Summer in Paris

As the sound of “Death to the Jews!” filled the streets this summer, much of the French elite averted its gaze or blamed the Jews for their own misfortune. Do Jews still have a future in France?

October 5, 2014 | Robert S. Wistrich
About the author: Robert S. Wistrich is professor of Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he heads the Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism. He is the author of A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad (2010).

Police officers chase rioters in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles on July 20. Several Jewish-owned stores were burned. Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images.

On July 13, the eve of Bastille Day (a national holiday in France), a mob laid siege to the Don Abravanel synagogue in the Eleventh district of Paris. The “protesters,” mainly of North African Arab origin, had broken off from a larger demonstration supported by a small band of left-wing allies—Communists, militant anti-Zionist Trotskyists, a few environmentalists, and trade unionists—waving Palestinian flags and chanting “Death to the Jews” (Mort aux Juifs) along with the Islamist battle cry, Allahu Akbar!

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