France sees sharp rise in anti-Semitic assault

27th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - The number of anti-Semitic attacks in France jumped by 45 percent between 2005 and 2006, a year that saw a young Jewish man tortured to death by a gang of kidnappers, new figures revealed on Monday.

PARIS, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - The number of anti-Semitic attacks in France jumped by 45 percent between 2005 and 2006, a year that saw a young Jewish man tortured to death by a gang of kidnappers, new figures revealed on Monday.

According to the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), 112 cases of assault were reported in 2006 to a telephone hotline for the victims of anti-Semitism, against 77 the previous year.

The overall number of anti-Semitic acts -- both physical violence and vandalism -- rose 40 percent from 134 to 213, while reported anti-Semitic insults rose 71 percent, from 48 to 82.

"In virtually all cases of assault, there is no doubt that anti-Semitism is a motive," the CRIF said in a statement, adding that "anti-Semitic acts are sometimes committed with real determination, sometimes by mere opportunism."

"Insults are often accompanied by references to the extermination of Jews during World War II," it said.

The number of violent incidents peaked following the murder in February of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Jewish man who was lured into a honey trap by a gang from the Paris suburbs, and held for ransom before being tortured to death.

The report noted a second peak in July and August, coinciding with Israel's military campaign against the Shiite militia Hezbollah in Lebanon.

France is home to one of the world's largest Jewish communities, at 600,000, as well as Europe's largest Muslim population, at five million.

The country has seen a steady rise in anti-Semitic acts since 2000, coinciding with the start of the second Palestinian uprising, a cause supported by many in France's Muslim community.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article