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Antisemitism in France continues to skyrocket, according to the latest report by SPCJ, the main antisemitism watchdog organization for the French Jewish community.

According to the report, there was an increase in antisemitic incidents of nearly 75 percent in 2021, over the previous year. Physical violence increased by 36 percent compared to 2020.

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Acts harming people represented 45 percent of antisemitic incidents in the country – 10 percent were physical attacks.

The French Ministry of Interior reported figures indicating 73 percent of racist acts against people in the country were directed against Jews.

“Two disturbing phenomena deserve particular attention,” SPCJ said in its release:

  • the high number of antisemitic acts committed in the private sphere (25 percent) – acts committed near the victim’s home by a neighbor in a building or by people living in the neighborhood, and
  • the proportion of use of weapons in physical attacks (20 percent) and antisemitic threats (10 percent). The weapons most used were knives (9 cases) and pistols (5 cases). “Other acts were committed using rifles, fireworks or mortars, hammer, machete, pellet gun and scissors.”

The group also noted there were two peaks of increase in antisemitic incidents during 2021:

  • In May, during Operation Guardian of the Walls, the mini-war launched by Hamas against Israel, during which there were five antisemitic acts on average recorded per day. “These were mostly insults and threatening gestures,” SPCJ said. “In nearly one third of these incidents, the theme of “Palestine” was mentioned.
  • In August, during the first mobilizations against health restrictions (due to the coronavirus). “These were essentially antisemitic inscriptions designating the Jews as profiteers and even the instigators of the health crisis,” the group said.
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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.