France’s Anti-Semitism Problem Continues to Worsen, While Its Government Continues to Do Too Little

February 27, 2020 | Judith Miller
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According to a recent and still unpublished report on anti-Semitism in eleven European countries—based on two years of research overseen by the former New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly—France is the nation most dangerous for Jews. Judith Miller writes:

Attacks and threats against French Jews surged 74 percent from 2017 to 2018, . . . and preliminary data for the first half of 2019 indicate “further intensification,” with another 75-percent increase last year. Moreover, the official estimates of some 500 attacks and anti-Semitic acts per year are “notoriously underreported,” according to the study.

Kelly and [his collaborators] blame the French government for failing to respond to the almost constant violence against, and harassment of, French Jews. Government funds to the Jewish community total just $3.7 million a year—“about one-fifth of what British Jews receive from their government, though France’s Jewish population is roughly double that of Britain.” . . . What the report calls the police’s “catch-as-catch-can” mobile deployments to protect synagogues and other Jewish facilities “provide little or no police presence and deterrence.”

To justify such indifference and what the report calls the public and private sector’s “inadequate” response to the growing threat, Paris hides behind its “lip-service to France’s secularism.” Requests for additional government funding to address security shortfalls would likely be rejected, prominent French Jews complained, . . . since France’s political, judicial, and law-enforcement establishment interpret their country’s “secularism ideology” to mean that the state “cannot give ‘special’ attention to one ethnic or religious group over another, even in the face of disparate threat or dangers.”

[T]he report stresses that the “single greatest threat of violence” against French Jews emanates from radicalization among portions of a growing French Muslim population, [which is in part] due to France’s failure to assimilate Muslims and to “anti-Semitic social media and satellite TV from the Arab world.” . . . Overall [its tone is] pessimistic. “Radical Islam is universally seen in France as a physical threat,” Kelly and his team conclude. “And this [kind of] more violence-prone anti-Semitism is certain to worsen.”

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