Behind the upsurge in hostility to Jews in France

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#1 Aug 7, 2014
Behind the upsurge in hostility to Jews in France

The Gaza conflict has sparked racist attacks on French Jews, reflecting France'€™s changed political, demographic trends

August 7, 2014 8:15AM ET

by Bruce Crumley

PARIS — One of the grim consequences of each prolonged military clash between Israelis and Palestinians over the past decade has been an eruption of violence targeting Jews in faraway France — prompting quick allegations of resurgent anti-Semitism in a country whose authorities in World War II collaborated in Nazi deportation of its Jewish population, and which has seen a number of earlier instances of persecution.

Just as in 2004, 2008-9 and 2012, the vast asymmetry of casualties between Israelis and Palestinians has prompted young men in France to “retaliate” with random attacks on local Jews. In recent weeks, synagogues have been attacked, Jewish-owned businesses vandalized and looted, and individual Jews assaulted verbally and physically — often at the margins of pro-Palestinian marches joined by political extremists and thugs bent on anti-Semitic violence.

“Gaza conflict seen as providing cover for anti-Semitic attacks in France,” warned The New York Times, while the Israeli daily Haaretz asked — somewhat improbably —“As violent anti-Semitism rises, will France expel its Jews?”

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