July 14, 2014—Paris—During a large pro-Palestinian demonstration in Paris yesterday, a mob of 150 to 200 people tried to force their way into a synagogue in the center of Paris. Six policemen and four Jews were hurt by demonstrators shouting, "Death to the Jews!" “Hitler was right,” “We are going to burn you," and "Jihad, jihad, jihad."
"I am profoundly shocked by what happened yesterday in broad daylight in the center of Paris. The growing number of anti-Semitic attacks in France requires the strongest possible response,” declared Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, Director of AJC France. "No one should be fooled. This anti-Semitic violence is not only the consequence of what happens in the Middle East, but it is also a clear and unmistakable pretext for expressing hatred and violence against Jews. Tragically, this life-threatening anti-Semitism is gaining more ground in France.”
The SPCI (the French Jewish security office) and the Ministry of the Interior have already recorded 169 anti-Semitic acts in the first quarter of 2014, a 44 percent increase over the same period in 2013.
In a press release, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls “condemned the violence with great firmness,” declaring that “such acts against places of worship are unacceptable. They are extremely serious and will always be faced with determination by public authorities."
AJC France thanks the authorities for seeking to protect the community and condemning these despicable acts, but also calls on the government to intensify its efforts by combining a policy of zero tolerance with a comprehensive plan for the prevention of further acts of anti-Semitism.