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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘France’

Aliyah Up by 14 Percent in First Three Months of 2014

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Aliyah to Israel increased by 14 percent from January to the end of March, with the most impressive numbers coming from Russia and France, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Russia led the aliyah number list with 899 new immigrants, followed by France with 802.

One veteran French immigrant told The Jewish Press that despite the flight to Israel from France, plagued by violent anti-Semitism, there is a far greater exodus of Jews to the United States and Canada.

The third largest source of new immigrants so far this year is the United States, from where 203 arrived, and another 23 came from Canada.

The total number of new immigrants for the first three months of this year is 3,623.

National Front Mayor Evicts Dreyfus-Inspired Anti-Racism Group

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

A French mayor from the far-right National Front party evicted from city-owned offices an anti-racism group inspired by the Dreyfus trial.

Steeve Briois, who was elected last month to run the town of Henin-Beaumont, ordered the Human Rights League, or LDH, to clear out of its workspace last week, LDH President Pierre Tartakowsky told JTA.

The LDH, which was established in 1898 to protest the wrongful and racially motivated conviction for espionage of the French Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus, for years had occupied office space provided free to it and other civil society groups by the municipality, Tartakowsky said.

“We have made no secret of our opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, the extreme right and National Front itself,” he said. “The party knows that targeting us as a human rights group is a symbol; they want to make people afraid.”

In a statement sent Tuesday, Briois wrote, “Municipalities are not allowed to fund organizations that are politicized and partisan.”

The municipality had provided $414 in funding to LDH per year, according to Le Figaro.

National Front, whose honorary president, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has multiple convictions for Holocaust denial and incitement to hatred against Jews and other minorities, has mayors in 11 municipalities following its showing in the March 30 local elections.

Le Pen Recruits Pigs to Fight Islam

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen said last Friday that she would stop schools from offering pork-free alternatives to Muslim students in the 11 towns where her party has won local elections. She said this was consistent with France’s “secular values,” or, as she put it, to “save secularism.”

I have a feeling secularism is as threatened in France as Christmas is in the U.S. Meaning, on both sides of the Atlantic these are made up issues designed to stir up political strife where none actually exists.

“We will not accept any religious demands in school menus,” Le Pen declared on French radio. “There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that’s the law.”

It’s true that France has the largest Muslim minority in Europe – roughly 5 million. There are also an estimated half a million Jews there.

But I suspect that those Jewish families who would not serve pork to their children already send them to private Jewish schools. This is, then, not an antisemitic but an anti-Muslim move. For sure, today’s French people don’t feel overwhelmed by a Jewish invasion, while a walk through some parts of Paris would definitely bring to mind the year 699, when the Arab hordes came rushing out of the peninsula to fill up the vacuum left by the dead Roman Empire.

So the National Front is taking advantage of the French resentment of this Asiatic occupation army in their midst, with varying results. Le Pen did not get elected president with her anti-Muslim politics, but doubled its wins in municipal elections.

On occasion, the National Front seems to be having fun with their xenophobic politics: in the town of Hayanges, FN mayor Fabien Engelmann has proposed a Pork Fest, celebrating the many attributes of pigs. And, of course, he insists the festival is not meant to offend Muslims.

Oink.

Thousands Participate in French Aliyah Fair

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

PARIS – Thousands of Jews from throughout France participated in an Aliyah information fair held in central Paris earlier today (March 30) and organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and the World Zionist Organization. Participants met with representatives of dozens of Israeli organizations and institutions, including government ministries and local authorities, and received information on opportunities for life in Israel, Aliyah programs for young people, educational programs for teenagers, employment counseling, and more.

According to Jewish Agency figures, Aliyah from France has risen sharply since the start of the year: 854 new olim (immigrants) from France arrived in Israel during the months of January and February, compared to 274 during the comparable period in 2013. This threefold (312%) increase is due in part to increased efforts by The Jewish Agency to strengthen the French Jewish community’s relationship to Israel through educational programs, information sessions, and Aliyah fairs, as well as to the economic situation in France and communal insecurity due to anti-Semitism. 2014 is thus set to continue the significant upward trend in French Aliyah, which saw the arrival of 3,280 new olim in 2013, a 70% increase compared to the 1,917 olim who arrived in 2012.

