CST (Community Security Trust), a Jewish organization, while the French report was conducted and issued by the Government,” acknowledged Samuels.

The Centre pointed out that, “not since President Mitterrand’s 1996 call to march in horror at the exhumation of a corpse in a Jewish cemetery, hung on an umbrella, did a government take the initiative… The huge 11 January 2015 rally in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist massacre included the HyperCacher supermarket as secondary victims”... Yesterday, the French government took an important step!

The government spokesman, in presenting the report compiled by an inter-ministerial committee, called on police and judicial authorities “to impose the most onerous penal measure on perpetrators of antisemitism.”

The Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, announced the 2018 74% rise in antisemitic incidents as a “spreading poison.”

A Paris tribunal opened four investigations into a wave of swastikas and antisemitic graffiti across the city.

The Paris municipality responded by denouncing swastikas on mailboxes that had been decorated in honour of the late Minister and Holocaust survivor, Simone Veil.

“We will never capitulate to antisemitism. The Republic must stand united. It is [a matter of] honour and duty,” tweeted Secretary of State Laurent Nuñez.

Justice Minister, Nicole Belloubet, also tweeted “sadness, fury and consternation… in the face of intolerable cowardice.”

“The Wiesenthal Centre calls on President Macron to renew the State of Emergency in order to return the military that guarded Jewish institutions... France should also lead a campaign to exclude extremist candidates from the forthcoming European Parliament elections. Now, after the declarations, what comes next? ... In this context, we should recall the late Simon Wiesenthal’s axiom on Antisemitism: “What begins with the Jews never ends with them… It becomes a scourge for general society,” concluded Samuels.