A recent study by the polling firm Ifop, at the request of the left-leaning Jewish Student organization UEJF (Union Des Etudiants Juifs de France) reveals that almost all (89 percent) of the French Jewish students are suffering from anti-Semitism.
The figure is staggering. It’s Mind-blowing. At this extent, it is no longer possible to talk about “isolated incidents,” but about an epidemic, a new culture of hate and fear, a massive persecution with a clear goal: push the Jews out of France. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing for them: better now than later.)
I was a law student in France. I am blond with blue eyes, and the anti-Semites did not see me as a Jew (they visualize us as short dark skin with a hooked nose!). They did not hide their anti-Semitism in front of me. There were no Arabs at that time. Only French, and yes, these anti-Semites where the white supremacists kind of French.
But their anti-Semitism was made up of heavy laughter, coarse allusions and bad jokes. And they were hiding it. They knew that being anti-Semitic was wrong. They were ashamed of it. And they wouldn’t hit a Jew.
All this has disappeared.
The Muslims are not ashamed of their anti-Semitism. Muslims have acted on it. Fourteen Jews have been killed in France since the beginning of the 21st century because they were Jews. All the criminals were Muslim.
No crime or physical aggression by right-wing extremists has been recently recorded in France. And yet, they have an incentive to do so: anti-Semitic activist Alain Soral hosts France’s most popular dissident political website, and anti-Semitic and revisionist standup comedian Dieudonné’s shows are packed.
What the Ifop study does not describe, and it’s the most important, is the profile of the perpetrators.
I will leave you make your own conclusion, but let me give you a clue: when a racist attack is perpetrated by a white French man, his supposed far-right political affiliation and his name are almost always mentioned. When the aggressor is a Muslim, journalists refer to him as “a youngster”.
Here is the study’s main finding:
In recent months, several worrying events had stirred up the academic world:
- The ransacking of the premises of the Union des étudiants juifs de France (UEJF) on the Paris I-Tolbiac-U in March 2018;
- The same year, an inscription on the walls of the Grenoble-Alpes University, suspected of targeting its president, Patrick Lévy (“La rentrée, ça gaze”, meaning “back to school is good” with a game of word for gaz chamber).
- Tags (swastikas, word Juden written with a marker) discovered in a HEC College classroom in Jouy-en-Josas (Yvelines);
- And the complaint, last October 20, from this medical student from Paris XIII (Seine-Saint-Denis) who claims to have been the victim of “anti-Semitic harassment” within her university.
How many young people are confronted with anti-Semitic statements, insults or attacks behind the walls of French schools and universities?
What is the extent of prejudice and stereotyping in the student environment?
A vast Ifop survey carried out at the request of the UEJF in March 2019 – “students’ views on anti-Semitism” – finally provides some answers.
The study consists of two parts: The first concerns the feelings and experiences of students as a whole (sample of 1007 people representative of the French student population). The second concerns the feelings and experiences of students of Jewish faith or culture (405 people).
Question: In the context of your student life (courses, student associations, parties…) have you ever been a victim of an anti-Semitism act?
- 89 percent of Jewish students surveyed said they had been victims of at least one anti-Semitic act (insult, aggression, “potache” joke about the Shoah, stereotype) during their studies.
“In order to be as close as possible to the reality on the ground, we compared these responses to those given by non-Jewish students.
- 45 percent of the latter say they have witnessed at least one anti-Semitic act during their studies. “This gives an idea of the extent of the phenomenon,” explains Frédéric Dabi, Ifop’s deputy general manager.
Question: How did you react?
Among Jewish students who claim to have been victims of anti-Semitic acts,
- only 1% report having filed a complaint,
- 8 percent have reported it to the administration of their university or school,
- 19 percent have said nothing, for fear of reprisals,
- And 58% have tried to resolve the situation directly with the persons concerned.
“This shows the huge gap between the official discourse, which proclaims that any anti-Semitic act must be the subject of a complaint, and the reality on the ground,” says Frederic Dabi.
After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015, racism and anti-Semitism focal points were appointed in higher education institutions.
There are now 150 of them throughout the country.
Problem is, 88 percent of the students surveyed have never heard of it.
Confronted with a lack of visibility, resources, training, lack of structure … these referents struggle to impose themselves as recourse. A vacuum identifying the legal tools and procedures available to them will soon be distributed to them. A major campaign would also be planned. As this Ifop survey proves, it is about time.
France’s main issue with anti-Semitism is two fold, and it has no chance to ever improve.
- All the TV channels and mainstream media I can think of are pro-Palestinians. They constantly incite Jew hatred. They are viciously anti-Israel, and they exclusively spread the lies of Hamas and anti-Zionist militants (apartheid, ethnic cleansing, intentional murder by IDF of “harmless young Palestinians”), and they refuse to mention Hamas as a terrorist organization, although classified as such by France, the EU, the UN). As a result, every Palestinian terrorist death is described as an unjust murder, and fuels the fire among Muslim youth against French Jews instead of trying to calm them down and bring back some kind of peace.
- There is between 7 and 15 million Muslims and counting, against fewer than 300,000 Jews left in France. Politicians can count their vote power. And everyone is scared to be caught for Islamophobia, and would rather look in the other direction than denounce an anti-Semitic Muslim.
You can guess by the Democratic Party’s reaction to Ilhan Omar anti-semitic stances, how it can play out in France, a Socialist country.
The Truth Must be Told
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