“Against the culture of hatred, we choose to live together.”
MARCH 16, 2009 – Between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, a period of conflict in the Middle East, more than 70 antisemitic or racist acts were recorded in France.
Given the seriousness of these incidents, The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) and SOS Racisme felt that they had to react. With support from Madame Fadela Amara, Secretary of State and fifteen associations throughout the country, a manifesto was published entitled “Against the culture of hatred, we choose to live together.” The manifesto is available at: http://lemanifestedes15.fr
For the last five years, UEJF and SOS Racisme have shown a major commitment in the fight against all the stereotypes that affect society: racism, antisemitism, discrimination, sexism and homophobia.
Yesterday in Paris, in an effort to bring French associations, politicians, public figures and intellectuals together, they initiated the First National Conference Against Prejudice.
“The day was aimed to alert the public to make the fight against prejudice a central area of political action and to create a vibrant intellectual and political association by combining a maximum of energy.”
In an interview with Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), Raphael Haddad, President of the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF), the main initiator of this event, was asked if he would describe the objective of the Conference.
Raphael Haddad stated, “the objective of the Conference was to try to think about a French paradox in the fight against racism, as there is today a gap between speaking out against racism, which is prevalent in France, and a very superficial belief that everyone is well integrated. Twenty years ago it was less the case. Since the 1990s there’s been an explosion in the level of antisemitism (in France) coupled with increasing levels of racist violence.”
Haddad added that “the reason for this paradox lies in the fact that prejudices are still very present in the minds of French society and are continually reinforced.”