In France, Jews targeted in majority of racist incidents in 2019

People attend a national gathering to protest antisemitism and the rise of anti-Semitic attacks in the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, February 19, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/GONZALO FUENTES)
People attend a national gathering to protest antisemitism and the rise of anti-Semitic attacks in the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, February 19, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/GONZALO FUENTES)
(JTA) — Most of the racist hate crimes documented in France last year were anti-Semitic incidents directed at Jews — who make up less than 1 percent of the country’s population.
The French Interior Ministry published the data Sunday in a report that counted 687 anti-Semitic incidents last year from a total of 1,142 racist hate crimes.
The 2019 figure constitutes an increase of nearly 27 percent from 541 such cases documented in 2018, AFP reported. Threats accounted for 536 incidents last year, with the remaining 151 defined as “acts” – instances of assault against Jews or vandalism of their property.
France has about half a million Jews among a population of 65 million.
Attacks and threats against Muslims rose 54 percent over last year at 154 incidents. Muslims account for about 9 percent of France’s population.
Anti-Christian incidents are not classified as racist and are their own category in the report. They numbered 1,052 cases.
The acts documented in the report “are an intolerable attack on our shared project, the fundamentals of our social and republican contract,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner wrote in a statement about the report.