(October 24, 2018 / European Jewish Press) France’s Higher Education Minister Frédérique Vidal brought together key players in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism following the proliferation of tags, graffiti and anti-Semitic expressions in recent weeks in several institutions of higher education.
According to a statement from the ministry, during this meeting, Frédérique Vidal recalled her total mobilization against the anti-Semitic acts perpetuated recently at universities.
Before the summer, a room used by the Union of Jewish students of France (UEJF) was ransacked in the faculty of Paris Tolbiac. In September, anti-Semitic tags targeting the president of the University Grenoble-Alpes (UGA) were discovered on the Grenoble campus. In mid-October, tags were found in a classroom on the campus of the HEC business school. Last week, swastikas were tagged at the Faculty of Law Assas in Paris.
“Anti-Semitism, like racism, and all forms of hatred and xenophobia have no place in universities and schools that must remain places of education, openness and democracy,” the minister said.
In March, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented a new plan to combat racism and anti-Semitism that includes strengthening the network of anti-Semitism and racism referents in institutions of higher education.
According to the ministry, a referent is now present since the beginning of each year at each university.
Training days will be held in November and March and a working group will meet in November to draft a “vademecum” to learn how to respond to an incident in an institution, said the minister.