france » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘france’
January 11, 2016 0

Fighting Anti-Semitism, Fighting for France

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

Roger Cukier­man
Pres­i­dent of CRIF, the Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil of Jew­ish Insti­tu­tions in France

This blog orig­i­nally appeared in The Huff­in­g­ton Post

Hyper Cacher (2)jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One year ago this week, an ISIS-affiliated Islamic extrem­ist mur­dered four Jews at the Hyper Cacher kosher super­mar­ket in Paris. That attack fol­lowed the shoot­ings of the Char­lie Hebdo jour­nal­ists and police offi­cers just two days ear­lier, a heinous act also com­mit­ted by ISIS trained terrorists.

In 2012, a ter­ror­ist, who claimed affil­i­a­tion with al-Qaeda, killed three sol­diers in Mon­tauban and days later mur­dered a rabbi and three chil­dren at a Jew­ish school in Toulouse. Accord­ing to leaked doc­u­ments in the ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion of the mas­sive Novem­ber 13 attacks in Paris, Jew­ish tar­gets also were con­sid­ered by the ISIS-affiliated terrorists.

Anti-Semitism is a core tenet of Islamic extrem­ism, so it should not come as a sur­prise that French Jews are attacked in tan­dem with rep­re­sen­ta­tives and sym­bols of the French Repub­lic: sol­diers, police, and those exer­cis­ing free­dom of the press. For too many years, though, the wave of anti-Semitism that began in 2000 was con­sid­ered by French pub­lic opin­ion and French author­i­ties as sim­ply the import of the Arab-Israeli con­flict and thus not the respon­si­bil­ity of France.

The Hyper Cacher mur­ders marked a turn­ing point toward an under­stand­ing that the French Jew­ish com­mu­nity and the French Repub­lic share more than com­mon ene­mies. They share a com­mon destiny.

In a major speech to the French par­lia­ment just days after the attack, Prime Min­is­ter Manuel Valls admit­ted that French soci­ety had let down its Jew­ish com­pa­tri­ots by not react­ing suf­fi­ciently. He vowed to imple­ment a multi-pronged strat­egy against anti-Semitism and against rad­i­cal­iza­tion in the Mus­lim com­mu­nity. That work is underway.

French author­i­ties waged a sim­i­lar bat­tle against rad­i­cal­iza­tion and anti-Semitism a cen­tury ago among mostly rural Chris­t­ian com­mu­ni­ties. Pub­lic poli­cies were imple­mented to empha­size crit­i­cal think­ing and sec­u­lar­ism in edu­ca­tional insti­tu­tions. Those efforts should be rein­forced to address Islamic extrem­ism in schools today.

In 2015, almost 1,000 stu­dents were iden­ti­fied by their teach­ers as at risk of rad­i­cal­iza­tion. In some schools in France — for­tu­nately a minor­ity of them — the anti-Semitism of the past 15 years pre­saged a rise of other illib­eral ten­den­cies: homo­pho­bia, sex­ism, con­spir­acy the­o­ries, and hatred of the French Republic.

Increas­ing Islamic extrem­ism has con­tributed to the polit­i­cal gains of the far right, which also has a long his­tory of anti-Semitism. The mutual rein­force­ment of these move­ments — with the far right con­tribut­ing to rad­i­cal­iza­tion among French Mus­lims — is not good for the Jews nor does it augur well for demo­c­ra­tic values.

Today the sit­u­a­tion in France is grave and very dif­fer­ent from the con­di­tions famil­iar to Jews liv­ing in the U.S. Com­par­ing eight years of ADL’s records for anti-Semitic assaults in the U.S. and data from SPCJ, the French Jew­ish secu­rity agency, we see that French Jews are nearly 40 times more at risk of being attacked than Amer­i­can Jews (after adjust­ing for the size of the two com­mu­ni­ties). While it is ille­gal in France to keep sta­tis­tics based on eth­nic­ity or reli­gion, strong anec­do­tal evi­dence sug­gests that the over­whelm­ing major­ity of the assailants are young men of North African descent.

