What Others Are Saying
“But were we naive? The very same day of the march, the French Jewish Student’s office at the Paris Sorbonne University was sacked and covered with stickers proclaiming: ‘Death to Israel’, ‘Long Live Arafat’, ‘Zionist racist anti-Goy office’.”
The following republished report is from Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Paris.
Paris, 28 March
“Had the murder awakened a new conscience regarding Judeophobia in France?
– Thousands marched this evening, from the Place de la Nation to the home of the murdered 85 year-old Holocaust survivor, under the banner: “United we Stand Against Antisemitism.”
– The many Simon Wiesenthal Centre members present accepted the ban on institutional placards.
– Plain-clothed police put on armbands to head off scuffles with members of the extreme right National Front and the extreme left champions of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel. These activists had been warned against participating but refused the ban, and were finally forced to withdraw.
– Marchers of every background were very emotional, especially faith leaders. All walked in silence.
– It should be recalled that the last such demonstration against antisemitism was the 250,000 strong outraged at the 1996 exhumation of a recently deceased man from his grave in the Jewish cemetery of Carpentras. The body was left hanging from an umbrella.
– Since then, the kosher supermarket massacre was protested, but only in conjunction with the previous day’s atrocity at the Charlie Hebdo satirical journal headquarters.
– All other such marches have been “Palestine” solidarity antisemitic hatefests, with calls of “Death to the Jews, Out with the Jews” and the Muslim threat “Khybar, Khybar” (in recollection of the Prophet Muhammad’s massacre of a Jewish tribe in Arabia).
– These demonstrations often concluded in violent attacks on synagogues and Jewish-owned shops.
– Perhaps the grisly stabbing and burning of Mireille Knoll has awakened a new conscience regarding Judeophobia in France.
The question was: for how long? But were we naive: The very same day of the march, the French Jewish Student’s office at the Paris Sorbonne University was sacked and covered with stickers proclaiming: “Death to Israel”, “Long Live Arafat”, “Zionist racist anti-Goy office”
A disturbing response to a hopeful day.
Shimon Samuels – Director for International Relations, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Paris.