French Jews Concerned about Anti-Semitism after Synagogue Attacks
The violence in the Middle East has spawned troubling signs of anti-semitism in France with synagogues attacked and anti-Jewish slogans chanted at demonstrations, the country's main Jewish organization warned Tuesday.
"Every day we are getting stories from round the country of punches and stones thrown, attacks, chants of 'death to the Jews.' Each incident is quite small, but there is a climate which is very worrying," said Edith Lenczner of the Council of Jewish Institutions (CRIF).
Early Monday -- the holy Jewish day of Yom Kippur -- two molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue in Creil, north of Paris. Another was found outside a synagogue in Strasbourg in the east.
A week ago, two synagogues in the capital's northern suburbs were slightly damaged in fires that were started by criminals, police said.
In demonstrations called over the last days in support of the Palestinians, small groups of protesters have shouted chants condemning the Jews, and waved banners equating the star of David with a swastika.
"Since World War II there has been no really virulent anti-Semitism in France, just the occasional desecration of a cemetery and things of that nature. But this is a real acceleration," Lenczner said.
There are around 600,000 Jews in France, the third biggest community in the world after the United States and Israel.
On Sunday, the imam of Paris's main mosque Dalil Boubakeur issued an appeal for calm to the Muslim community after the killing of scores of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Arab parts of Israel.
"I ask our whole community, notably our worshippers, our mosques and imams and our youth to remain on their guard and keep their heads, so as to avoid causing any provocation," he said - PARIS (AFP)
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