Accord­ing to a 2013 sur­vey of Euro­pean Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties by the Euro­pean Union, sixty per­cent of French Jews feared being the vic­tim of an anti-Semitic assault. Half of French Jews always or usu­ally avoid wear­ing any­thing that will iden­tify them as Jew­ish. Fear­ing for their phys­i­cal safety, a grow­ing num­ber of French Jews sim­ply have left their native coun­try. The num­ber of French Jews who moved to Israel dou­bled in 2014 from the prior year to more than 7,000, and reached almost 8,000 in 2015. While no hard sta­tis­tics are avail­able, Jews also emi­grated in large num­bers to the UK, the US, and Canada. More­over, most of these are core mem­bers of the com­mu­nity: fam­i­lies with chil­dren, iden­ti­fied Jews com­mit­ted to their faith, peo­ple who feel that they have been forced to choose between their beliefs and their safety.

If the major­ity of French Jews lose con­fi­dence that their sit­u­a­tion will improve, those num­bers will con­tinue to grow, leav­ing Europe’s largest Jew­ish com­mu­nity much dimin­ished and on the brink of collapse.

Our analy­sis and other polls have shown the French Mus­lim com­mu­nity to be one of the most mod­er­ate Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties in Europe, but the ter­ror­ists who emerged from it have already deeply affected the Jew­ish com­mu­nity. Will Islamic extrem­ists, with their intrin­sic anti-Semitism, rad­i­cal­ize enough French Mus­lims to cause half a mil­lion French Jews to flee? Or, will the endur­ing French val­ues of equal­ity and fra­ter­nity pre­vail among the French Mus­lim com­mu­nity of eight mil­lion as an anti­dote to rad­i­cal­ism? Indeed, let us not for­get, it was a young Mus­lim employee, Las­sana Bathily, who saved six Jews at the Hyper Cacher mar­ket by hid­ing them in a walk-in freezer, an act which could have cost him his life

We all have roles to play. The gov­ern­ment must ensure secu­rity for all French cit­i­zens, allow Jews to live openly as Jews, edu­cate the pub­lic against anti-Semitism, and com­bat rad­i­cal­iza­tion through a vari­ety of means includ­ing bet­ter inte­gra­tion of French Mus­lims into French soci­ety. French Mus­lim lead­ers must encour­age their com­mu­ni­ties to assist the author­i­ties to iden­tify those at risk of rad­i­cal­iza­tion or already rad­i­cal­ized. Polit­i­cal par­ties com­mit­ted to the val­ues of the French Repub­lic must pre­vail over par­ties who oppose those core ideas. Jew­ish lead­ers in France and around the world must con­tinue to raise the alarm and make clear what is at stake: as goes the fight against anti-Semitism, so goes the French Republic.

In the words of Pres­i­dent François Hol­lande, “it is not the Jews who should be leav­ing France, but the anti-Semites,” and of Prime Min­is­ter Valls: because if French Jews leave, “France will no longer be France.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

November 23, 2015 3

Anti-Semite Claims Prominent BDS Activist Invited Him To Berkeley Conference

Anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist Kevin Bar­rett claims he was accepted to present a paper at the 3rd Islam­o­pho­bia and Civil Soci­ety Con­fer­ence in Paris, spon­sored by Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berkeley’s Cen­ter for Race & Gen­der.

Kevin Barrett's GoFundMe page

Kevin Barrett’s GoFundMe page

The con­fer­ence, which appears to have recently been can­celed, was orga­nized by BDS activist and Berke­ley pro­fes­sor Hatem Baz­ian, the Chair­man of Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine (AMP), the lead­ing orga­ni­za­tion pro­vid­ing anti-Zionist train­ing and edu­ca­tion to stu­dents and Mus­lim com­mu­nity orga­ni­za­tions in the country.

Bar­rett, a for­mer Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Madison instruc­tor, is a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Iran’s Eng­lish lan­guage pro­pa­ganda news net­work Press TV and Vet­er­ans Today, a U.S.-based web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news. Even Bar­rett him­self seems sur­prised he was accepted to present at Bazian’s con­fer­ence. On his GoFundMe page, where he has raised $2,175 to fund his trip to Paris, he wrote, “Amaz­ingly, I just had a hard-hitting, truth-telling paper accepted for a main­stream aca­d­e­mic con­fer­ence: The 3rd Islam­o­pho­bia and Civil Soci­ety Con­fer­ence to be held in Paris Decem­ber 11th-12th 2015.” Bar­rett hoped that by pre­sent­ing at the con­fer­ence, he could send the mes­sage, “Keep our uni­ver­si­ties open to peo­ple who are will­ing to think taboo thoughts and ask the hard questions!”

