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Report: Anti-Semitic Incidents Double in France

Watchdog group cites more incidents through July 2014 than in all of 2013

Stephanie Butnick
September 12, 2014

According to a French watchdog organization, anti-Semitic incidents so far this year have just about doubled since last year. The group, known as SPCJ, announced an astonishing increase in the amount of acts committed in France in the first seven months of 2014 as compared with the same time span in 2013, JTA reports. Notably, that time period includes much of Israeli operation in Gaza, which stoked anti-Israel—and often anti-Semitic—sentiment around the world.

From Jan. 1 to July 31, SPCJ documented 527 anti-Semitic incidents compared to 276 in the same period of 2013, the security service reported in a statement Thursday. In all of last year, SPCJ documented 423 incidents.

The bulk of the 91 percent increase this year, SPCJ wrote, “is attributable to a particularly large increase of 126 percent in the ‘violent acts’ category” and “to peaks that corresponded with the anti-Israel protests” of Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza this summer.

France was the leading source of immigration to Israel in 2014, with hundreds of French Jews arriving there in July, in the midst of Israel’s war with Hamas. That timeline confirms the seriousness of SPCJ’s report. In May, a poll revealed that nearly 75 percent of French Jews had considered emigration.

In June and July alone, Jewish teens in Paris were attacked with pepper spray, tear gas, and Tasers, and in one instance were chased by an ax-wielding man while on their way to synagogue.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.