Weisenthal Centre demands France place guards at Jewish institutions

“In view of the rising number of violent attacks on Jewish citizens, it is time to bring back the armed military to guard Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues, schools and other community institutions.”

A STAR of David on a synagogue. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A STAR of David on a synagogue.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In the wake of horrific antisemitic attacks in France, from the Hypercacher kosher supermarket siege in 2015 where four Jewish hostages were killed, to the brutal murder of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old French Jewish woman and Holocaust survivor who was murdered in her apartment in Paris in 2018, anti-Jewish hatred in France is still not decreasing.
Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s (SWC) Director for International Relations, called on French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin to “bring back the armed military to guard Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues, schools and other community institutions.”
“Mr. Minister, it is time for clear counter-measures. If caught, perpetrators can no longer be sent to psychiatric clinics or be given judgments of acquittal because they were ‘under the influence of narcotics or alcohol,’” he added, regarding the lack of antisemitic attack condemnations, given that the attackers were systematically sent to psychiatric clinics.
The case of Sarah Halimi’s murderer is a strong example. On April 4, 2017, Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman, was beaten and defenestrated in Paris. The Court Judge decided in July 2019 that there was no criminal responsibility and that her murderer was “unfit for trial.” The case was still being appealed to the Court of Cassation a couple of months ago.
“Following the 2015 Jihadi assault on a Paris Kosher supermarket, then president Hollande provided a security detail to all Jewish buildings that needed it," Samuels continued. "The military guards were eventually removed and never replaced by the Macron administration.
“Jewish districts require a mass of CCTV cameras to ensure rapid identification and intervention... Right now, the French Jewish community has three needs: Security, Security and Security,” concluded Samuels.
Last Thursday, a 29-year-old Jewish man was violently assaulted and beaten unconscious in the 19th arrondissement (administrative) district of Paris while he was picking up his seven-month-old daughter from his parents. The two attackers of reportedly African descent were screaming, “Dirty Jew! Dirty Jewish son of a whore, you’re a dead man! We will kill you! Dirty Race!”
According to a survey taken by AJC in Paris published in the beginning of the year, two-thirds of Jews (67%) andalmost half of non-Jews (47%) identified antisemitism as a serious problem in French society. Moreover, the feeling of insecurity is on the rise. Over half of French Jews (55%) have been insulted or threatened in the street and more than half of the country's Jewish children (59%) said that they had suffered physical abuse in school.
However, almost half of French Jews (47%) and members of the non-Jewish public (48%) raised doubts that French President Emmanuel Macron was tackling antisemitism effectively, similar to the 46% of Jews and 41% of non-Jews who questioned the commitment of the French government to treat anti-Jewish hatred as a national priority.