AJC: Rising Anti-Semitism Challenges France

February 20, 2013 – New York – AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, is deeply concerned by the surge in anti-Semitic incidents in France, detailed in a new report by the SPCJ, the French Jewish community’s protection service. “The year 2012 was the most violent since 2004,” stated the SPCJ.

In 2012 alone there was a 58 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents, with 614 registered compared to 389 in 2011. The report also found an 82 percent increase in physical and verbal assaults – 315 in 2012, compared to 171 in 2011.

Notably, there was a surge in anti-Semitic attacks following the murderous assault on a Jewish day school in Toulouse that left 4 dead last March. The SPCJ recorded 90 anti-Semitic incidents in the 10 days following Toulouse.

“As always, AJC stands with our friends and partners in the French Jewish community. We also strongly believe that the French government, notably Interior Minister Manuel Valls, is committed to fighting the scourge of anti-Semitism, as are many groups in French society,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

“The SPCJ report is a sobering reminder that major institutions, both governmental and civil society, must further step up their efforts against those who would act in the name of such venomous and violent hatred — hate that threatens not only the country’s Jewish community, but, no less, French society, and its core values structure, as a whole,” Harris added.

Anti-Semitism was one of the top issues an AJC Board delegation discussed with Minister Valls and other senior government officials in Paris last month. AJC France representative Simone Rodan-Benzaquen continues to raise the concerns.
The SPCJ report was presented today to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.