Intermountain Jewish News

Dec 01st
Home News International France vows to fight anti-Semitism

France vows to fight anti-Semitism

E-mail Print PDF

France's President Francois Hollande (r), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) with his wife SaraMARSEILLE, France — France will clamp down on anti-Semitic hate speech online and elsewhere, French President Francois Hollande said at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.

“We will relentlessly combat anti-Semitism, also on social networks where haters may have anonymity,” Hollande said at a press conference that he held on Nov. 1 with Netanyahu at the Jewish school in Toulouse where three children and a rabbi were murdered in March.

In his speech, which followed a commemorative ceremony dedicated to the attack’s victims, Hollande said that he would promote new legislation against hate speech.

“We will tear off all the masks, all the pretexts, to anti-Semitic hate,” Hollande said. Addressing Netanyahu, he added: “I would like to remind you of the determination with which the French Republic has confronted anti-Semitism, not only with words but with actions.”

A police report released last month highlighted French security authorities’ failures in handling surveillance of Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old Muslim radical who killed the four Jews on March 19 at Toulouse’s Otzar Hatorah school.

The attack on the Jewish school came four days after Merah gunned down two French soldiers in a nearby town and eight days after he killed another French soldier in Toulouse.

Merah was shot and killed by police after he killed the four French Jews.

“Every time a Jew is targeted because he or she is Jewish, it concerns Israel. That is the meaning of your presence here, which I understand,” Hollande told Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister was making his first visit to France since Hollande was elected president.

Netanyahu said that Hollande’s presence expresses “the spirit of resistance to evil and tyranny.” Netanyahu said that “anybody who doesn’t respect the human rights of Jews will not respect the human rights of other peoples.

“It was not accidental that the killer of Toulouse killed not only Jews but also French soldiers, Christian and Muslim alike.”

Netanyahu ended his speech with nine seconds of vigorous singing of “Am Yisrael Chai,” or “the people of Israel live,” in response to “all of Israel’s haters, be they in France or at the Dolphinarium or Itamar,” the scenes of past attacks by Palestinian terrorists.

The chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, accompanied Netanyahu to Toulouse. Sharansky announced the establishment of a fund to help upgrade security in Jewish communities.

The fund will support infrastructure upgrades and other security measures for communal institutions in small Jewish communities, including schools and synagogues.

Yaacov Monsonego, director of the Otzar Hatorah school and the father of one of the victims, told Hollande that his presence at the school shoulder to shoulder with Israel’s prime minister attested to the French president’s devotion to confronting anti-Semitism.

“I let go of Miriam’s hand, and two minutes later she was executed just because she was Jewish,” Monsonego said, his voice choking with emotion.

Merah gunned down his daughter along with two other boys and their father, Rabbi Jonathan Sandler.

“Hatred ruined my life and that of my wife, the tragedy plunged us into darkness. We felt alone,” Monsonego said.

The empathy of the French people, Israelis and Jews and non-Jews from all over the word helped the community return to normal, he said, “but the pain continues to dwell in us.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 November 2012 13:12 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Google denies deal to jointly monitor YouTube videos with Israel

Marcy Oster Israel claimed the agreement on videos that incite violence against Israelis was reached at a meeting of company executives with its deputy foreign minister; Google owns YouTube. ... [Link]

2 alleged Palestinian stabbers killed during attempted attacks

Marcy Oster In one West Bank attack, a bystander was injured, reportedly by a bullet fired at the assailant by security forces. ... [Link]

Far-right Israeli activists protest Jerusalem Christmas event

Jas Chana Members of the anti-coexistence group Lehava claimed the event was encouraging Jewish children to decorate Christmas trees. ... [Link]

Jewish-Arab school arsonist sentenced to jail in Jerusalem

Marcy Oster The 24-year-old, one of three men convicted in the case, also was ordered to pay compensation to the Max Rayne Hand In Hand Jerusalem School. ... [Link]

Historic synagogue in Australian outback vandalized

Marcy Oster The Broken Hill Synagogue was defaced with Nazi and Islamic symbols on its 105th anniversary. ... [Link]

Amy Schumer poses nude for Pirelli calendar

Gabe Friedman Jewish comedian and actress Amy Schumer stripped down for Annie Leibovitz in a photograph that appears in the latest Pirelli calendar. How did she describe the photo? “Beautiful, gross, strong... [Link]

Sheldon Silver, ex-NY Assembly speaker, found guilty on all 7 corruption charges

Gabe Friedman Silver, who served as speaker for over 20 years, faces a maximum sentence of 130 years in prison. ... [Link]

Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ayman Odeh to hold landmark talks with White House

Gabe Friedman The Joint Arab List chairman reportedly will be the first prominent representative of Israel’s Arabic community to engage in high-profile diplomatic talks in Washington, D.C. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942 • •