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New Wave of Anti-Semitism Sweeps France

While the Charlie Hebdo story is no longer headline news, the light the terrible attacks shed on a new wave of French anti-Semitism is as important as ever.

Last year, France faced the fall of the Euro and a period of economic difficulty. The result: a new rise in French nationalism. French for France. Unfortunately, the France in mind did not include the some 400,000 Jews living there.

This message was made clear after a Jewish man was beaten on the Paris Metro in March of last year. His assailants “reportedly told him ‘Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country’” (Tablet Magazine).

Jews make up less than 1% of France’s population, but according to a recent article in Deutsche Welle, they are the victims of over 40% of all hate crimes.

Another study showed that, between January and July of last year, “there were about 620 anti-Semitic incidents in France, a 91% increase over the year before” (Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, the Paris director of the American Jewish Committee).

As a result, approximately 7,000 Jews left France last year, and it is expected that another 10,000 will leave in 2015.

Jews no longer feel safe in France, and the recent attack on Charlie Hebdo and related violence at the Jewish Grocery have only cemented this fear. Although Prime Minister Hollande has encouraged Jews to remain in the country, it is no wonder that thousands are planning to leave in the coming year.

Written by Sarah Wexner’17


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