Raffarin vows to get tough on anti-Semitism

21st November 2004, Comments 0 comments

STRASBOURG, Nov 21 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin vowed Sunday to deal harshly with those behind racist or anti-Semitic incidents in a speech marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the city of Strasbourg.

STRASBOURG, Nov 21 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin vowed Sunday to deal harshly with those behind racist or anti-Semitic incidents in a speech marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the city of Strasbourg.

"I was revolted to see that some extremists had broken away from the national and regional traditions of respecting religions and had desecrated places of worship or cemeteries of all religions," Raffarin said, referring to the desecration of some 400 Jewish, Muslim and Christian graves in the Alsace region in eastern France since April.

"The harm that has been carried out here is too deep for the state not to react with extreme severity and firmness with those who are racist and anti-Semitic."

Of the graves desecrated in the region some 250 were Jewish. The latest attack took place last month when nearly 100 Jewish graves were daubed with swastikas and Nazi 'SS' emblems in a cemetery at Brumath, near Strasbourg.

France, which is home to Europe's largest Jewish community estimated at 600,000, has seen a rise in anti-Semitic acts in recent years.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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