In addition to the increase in Aliyah from France, The Jewish Agency has seen a significant rise in the number of Jewish young people interested in participating in Israel experience programs. Some 1,000 Jewish high school students recently participated in The Jewish Agency’s Bac Bleu Blanc (“High School Seniors in Blue and White”) program, which enables students at Jewish schools to explore opportunities for life in Israel following their graduation from high school. Additionally, 1,000 French Jewish young people are currently participating in Masa Israel Journey, a partnership between the Government of Israel and The Jewish Agency that enables young Jews to experience life in Israel, compared to 500 just two years ago. Some 70% of French Masa participants make Aliyah upon completing the program.

Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and The Jewish Agency unveiled a new government plan to encourage Aliyah from France. The plan includes boosting the number of Jewish Agency shlichim (emissaries) in France, increasing marketing efforts, developing new immigrant absorption programs, and establishing a special committee headed by the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office to remove obstacles to French Aliyah. The plan also sets clear benchmarks for increasing the number of olim, seeking to double their numbers in the coming years. This groundbreaking plan is the result of intensive cooperation between the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and The Jewish Agency, along with the World Zionist Organization, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, and Keren Hayesod-UIA, all of which are working together for the first time in order to strengthen French Aliyah. The plan was developed in consultation and cooperation with French Jewish organizations, both in France and in Israel.

French Jewish Candidate Reveals Threats

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A Jewish politician in Marseille said he and his family received death threats amid a string of anti-Semitic incidents coinciding with municipal elections in France.

Hagay Sobol, a City Council candidate on the Socialist Party list in the final round of elections to be held Sunday, revealed on his Facebook page earlier this week that he had received the threats from an unknown person claiming to be a centrist political activist calling himself “Simon Hanavi.” Sobol said the man threatened to harm him and his family.

One of the threats appeared on Sobol’s Facebook page and read, “When this election is over, God will take care of traitor like you,” according to the news site alyaexpress-news.com. Sobol also said he received threats texted to his phone and has filed a police complaint.

He added that the perpetrator said he was a member of the UMP centrist party, “but there are strong doubts this is true,” Sobol wrote, explaining that the language and style used were typical of the extreme right.

France’s far-right National Front, whose founder and honorary president Jean-Marie Le Pen has a history of anti-Semitic statements and Holocaust denials, has made unprecedented gains in the first round of elections and is now leading in eight cities and towns.

The party won outright in one northern town and made it to the second round in 200 municipalities — gains that have prompted the Union of Jewish French Students to call on voters to mobilize against the National Front Party. Turnout in the first round was 60 percent, which is considered low.

The union also called on candidates who came in third in the eight cities where the  National Front is leading to withdraw from the race in favor of the candidates who finished second to help defeat the National Front in the second round of polling. On Tuesday, a Socialist candidate in Perpignan, Jacques Cresta, withdrew from the race to improve the chances of his UMP rival against the National Front.

Separately, the northern Toulouse suburb of Agen saw dozens of buildings covered with racist graffiti slogans, including “Jews and Arabs out, all of you to the oven.”

French Anti-Semites Beat Paris Teacher Wearing a Kippa

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Anti-Semites in Paris beat up a 59-year-old teacher wearing a kippa after he walked out of a kosher restaurant last week, the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported Monday.

The man was hospitalized for facial injuries after he was insulted and attacked by three thugs whom the victim described as ‘’young, wearing light colored hats dressed in jeans and of North African origin.”

Three days earlier, thousands of people rallied in central Paris against anti-Semitism.

The attackers started shouted at him, ” Death to the Jews, dirty Jew, dirty son of a b—–,’’ as well as expressions in Arabic he didn’t understood.

They “hit him several times in the face before opening his shirt to draw on his chest with a marker a swastika,’’ a source close to the police investigation said. The attackers fled after an elderly person appeared on the scene.

