Very little has changed since Mr. Bones created this political cartoon eleven years ago. (see more of my favorite political cartoonist at his blog by clicking here)
A few years ago Prime Minister Ariel Sharon got into a bit of a row with the government of France. He told a meeting of the American Jewish Association in Jerusalem that Jews around the world should relocate to Israel as early as possible. But for those living in France, he added, moving was a “must” because of rising violence against Jews there. France’s foreign ministry said it had asked Israel for an explanation of the “unacceptable comments”.
Despite Chiraq’s government taking offense to Sharon’s remarks, the fact remains that France was then, and is now one of the most Anti-Semitic countries in the world and the former PM was entirely correct in his assessment
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France: Woman attacked for wearing Star of David Yael Branovsky A 22-year-old French woman said Thursday she was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack by two youths at an underground train station in Marseille. The youths, who the woman said were of Middle Eastern origin, snatched her Star of David necklace, then lifted her shirt and drew a swastika on her stomach before fleeing the scene. According to the Jewish Agency, the French police have refrained from releasing the details of the incident before it was proven that the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism. The head of the Jewish Agency delegation in France, David Roche, told Ynet that representatives of the local Jewish community would continue to follow the investigation.
This is by no means an isolated incident , the recently released report on Anti-Semitism throughout the world conducted by The Stephen Roth Institute gives an overview of the growing threat of violence against Jews in France:
While the war in Lebanon was probably the main trigger for the intensification of anti-Semitic manifestations in most countries of Western Europe, in France a considerable rise which began in late 2005, escalated further in February and March 2006 due to an internal event: the murder of Ilan Halimi, a young French Jew. On 21 January, Halimi, was found naked, hand-cuffed and critically wounded alongside a railway track in the suburb of Saint Genevieve des Bois, 30 kilometers south of Paris, three weeks after he had been kidnapped by a gang in Paris who thought he was “one of these rich Jews.” He died on the way to hospital.
To commemorate his memory, 200,000 people demonstrated on 26 February in Paris against racism and anti-Semitism. However, the murder seemingly inspired hatemongers, generating a clear increase in violent antisemitic manifestations.
The Second Lebanon War incited a second wave of anti-semitic manifestations in France. According to the SPCJ (Service de Protection de la Communuté Juive), there was a 24 percent increase in antisemitic manifestations in 2006 compared to 2005 and a 45 percent rise in violent incidents. Our statistics on major acts of violence and vandalism indicate a rise from 72 to 99 incidents, particularly in assault of identifiably Jewish persons, and especially children, in France.
In March, for example, Jews were accosted and severely beaten almost daily in public places such as railway stations or in the workplace. The attackers were often gangs who also shouted antisemitic insults.
- On 3 March, two Jews in Paris were severely beaten in separate incidents, one of them by a gang of five perpetrators.
- On 26 February, a non- Jewish social worker at hospital in Schiltigheim, Strasbourg, was beaten by two men who also painted “Muhammad” on her stomach and “dirty Jew” on her office wall.
- In another serious incident on 13 March, a handicapped Jewish man was attacked in an underground parking lot in Antony and his nose broken. His assailant drew a swastika on his car.
In the Paris suburb of Sarcelles where 20 percent of the population is Jewish, black African youths were responsible for several antisemitic incidents.
- On 28 May, 40 members of Tribe Ka (Tribu K), a black supremacist group, marched through the Rue des Rosiers in the historic Jewish Marais quarter of Paris. Armed with bats and clubs, they shouted threats and insults such as “Death to the Jews.”
- On 26 July, Interior Minister Sarkozy announced a ban on this black power group, stating: “Their anti-semitism has no longer to be provedmand the Republic cannot tolerate such action and behavior.”
- In recent years the black comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala has become one of the most provocative anti-semites in France
Also France, the antisemitic hatred of right-wing extremists led to a killing on 23 November, following a soccer match between Hapoel Tel Aviv and PSG (Paris St. Germain). The rioters, a group of right-wing extremists, made Nazi salutes accompanied by vulgar racist and anti- semitic insults. A French Jew attacked by the mob was rescued by a police officer, who was in turn assaulted. He then shot into the mob, killing one PSG fan and seriously wounding another.
As noted above, there was a considerable increase in violence against Jews in France following the antisemitic murder of Ilan Halimi. In fact, more than 50 percent of incidents of violence and vandalism in France occurred in the first half of 2006 before the outbreak of the Lebanon war.
In France, the comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala has become a leading protagonist in recent years on both the anti-Israel and the antisemitic scene. In 2006, continued to accuse the Jews of involvement in the 15th century slave trade. In August he visited Beirut with a group of intellectuals, including the writer Alain Sorel. At a press conference he expressed his support for Hizballah’s war “against Israel and against American imperialism,” and condemned Israel’s actions as “barbarian and Nazi-like.”
A continuous spill-over of hate into the mainstream, especially into the so called chattering classes − the influential socially and politically concerned mainstream elite − was observed throughout Western Europe. The term ‘Jew’ (or ‘Israeli’, or ‘Zionist’ – the three may be interchanged deliberately) was repeatedly equated with ‘Nazi’
When you read the news reports over the next few days about the poor victim of today’s incident in the French railway station, don’t look at it as an isolated incident–it is the continuation of the rising tide of Jew hatred in the former Vichy nation of France.