European Jewish group calls on French authorities for stronger action on anti-Semitism


( The European Jewish Congress (EJC) is calling on French authorities to take strong action against anti-Semitism in the wake of a recent attack on a Jewish leader.

A wreath left outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris in Jan. 2015, to pay homage to the Jewish victims of that Islamist terror attack. Credit: U.S. State Dept.

Last week, three attackers entered the home of Roger Pinto, president of Siona, a group that represents French Sephardic Jews, in the Paris suburb of Livry-Gargan. The attackers cut the electricity and confined three members of the family - Pinto, his wife and son - beating them and threatening to kill them, until one of them managed to escape and alert the police, said anti-Semitism watchdog BNVCA. The attackers eventually fled after they were told police were on their way.

Following the Pinto attack, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the French government is determined “to do everything to combat every form of racism and anti-Semitism, which have no place in the French Republic.”

Prior to the attack, a former principal at a Marseille preparatory school, Bernard Ravet, told France’s L’Express newspaper, that he actively encouraged Jews not to apply to his school out of fear they would “get beat to a pulp.”

“Unfortunately, we see these two incidents, and many others, as intertwined, where parts of French society are becoming increasingly anti-Semitic on the one hand, and this hate towards Jews is being accepted and tolerated by other parts,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the EJC, said in a statement. “We call on French authorities to firmly root out societal anti-Semitism and its passive acceptance."

“We appreciated the important words of the French government in trying to make Jews feel safe in their country,” Kantor continued. “However, it doesn’t appear that much has changed on the ground for French Jews who are still regularly attacked.”

“If in a society where free education as a basic right for all citizens is being denied some Jews because of safety matters it is clear that the central principals of the Republic is failing them.”

Posted on September 11, 2017 .