SWC Paris Interview with Radio France International on Antisemitic Attack Against 8 Year Old Child

Paris, 1 February 2018

Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, in an interview with Radio France International, highlighted the deteriorating situation of Jews in France.
  • "There are almost daily incidents of antisemitism, especially in the Paris suburbs where there are high-density communities of French born youth of North African origin living alongside smaller Jewish neighbourhoods.
  • Turned on by Jew-hating internet sites, social media and radical 'Imams', they play out a Middle Eastern scenario of 'Palestinians and Israelis' transplanted to France.
  • Once identified and arraigned, magistrates are loath to view those who have been targets of racism, now themselves become perpetrators of hate. Hence, the resistance to name these assaults as antisemitic.
  • The end of the state of emergency and the removal of armed guards from Jewish institutions by President Macron, without a clear replacement mechanism, has left a vacuum filled with increasing attacks on Jewish individuals."
Recent violent assault victims include:
  • "A Jewish couple in their 80’s, dragged from their bed and viciously beaten – the husband an important Jewish leader and supporter of the Wiesenthal Centre
  • a 62 year old woman teacher, Sarah Halimi, beaten by her neighbour in her apartment and thrown from her balcony to her death, to the screams by her attacker of “Allahu Akbar.” Police were reportedly waiting throughout this murder outside her door. The court was again reluctant to view the assault as antisemitic until forced to review the evidence.
  • a Jewish municipal official was thrown from his bed and beaten, requiring an emergency eye operation
  • a Jewish 15 year old schoolgirl, whose face was slashed by a knife-bearing assailant
  • and most recently, an eight year old child thrown to the ground and kicked by two teenage assailants, simply for wearing a Kippa

More generally, prison guards from across France are striking due to attacks on them by self-styled Jihadi prisoners, while a plan is in the works to free many of the country's 60,000 currently incarcerated, due to budgetary considerations.

Though, it is aimed at non-violent criminals who will forced to wear electronic ankle chains, there is fear that these may include prisoners radicalised in jail.

Finally, the unexplained return to Canada of the Paris Copernic Synagogue (imprisoned) bombing suspect, Hassan Diab, adds fuel to the flames of antisemitic terrorism. Extradited from Ottawa four years ago, to face justice in a Paris tribunal, his passport confiscated and a no-fly order at the airport, did not prevent his escape from pending appeals.

From an alleged bombers’ release to savagery against victims, from 8 to 80 years old, the Jewish perspective in France seems to grow ever bleaker," concluded Samuels.

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels on +33 609 77 01 58, 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).

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