‘Good Jew' 3rd most popular in French Tweets

Paris-based nonprofit organization considers complaining over explosion of anti-Semitic messages.

By JTA
October 16, 2012 10:03
1 minute read.
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MARSEILLE, France -- A French nonprofit said it was considering making complaints against some Twitter users following an explosion of French-language anti-Semitic messages, JTA learned Monday. 

SOS Racisme, a Paris-based anti-discrimination organization, made the statement on its website after the phrase UnBonJuif on October 10, became the third most popular hashtag among French Twitter users.

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Literally meaning “a good Jew,” it served thousands of Twitter users to enter what the French daily Le Monde termed “a competition of anti-Semitic jokes.”

One Twitter account registered to the username “Marcel Leblanc” posted a picture of an emaciated Jewish woman taken in a Nazi concentration camp as his or her interpretation of what "a good Jew" meant. Others tweeted that “a good Jew is a dead Jew.”

Jonathan Hayoun, president of the Union of French Jewish Students, or UEJF, called on Twitter to “put in place a new system to moderate” anti-Semitic tweets. His organization expressed “grave concern” in light of how popular the hashtag has become.

On Monday, the most popular hashtag in France was LaRafle, meaning “the roundup” -- the title of a 2010 film about the Holocaust-era deportation of French Jews that  was aired the previous day by TF1, a public broadcaster. Twitter defined the LaRafle hashtag as “related to UnBonJuif.” Many tweets containing the LaRafle hashtag were anti-Semitic, and some users denied the Holocaust.

Michel Zerbib, director the news department of Radio J, France’s largest Jewish radio station, told JTA that anti-Semitic tweeting matches are “a new but unsurprising development, as the virtual space releases many of the inhibitions that limit anti-Semitic speech in the public sphere.”

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