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Netanyahu condemns ‘waves of antisemitism’ by rioters in France

"We support the French government in its fight against the scourge of antisemitism," says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, July 2, 2023. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, July 2, 2023. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL.

Israel is closely monitoring and deeply concerned about “waves of antisemitism sweeping over France,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

“In recent days, we have witnessed criminal assaults against Jewish targets. We strongly condemn these attacks and support the French government in its fight against antisemitism,” he added.

Mass chaos has engulfed France since the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel M., of Algerian origin, in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday.

Rioters in areas with large Muslim populations have torched cars and looted shops, clashing with police and causing hundreds of injuries.

Vandals spray-painted “Police scum” on a monument in Nanterre commemorating the Holocaust and Jewish members of the French resistance to the Nazis.

Antisemitic chants have been heard during riots and Jewish businesses were ransacked in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, dubbed “little Jerusalem” due to its large Jewish population.

There are fears of a repeat of antisemitic violence in the region in 2014, when antisemites targeted Jewish-owned shops and synagogues during the seven-week war between Israel and Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Jews have been targeted repeatedly in France, including the January 2015 killings by Islamic terrorists at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris.

In 2012, Islamic terrorist Mohamed Merah perpetrated a massacre at the Ozar Torah Jewish school (now called Ohr Torah) in Toulouse.

Six years earlier, 23-year-old Ilan Halimi was captured, tortured and held for ransom by a French gang named The Barbarians, led by a self-professed Islamic radical.

Outwardly identifiable Jews have routinely been attacked in cities across the country.

On Sunday, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed that 45,000 members of the security forces have been deployed to cities across France, including Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Grenoble.

A 38-year-old policeman has been charged with voluntary homicide over Nahel’s death and remains in custody.

Amid the violence, French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a state visit to Germany scheduled for Sunday.

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