In Barrett’s syn­op­sis of the paper he was accepted to present, titled “Taboo on Ques­tion­ing: Silenc­ing the Mus­lim Other,” he alludes to his typ­i­cal anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries. In a dis­cus­sion on whether the Jan­u­ary 2015 ter­ror attacks at the Char­lie Hebdo office and a kosher super­mar­ket in Paris were “largely fab­ri­cated by West­ern secu­rity agen­cies to mobi­lize pub­lic opin­ion for a war on Islam,” Bar­rett exam­ines ques­tions like “What are we to make of Netanyahu’s repeated threats dur­ing the run-up to the shoot­ings that if France rec­og­nized or sided with Pales­tine it would be hit by terrorists?”

Try­ing to blame Jews or Israel for acts of ter­ror­ism is noth­ing new for Bar­rett. Some recent exam­ples of his anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries include:

  • In a Novem­ber 13 Vet­er­ans Today arti­cle titled “Another French False Flag?” Bar­rett states that “Since we now know the Char­lie Hebdo attack was a…false flag by the usual sus­pects (NATO hard­lin­ers and Zion­ists), can we safely make the same assump­tion about these new Fri­day the 13th Paris atroc­i­ties? I think we can.” Bar­rett added “The first ques­tion, as always, is: Who gains? And the answer, as always, is: Author­i­tar­ian insid­ers. Zion­ists. Mil­i­tarists. Islam­o­phobes. New World Order-Out-Of-Chaos freaks.”
  • In Barrett’s book We Are Not Char­lie Hebdo! Free Thinkers Ques­tion the French 9/11 he claims that the Jan­u­ary Paris attacks were just one in a long his­tory of events – such as the 9/11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax poi­son­ings – per­pe­trated by Israel in order to “incite hatred of Mus­lims and sol­i­dar­ity with Israel.”
  • In a Jan­u­ary 20 Press TV arti­cle titled “Zion­ist NWO mur­ders Iran­ian gen­eral, Amer­i­can film­maker,” Bar­rett claims that “The Zion­ists cre­ated ISIL and sent it to fight Mus­lims and Chris­tians in Syria and Iraq…New World Order Zion­ism is also tar­get­ing the USA for destruction.”
  • Bar­rett stated in a Feb­ru­ary 17 Press TV arti­cle titled “9/11 attack was Zion­ist coup d-etat to seize power in US: Scholar” that “…Zion­ist pre-emptive mur­der­ers excel at ‘killing the future’…A team of Zionist-liked pro­fes­sional killers exe­cuted a total of 77 peo­ple [2011 attacks in Nor­way], while Zionist-freemasonic assets in the Nor­we­gian police and mil­i­tary stood by.”
  • In the same Feb­ru­ary 2015 arti­cle Bar­rett stated that “The Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 attacks in the United States were a Zion­ist ‘coup d’etat’ to seize power in the coun­try and launch a per­ma­nent war on Islam on behalf of Israel…”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

November 17, 2015 1

Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Crop Up In Wake Of Paris Attacks

In the after­math of the wave of coor­di­nated ter­ror attacks across Paris, con­spir­acy the­o­ries link­ing Jews or Israel with the attacks have begun to sur­face in the U.S and abroad.

al-alam-news-tweet-netanyahu-isis

Tweet from Iran­ian news chan­nel Al-Alam

Sup­posed links between Israel and the Paris attacks have been dis­cussed in inter­na­tional media outlets:

  • Iran’s Fars News Agency (FNA) pub­lished a report on Novem­ber 16 that read in part: “After the ter­ror­ist attacks in Paris, it was once again con­firmed that French Jews were informed that the tragedy would hap­pen. Just as it hap­pened in the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks 14 years ago, when Jews work­ing in the Twin Tow­ers did not attend to work.” The report added that “Zion­ist offi­cials wanted to exploit [the attacks] to achieve their spe­cific goals.” The report listed sev­eral con­spir­a­to­r­ial the­o­ries about Jew­ish respon­si­bil­ity for the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks.
  • On Novem­ber 14, Egypt-based Al-Asima TV inter­viewed Colonel Hatem Saber as an expert on inter­na­tional ter­ror­ism to com­ment on the Paris attacks. Saber sug­gested that Israel stands behind the ter­ror­ist attacks in Paris because France agreed to pro­vide Egypt with arms, which was con­sid­ered threat­en­ing to Israel.
  • A car­toon tweeted by the Iran­ian news chan­nel Al-Alam on Novem­ber 17, shows Israeli PM Netanyahu putting an explo­sive vest on an ISIS ter­ror­ist in the back­drop of the Eif­fel Tower.

