By Alan Simons
“The attack of Toulouse has triggered an explosion of anti-Jewish acts in France. The wave of emigration is only likely to increase.”
J.J. Rousseau, the 18th century French philosopher said, “The Jews in Dispersion have not the possibility of proclaiming their own truth to humankind; but I believe that when they once have a free Commonwealth, with schools and universities of their own where they can speak out safely, we shall be able to learn what it is that the Jewish people have to say to us.”
By all accounts, as reported earlier this year by Speigel Online, “More and more French Jews are buying homes in Israel amid fears of rising antisemitism in France. Many complain of being harrassed in public and feel the country is no longer a safe place to raise their children. In the wake of the Toulouse attacks, the wave of emigration is only likely to increase.” Bearing in mind the report was published prior to the recent wave of attacks against France’s vibrant Jewish community, I wonder what Rousseau would have to say if he was living today in France!
The SPCJ (Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive) notes with concern that the attack of Toulouse has triggered an explosion of anti-Jewish acts in France. On June 4, 2012, in a published statement, it reported: “Once again, once too often, the Jewish community in France has been bruised by the savage aggression [of young boys] in Villeurbanne [a suburb of Lyon, by people of North African descent]. It succeeds more than 90 antisemitic acts identified by the Ministry of Interior within ten days following the attack against the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse. The SPCJ is very concerned about the extremely large number of these antisemitic acts but also by their motivation. It appears that some perpetrators feel empathy with Mohamed Merah, author of deadly attacks in Toulouse and Montauban. These acts in constant inflation reveal the potentiality of a return to antisemitic violence… which finds its source mainly in the Middle East.”
This past Tuesday, the president of the University of Paris Diderot, Vincent Berger, expressed his ‘dismay’ after reading a question posed to students on June 12 by Christophe Oberlin a teacher, as part of an optional university medical exam. The question asked about the qualification of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide and the result of a bombing in Gaza that killed 22 victims.
The Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF) stated: “This issue includes an unfortunate polemic, which contravenes the spirit of neutrality and secularism of higher education. Vincent Berger recalls that the principle of independence of teacher-researchers, in our Constitution, does not authorize any non-compliance with the fundamental values of public service. The president of the University further considers that this issue goes beyond the teaching of the discipline, covered neither medicine nor medical humanitarian.”
As M.Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF stated quite eloquently, “Everyone says that we should not bring the conflict into France. We see everyday the consequences of this dramatic import. M. Oberlin contributes with all his might. He has no right to use the University to discharge his selective hatred. Let him go [Oberlin] and exercise his talents in Syria, where we really need his skills.”
And if that wasn’t enough, not to be outdone, the city of Montpellier announced last week that it is seriously considering flying the Palestinian flag outside its city hall.
Today, jewishinfonews video service published a three part video on France, documenting some of the most recent antisemitic incidents. Click on the link above.
To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction… The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
Fear not Dr. King. The Jews of France have no intention of being annihilated.
فإن يهودي من فرنسا لن تختفي
(Photo credit: Man and boy – perthnow.com.au)
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