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe condemned the aggression. ”This act of unspeakable cowardice is a betrayal of the foundation of the Republic and the values of Paris,’’ he said in a press statement. The anti-Semitic incident comes three days after around 10,000 people gathered in Paris, at the initiative of CRIF, the umbrella group of Jewish organizations in France, to say ‘’no to Jew-hatred’’ as they commemorate the murder two years ago of four people, including three children, in a Jewish school in Toulouse.

Belgian Group Mulls Legal Action over Anti-Semitic Twitter Joke

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

A Belgian watchdog on anti-Semitism warned it was preparing to take legal action against online propagators of a new anti-Semitic joke about the Holocaust.

The Belgian League against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, issued the threat regarding a photograph of an oven with paper money inside, bearing the caption, “The Jew trap is set.”

The photo surfaced earlier this month. One of its early disseminators was a Twitter user from Belgium using the handle Simree Dikule. The picture was re-tweeted by thousands of additional users and also posted on Facebook by a student of the Bracops Lambert high school near Brussels, the La Capitale daily reported Tuesday. The student, who was identified only as “M.,” wrote on Facebook: “It’s racist, but it’s funny.”

“This disgusting and unacceptable new joke has a double insult,” said LBCA President Joel Rubinfeld. “It alludes to the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews are greedy and to the crematoria that Nazis used to burn Jews during the Holocaust.”

The tweet and the Facebook post have been removed, though it is unclear whether the users or the companies removed them.

Last year, a French court forced the California-based Twitter social network to divulge information on users who had disseminated anti-Semitic jokes. Twitter was sued by the UEJF French Jewish student union after the hashtags #unbonjuif (“a good Jew”) and #unjuifmort (“a dead Jew”) became hugely popular because they were used in what Le Monde termed “a competition of anti-Semitic jokes.”

Twitter argued that, as an American company, it adhered to U.S. laws on hate speech, which are far more liberal than those of France and many other European countries.

But the French court ruled that the French blogosphere and online interaction between French residents constituted French public space, where French legislation against hate speech applies.

Jewish Man Assaulted with Taser Gun Outside Paris Synagogue

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Two unidentified men wielding a taser gun assaulted a Jewish man Monday night at a building next to a synagogue, according to the French Jewish  JSSnews.com website.

The victim was identified as K. Sassoun, a 52-year-old Israeli, and he filed a complaint for racial hate crime and assault with Paris police.

The perpetrators fled from the scene immediately after the act. Sassoun did not sustain serious physical injuries but required medical treatment after being knocked down by the taser gun, which sends electric currents that usually incapacitate targets or render them unconscious for several minutes.

One of the perpetrators was black, according to an unnamed witness who reported the incident to the National Bureau for Vigilance against anti-Semitism,  a Drancy-based not-for-profit watchdog known locally by its French acronym, BNVCA.

“The perpetrators assaulted the victim for no other reason than his clothing and appearance, which identified him as being Jewish, and the fact that he was near a Jewish place of worship,” BNVCA said in a statement.

The neighborhood used to be the center of Jewish life in Paris and is considered its historic Jewish quarter.

According to BNVCA, the assault was part of a spate of hate crimes against Jews this month.

On Saturday, a group of teenagers hurled stones at a Jewish institution in Sarcelles near Paris and shouted “death to Jews.” On Friday, BNVCA learned that a school bus full of Jewish students was pelted with stones by teenagers in Paris.

And on Sunday, several people chanted anti-Semitic slogans at a young Jewish woman near a Jewish studies center in Strasbourg. One of the chants was “Merah max” – a reference to Mohammed Merah, an Islamist who killed four Jews in Toulouse in 2012.

Earlier this month, the French Jewish community’s watchdog organization, SPCJ, released a report that counted 423 anti-Semitic incidents in France in 2013. The figure was a 31-percent decrease from the previous year, but was still higher by eight percent than the number of incidents recorded in 2011.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-man-assaulted-with-taser-gun-outside-paris-synagogue/2014/03/11/

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