- French President Macron spoke to the guests of honor of the umbrella organization of Jewish communities (Crif) on Wednesday evening about the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks.
- He promised various concrete steps to be able to take targeted action against anti-Semitic crimes.
- For example, a bill will be introduced in May, which provides for excluding individuals from social networks on the Internet.
The worst thing that could happen is "getting used to", says French President Emmanuel Macron. He spoke late Wednesday evening before the guests of honor of the umbrella organization of the Jewish communities (Crif) about the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks. Since the end of the Second World War, there has not been such a massive increase in violence against Jews in France as it is today, the president urged. "It's time for action now."
This presupposed, first, the "name evil". Macron announced that France will therefore adopt the anti-Semitism definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. This definition, which also includes anti-Zionism, has been the focus of the German government since 2017.
Macron had come to the reception of the Crif not only in the company of his wife Brigitte, at his side were also the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of the Interior. The presence of members of the government was not just a symbol, Macron promised various concrete steps in order to be able to take targeted action against anti-Semitic crimes.
For example, a bill will be introduced in May, which provides for excluding individuals from social networks on the Internet, such as Twitter or Facebook. Macron said this follows the same logic as "hooligans": Anyone who has been conspicuous because of anti-Semitic, racist or other hate comments, can be restricted in his freedom of movement in the network. In addition, the president announced a study of anti-Semitic incidents in schools. An increasing number of Jewish children are leaving public schools to go to private schools, one has to find out why.
There should be no discrimination against Muslims and other minorities
Macron also emphasized in his speech that the French Republic could not tolerate any form of hatred. It is not only about combating anti-Semitism, but also racism, discrimination against Muslims and the marginalization of sexual minorities. Macron attacked the far-right party Rassemblement National of Marine Le Pen, suggesting that they tolerate no Jews in France.
The chairman of the Crif, Francis Kalifat, said in his opening speech that "the time of the Ultras" began: "What would have been considered extremism yesterday is today unspectacular." The radicalization is hardened, both in politics and in the field of religion. "
Within a year, the number of anti-Semitic attacks in France has increased by 74 percent. In the past few days alone, various cases have shown how hatred for Jews has spread. On Saturday, for example, the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut was badly called anti-Semitic on the brink of a demonstration of the so-called yellow vests. On Tuesday, a Jewish cemetery was desecrated in Alsace; the tombs were smeared with swastikas. And on Wednesday it was revealed that a multiconfessional cemetery near Lyon was defaced with anti-Semitic slogans. Among other things, the perpetrators wrote "Shoa Blabla" on a stele.
Tens of thousands of people all over France had the slogan "It's enough!" On Tuesday evening. took to the streets against anti-Semitism. Among the demonstrators were representatives of all political parties, with the exception of the far-right Rassemblement National. Party leader Marine Le Pen instead assured the philosopher Finkielkraut of her support in an open letter. In Paris alone, 20,000 people gathered in the Place de la République, among them people in yellow safety vests, who wanted to show that the Gilets jaunes movement does not tolerate anti-Semitism. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe participated in the rally as did the two former Presidents François Hollande of the Socialists and Nicolas Sarkozy, a Republican.
One of the men who was filmed while verbally abusing Finkielkraut was arrested in the meantime. According to France Info, this is a 36-year-old from Mulhouse, who changed his first name from Benjamin to Souleyman and converted to Islam. He had protested in December with other yellow vests on a roundabout in the Alsatian town of Kingersheim against the policies of President Emmanuel Macron. He had then been excluded from the other demonstrators, because he had tried to convince them of radical Islamist concepts. Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said about the detainee on Wednesday: "This is someone who is clearly radicalized."