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French Jews most worried about their safety among 12 European countries


According to one study, this could be explained by anti-Semitic terrorist attacks such as the killing of the Otzar Hatorah Jewish school in 2012 or the attack on the Hypercacher in 2015.

Tombs tagged with swastikas are pictured in a Jewish cemetery in Westhoffen, eastern France, Tuesday, Dec.3, 2019. Regional authorities say 107 tombs of the Jewish cemetery of Westhoffen have been vandalized. (AP Photo)

Article published by AFTP and Time of Israel on the 21st of June 2022.

France is the country where the Jewish community feels least safe, despite the actions of the State, according to an index of 12 European countries published on Tuesday as part of a meeting organised by the European Jewish Association (EJA).

This index of “Jewish quality of life”, based on surveys and studies, crosses four sets of data: the feeling of security felt by the Jewish community, the attitude of the population towards Jews and Israel, anti-Semitism and finally the “performance of the government” (statistics on anti-Semitic incidents, places of remembrance of the Shoah, budget for the security of Jewish sites, freedom of worship and preservation of Jewish practices such as circumcision and ritual slaughter, etc…)

The studies were conducted by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in London and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, among 16,000 European Jews in 2018.

The results show that France, which includes the largest Jewish community in Europe with a little less than 500,000 Jews, comes in 10th place (68/100) in this index which also includes Italy (1st place with 79/100), Hungary (2nd), Poland (11th), Belgium (12th place with 60/100), but also Germany, Spain, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands.

“One of the conclusions, surprisingly, is that the government of France has a good performance” by the actions carried out by the State (score of 83/100), “but despite this, the Jewish community expresses a strong feeling of concern” for its security (31/100), said to AFP Daniel Staetsky, author of this index, statistician at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

As possible explanations, he cited “anti-Semitic terrorist attacks” such as the killing of the Jewish school Otzar Hatorah in Toulouse in 2012 or the attack against the Hypercacher in eastern Paris in January 2015.

Other findings of the studies are that the Jewish population feels most secure in Denmark. Hungary ranks first for antisemitism. And Belgium ranks last in terms of the country’s actions in favour of its Jewish community.

According to the EJA, the meeting, which has been taking place in Budapest since Monday and ends on Tuesday, brings together some 250 people, including 120 representatives and leaders of Europe’s Jewish communities.

In another report published earlier this month, the National Report on Government Measures to Combat Antisemitism and Encourage Jewish Life in Belgium, CEJI (Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe) called on Belgium to better teach about the Shoah, the Belgian press reported.

Anti-Semitic graffiti in Uccle, Belgium, December 2021. (Credit: Steve Diamant / Twitter).

The conclusion of this report called for the fact that, overall, the Belgian State had done little to combat antisemitism as a specific type of racism. It called for targeted interventions as well as greater public efforts – the area where policies scored lowest by far being education.

“There is no official guidance on antisemitism. The Shoah is taught, but not in a consistent way. There are students who have never been told about the Shoah. On the French side, there are new laws to cover Nazism that will be put in place in the coming years,” said Robin Sclafani, director of CEJI. “Teachers need to be better trained. We need to know how to teach anti-Semitism through contemporary Holocaust education,” she added.

The idea of appointing a national coordinator for the fight against anti-Semitism and the promotion of Jewish life was also raised. The organisation also asked the state to provide the necessary support for the implementation of the policy. It was also recommended that a sustainable inter-ministerial working group be established to facilitate communication and cooperation within the government, and that a sustainable and participatory national round table of stakeholders be established to facilitate communication and cooperation with civil society organisations in order to implement national action plans to combat racism and antisemitism.

An interdisciplinary research consortium was also recommended, with the aim of gathering knowledge to inform policy making in order to help prevent and combat antisemitism and promote Jewish life. Finally, it was requested that financial and human resources be provided to ensure the sustainable implementation of these general measures.

You can find the original article here: https://fr.timesofisrael.com/les-juifs-francais-les-plus-inquiets-quant-a-leur-securite-parmi-12-pays-europeens/