Anti-Semitism in France

I just received a very disturbing email (forwarded to me from a man who says it was forwarded to him by a friend in New York who said it came from "a Jew living in France") and I'll quote it in part:

In Lyon , a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles ; so was a Jewish school in Creteil - all recently. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris , the words "Dirty Jew" were painted. In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months. According to the Police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents PER DAY in the past 30 days. Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews." A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse , France ; a Jewish couple in their 20s were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne , France. The woman was pregnant. A Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles , France .
Trying to verify this, I Googled part of the text, and found that numerous websites are quoting the same email.

Anyone who reads Nidra Poller at PJM or Politics Central (or at the Wall Street Journal, for that matter), knows that anti-Semitism in France is out of control, so I don't doubt that much of the email is accurate.

From what I can see, the incidents described in the email appear to be true. While it would take me the better part of a day to track down all of them, I did manage to verify the fire at the school in Creteil:

two separate arson attacks against Jewish community sites in the Parisian suburbs of Creteil and Goussainville.

On Dec. 31, in the waning hours of 2001, vandals set fire to a classroom of the Jewish school Ozar HaTorah in Creteil.

Days later, in perhaps the most serious episode, witnesses saw some thirty youths between the ages of 12 and 20 hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails at a Goussainville Jewish home that also serves as the local synagogue.

For more than a year, French Jewish leaders have called on the government to confront the dramatic rise in anti-Semitic violence that began with the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada in September 2000.

The attack on the sports club in Toulouse was reported by CNN.

Interestingly, while verifying that the Dreyfus statue was defaced with "Dirty Jew" slogans (also true) I found this column by Jeff Jacoby, and the following two paragraphs:

In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseille; so was a Jewish school in Creteil. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, the words "Dirty Jew" were painted. In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months. According to the police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents per day since Easter.

Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews." The weekly journal Le Nouvel Observateur published an appalling libel: It said Israeli soldiers rape Palestinian women, so that their relatives will kill them to preserve "family honor." The French ambassador to Great Britain was not sacked -- and did not apologize -- when it was learned that he had told guests at a London dinner that the world's troubles were the fault of "that shitty little country, Israel."

I used italics to emphasize that these words are identical to those in the email which purports to come from someone in France. (Except "per day since Easter" was changed to read "PER DAY in the past 30 days.")

Thus, my attempt to verify the email has revealed that it was plagiarized from Jeff Jacoby.

The events described ought to horrify everyone.

However, I don't think plagiarizing an accurate version of events this way is helpful. That's because the Islamists and their fellow travelers love nothing more than to seize on things like this and then claim to have "debunked" an account which is in fact shockingly true.

I wish people would stop doing stuff like this, as I was almost fooled by the email, and only discovered it was plagiarized because I believe in verifying things before I write posts about them.

The real issue is that the situation in France is absolutely appalling.

(There should be no need to plagiarize anyone's column to prove it.)

MORE: Of course, if someone as prominent as Katie Couric commits plagiarism, , is it really fair to blame a nameless email writer for doing the same thing?

Interestingly, Glenn Reynolds notes that "Katie didn't plagiarize, because the piece that appeared under her name was actually written by someone else, not her!"

Now I'm really confused.

posted by Eric on 04.11.07 at 11:49 AM










Comments

The "shitty little country" remark I believe was a few years ago by the wife of the (now former - he retired on schedule, not related to his wife's anti-semitism) head of the European Central Bank, not the French Ambassador to the UK - not that it is any more defensible, but "credit where credit is due"

andrewdb   ·  April 12, 2007 3:14 AM

Yes, France has a lot of blatant anti-Semitism, yet France has had several Jewish prime ministers. The last one was Mendez-France. He was the guy who decided to pull France out of Vietnam after Diem Bien Phu. How many Jewish presidents has the U.S. had? Zero.

Chocolatier   ·  April 12, 2007 11:10 PM

Well, Lieberman was Jewish. Kerry and Goldwater both had Jewish ancestry.

But all three lost.

Hmmm....

Eric Scheie   ·  April 13, 2007 9:41 AM

I think it is appalling that the local Alliance de Francaise in Washington, DC (the area I live in) has not made an official comment. Everyone seems to think it is so posh and cultured to speak French and love their culture and couture.

If they are not caring about the Jewish people and doing something constantly to stop anti-semitism, they do not deserve such a high perception of being a culture to emulate though I used to like a lot about the French culture. Now I see it with a real jaded cautious eye.

Shoshana Urquharts   ·  May 9, 2007 12:07 PM

I think it is appalling that the local Alliance de Francaise in Washington, DC (the area I live in) has not made an official comment. Everyone seems to think it is so posh and cultured to speak French and love their culture and couture.

If they are not caring about the Jewish people and doing something constantly to stop anti-semitism, they do not deserve such a high perception of being a culture to emulate though I used to like a lot about the French culture. Now I see it with a real jaded cautious eye.

Shoshana Urquharts   ·  May 9, 2007 12:08 PM

I think it is appalling that the local Alliance de Francaise in Washington, DC (the area I live in) has not made an official comment. Everyone seems to think it is so posh and cultured to speak French and love their culture and couture.

If they are not caring about the Jewish people and doing something constantly to stop anti-semitism, they do not deserve such a high perception of being a culture to emulate though I used to like a lot about the French culture. Now I see it with a real jaded cautious eye.

Shoshana Urquharts   ·  May 9, 2007 12:08 PM

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