    al-arab-tweet-israel-paris-attacks

    Tweet from Qatari news­pa­per Al-Arab

  • A car­toon depict­ing Israel as the dri­ving force behind the attack was pub­lished in Qatar’s Al-Arab news­pa­per on Novem­ber 17 and cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter. It shows Israel as the ulti­mate oper­a­tor of the small fig­ure in the pic­ture, which rep­re­sents terror.

These the­o­ries about the Paris attacks are sim­i­lar to past con­spir­a­cies that have been cir­cu­lated in the Mid­dle East about Israel being behind ISIS.

In the U.S., fringe anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rists, who rarely miss an oppor­tu­nity to exploit tragedies to pro­mote their hatred of Jews, blamed Jews or Israel for the attacks, much as they did after the Jan­u­ary ter­ror attacks in Paris.

  • Mark Glenn, a vir­u­lently anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist, posted an image on his blog The Ugly Truth on Novem­ber 15 of a dog think­ing “All the ISIS guys smell like Mossad” in a post titled “France should have beefed up anti-terror laws.”  In a Novem­ber 16 post on the attacks, Glenn wrote “Until peo­ple begin to grasp this sim­ple fact, that there is no such thing as a ‘good Jew’, and that Judaism–AT ITS CORE AND FROM THE MOMENT OF ITS INCEPTION–is and has been the embod­i­ment of religiously-induced men­tal ill­ness, the world will con­tinue to march at break-neck speed towards its own destruc­tion, the peo­ple of the Mid­dle East being its first vic­tims, and then every­one else, one by one, tak­ing their turn as well.”
  • On Novem­ber 16 in Vet­er­ans Today, a U.S.-based web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, a Pak­istani con­trib­u­tor named Saj­jad Shuakat wrote in an arti­cle titled “Is Israel Behind Paris Attacks?” that “…we are liv­ing in a world of Zionist-controlled media which is very strong and what­ever it release [sic] by con­ceal­ing truth and prop­a­gat­ing Israeli inter­ests as part of the dis­in­for­ma­tion, impress the politi­cians and gen­eral masses in the whole world.”

    mary-hughes-thompson-anti-semitic-tweet

    Retweet from anti-Israel activist Mary Hughes-Thompson

  • Kevin Bar­rett, an anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist and fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Iran’s Eng­lish lan­guage pro­pa­ganda news net­work, Press TV, wrote a Novem­ber 13 arti­cle in Vet­er­ans Today titled “Another French False Flag?” In the arti­cle Bar­rett states that “Since we now know the Char­lie Hebdo attack was a…false flag by the usual sus­pects (NATO hard­lin­ers and Zion­ists), can we safely make the same assump­tion about these new Fri­day the 13th Paris atroc­i­ties? I think we can.” Bar­rett added “The first ques­tion, as always, is: Who gains? And the answer, as always, is: Author­i­tar­ian insid­ers. Zion­ists. Mil­i­tarists. Islam­o­phobes. New World Order-Out-Of-Chaos freaks.”
mary-hughes-thompson tweet

Tweet from anti-Israel activist Mary Hughes-Thompson

At least one anti-Israel activist also linked Jews and Israel to the attacks:

  • On Novem­ber 14, Anti-Israel activist Mary Hughes-Thompson, co-founder of the Free Gaza Move­ment, tweeted that “I haven’t accused Israel of involve­ment. Still, Bibi [Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu] is upset about the Euro­pean set­tle­ment boy­cott. So who knows.” She also posted a car­toon on her Twit­ter page depict­ing an anti-Semitic car­i­ca­ture of a Jew­ish man say­ing “Merci [Thank you]” to an ISIS fighter, with the com­ment that “Every­thing is work­ing out as planned. Soon those White goyim will be on their knees.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,