Wiesenthal Centre to French Minister of the Interior: "Creteil Kosher Store in Fire Bombing is Another Signpost to the Abyss"

Paris, 9th January 2018

In a letter to the French Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed concern that, "This morning’s fire-bombing of the Kosher mini-market, Promo and DeStock, in the Paris suburb of Creteil, is following a pattern in the aftermath of last week’s swastika graffiti on two Kosher shops in the same city. What begins with words, then deeds, lead on to violence."

The letter noted, "We have just marked the third anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket massacres that resulted in armed military placed outside Jewish establishments."

Samuels emphasised, "These guards then became ambulatory around the perimeter of Jewish quarters and were then withdrawn," adding, "I had requested your predecessor, Bernard Cazeneuve, to announce prior to their removal the presence of plain-clothes officers as a basic deterrent."

The Centre argued, "The Creteil antisemitic fire-bombing has brought home to us the vulnerability of our own office situated in a youth centre. It is clear that the anti-Israel attacks by French media and the spate of Jew-hatred on social media have created a poisonous atmosphere that can only add to a cycle of antisemitic violence."

Samuels pointed to the irony that, "The manager of the Creteil Kosher store in this latest attack, is a Muslim who has expressed his pain at the damage to Jewish and Muslim co-operation, built up in his almost 10 years in the job."

"Mr. Minister, a firm government reaction and renewed security program is vital to calm community concern in 2018. Creteil is another signpost to the abyss," concluded Samuels.

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at +33 609 770 158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).