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"Anti-Semitism is a mutating virus", deplores the Chief Rabbi of France


Haïm Korsia warns of the feeling of insecurity which is tormenting the Jewish community, pushing the youngest in particular to hide their faith.

An Ifop study for Fondapol and the American Jewish Committee reveals that 34% of Jews in France feel threatened daily. This phenomenon particularly strikes 18-24 year olds, 84% of whom claim to have already been victims of anti-Semitic acts. Chief Rabbi Haïm Korsia denounces the Internet, "a limitless channel of hatred".

A third of French citizens of the Jewish faith say they feel threatened. Do you see it every day?

HAIM KORSIA. You can't imagine how much. We have alerted the authorities for a long time to this feeling of insecurity, which is fueled by real things: unfortunately, there have been deaths; unfortunately, the assaults are recurrent. It could be someone standing in line at the grocery store and being told that he was a dirty Jew , a dirty race . There is incredible disinhibition. After the march in January 2015 ( Editor's note: after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher ), we could have hoped for a surge of brotherhood. Paradoxically, each anti-Semitic attack provokes a replica effect. Look at the degradations of cemeteries…

This study also shows the extent of "invisibility strategies" ...

Some people do not dare ask their employer for holidays for the holidays of Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, because that amounts to saying openly I am Jewish . Young people, especially, integrated it into their way of thinking. Some people no longer wear caps so as not to be identified as Jews. They are formatted by Internet culture, they know the immediate violence of words. In my generation, this did not exist. However, I did not live in upscale districts of Paris, but in the suburbs: Meaux, Choisy-le-Roi, Orly-Ville, Grigny, it was behind my house!

A number of anti-Semitic acts take place on school premises ...

In a book published in 2017 ( Editor's note: "Principal of college or imam of the Republic?", Kero editions ), Bernard Ravet, former principal of college in Marseille, reported that he had to tell a Jewish student, returned from Israel: do not come to this school because it is too dangerous, we will find you another place . It is a statement of tragic failure! But the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has always shown firmness in action in this area.

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This study shows an awareness in the population. To what do you attribute it?

Because we dare to talk about it today. In the 2000s, during the second Intifada for example, there was a modesty in saying things, we lowered them. Now, the French have realized that what is happening to us is an indication of the ill-being of society. After the attacks committed in Toulouse by Mohammed Merah, after Charlie Hebdo, after the Hyper Cacher, we had not declared a state of emergency. We said to ourselves that they were soldiers, journalists, Jews. With Bataclan, everyone had to realize that everyone could be a target for the state of emergency to be put in place. It is undoubtedly by being united that we can cope.

What is the next fight, in your eyes?

A lot has been done, but we are still fighting for a delay. The Internet is a limitless channel of hatred that strikes young people first. Legislative machinery is needed. Look at Germany: it cleaned up by heavily punishing the hosts. Anti-Semitism is a virus, it mutates. The way to fight this hatred must also change.

Methodology: study carried out by Ifop for the Foundation for Political Innovation (Fondapol) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Conducted with a sample of 505 French people declaring themselves of Jewish faith or having at least one parent of Jewish faith or culture, extracted from a total of representative samples of 33,670 people. Interviews conducted online and face-to-face from October 14 to November 19, 2019.

Source: leparis

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