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Growing Anti-Semitism in France.

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by DrewP, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. DrewP

    DrewP Contributing Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/22/i...nt&position=top


    quote:
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    March 22, 2003
    French Jews Tell of a New and Threatening Wave of Anti-Semitism
    By CRAIG S. SMITH



    EVRAN, France — Jérémy Bismuth is Jewish, though he doesn't wear a yarmulke or Star of David pendant or adhere to a Kosher diet or leave school early on Fridays to be home before sunset. Nothing identifies the 15-year-old French boy as Jewish except his birth.

    Yet because he is a Jew, he was attacked by a group of other children, mostly Muslim, at the private Catholic school he then attended. They dragged him into the school's locker room showers shouting that they were going to gas him as the Nazis had gassed Jews. He was beaten and flogged with a pair of trousers whose zipper scratched one of his corneas.

    For Jérémy and his parents, the incident a year ago was the harrowing confirmation of a trend that many say is gathering momentum: a resurgent European anti-Semitism, coming not from its traditional source among Europe's right-wing nationalists, but from the Continent's growing Islamic community, egged on by the political left.

    "The political climate is too pro-Arab, and in the past year it has become intolerable," said Michèle Bismuth, Jérémy's mother at the family's home last week. She said her traumatized son would not leave the house for 10 days after the attack.

    To some, such incidents, which have becine increasingly common since the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian fighting began more than two years ago, represent the Middle East conflict brought to Europe, where sympathy for the Palestinian cause runs far higher than in the United States.

    "Since the intifada began in 2000, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been imported here," said the mother of another high school student who had a hood thrown over his head and was beaten to unconsciousness by a gang of Muslim youths calling him a "dirty Jew" outside a Paris high school two months ago.

    The woman, talking nervously at a kosher restaurant not far from the school, said she fears the atmosphere will darken with the war in Iraq. "When they say `America' they think `Israel' and when they think `Israel' they think `Jewish,' " she said. "Who is going to assure our safety?"

    Swastikas, slogans and physical assaults against Jews in Europe have reached a frequency not seen since the 1930's when Fascism was on the rise. But in the vast majority of the cases today, the assailants are young Muslims of North African heritage whose parents emigrated to Europe in the 1960's and 1970's.

    The greatest number and most violent attacks have come in France, which, with an estimated six million Muslims and 650,000 Jews in the country, has Europe's largest Jewish and largest Muslim populations.

    Some Jews have left France for Israel, driven as much by the deteriorating climate in Europe as they are drawn by solidarity with the Jewish state. According to Israeli government figures, 2,556 French Jews emigrated to Israel last year, double the number a year earlier and the most since the 1967 Six Day War.

    Not everyone is willing to call the current wave of violence anti-Semitism. Henri Wajnblum, head of the Union of Progressive Jews of Belgium, said it is important to distinguish between anti-Semitic and anti-Israel actions. He and other members of his Brussels-based group have been visiting classrooms in Muslim neighborhoods to help explain the difference between Zionists and Jews in general.

    But for Jews who have become targets, the distinction is a false one that masks the root problem — a latent anti-Semitism that they say has created an environment in which a new strain of racism can thrive.

    "In the popular imagination, Jews aren't sympathetic because they are identified with Israel and Sharon," said Sammy Ghozlan, a retired police officer who operates a clearinghouse for information on anti-Semitism in France, referring to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel.

    He said many Jews are distraught after willfully believing that the hatred of Jews was erased in Europe by the traumatic accounting of anti-Semitism's toll at the end of World War II.

    "There is a feeling that the honeymoon period is over and that it's now impossible to say what will come," Mr. Ghozlan said. He said he has verified reports of 100 serious anti-Semitic incidents in Paris and its suburbs in the first three months of this year alone.

    Jews say that much serious harassment goes unreported because the police register many incidents as simple vandalism or assault-and-battery even though they are clearly anti-Semitic. Worse, anti-Semitism risks entrenching itself in a generation of children for whom the language of bigotry has become the slang of the schoolyard.

    The word "feuj" — from the inversion of the French word "Juif," which means "Jew" — is now a playground standard, both as an insult against Jewish students and as a contemptuous adjective. Children say a pen that does not work is "completely feuj," for example, and the Hebrew salutation "mazel tov" is used in the same way.

    Concerned that the war in Iraq could intensify the problem, France's education ministry last month launched a campaign to stamp out anti-Semitism and other types of racism in schools. Education Minister Luc Ferry acknowledged that verbal insults are becoming common.

    "There is a real danger — all the greater because today anti-Semitism is of a new type, coming from parts of society that are more acceptable than the extreme right: from Arabs and Muslims," Mr. Ferry said on state radio last month.

    He introduced 10 measures to combat the problem, including the creation of a monitoring committee in Paris, the appointment of a team of mediators for the worst cases and the publication of a booklet to be distributed around schools.

    But some schools have advised Jewish parents that they cannot protect their children from harassment and advised that they change schools instead.

    At a macadam soccer field in a quiet, well-groomed park in northeastern Paris, Muslim youths come regularly to harass students of a nearby Jewish school. Shlomo, a 15-year-old Jewish boy wearing a black velveteen yarmulke, described the taunts and shoves and, in the most serious cases, blows.

    In Sevran, Jérémy Bismuth's mother, Michèle, shows photographs she took of anti-Semitic slogans and graffiti that were painted along the parade route of a pro-Palestinian rally in the town last year. One photo shows a street sign scrawled with the words "Death to Jews," and another, taken long after the rally, shows large stars of David and Nazi swastikas with equal signs between them.

    When Jérémy broke free from his tormentors in the shower, he ran for help to the teacher's lounge but none of the faculty rose from their chairs to help the disheveled and distraught boy. Jérémy said it wasn't the first anti-Semitic incident he had experienced at the school, nor the last.

    The director of the school, Robert Patrois, dismissed the incident as a schoolyard brawl between a Muslim boy and a Jewish boy "that brought out their 14-year-old vocabulary." In a telephone interview he grew irritated when asked if the teachers had come to Jérémy's aide.

    "Don't ask me to remember what they did," he said. "I didn't want to treat it as an anti-Arab or anti-Jewish incident. I treated it as fighting."

    After the incident, Jérémy and his parents filed a complaint with the police, but the boy was taunted repeatedly in the subsequent weeks by other Muslim students.

    Finally, Jérémy's mother sent a lengthy complaint in the notebook that every student carries to pass messages between parents and faculty, but the notebook was never returned and a new, blank one was sent home with her son instead.

    The Bismuths withdrew Jérémy from the school at the end of last year and enrolled him in a new school, although with some difficulty: his previous school records had disappeared.

    "No one helped him," his mother said, sitting at a glass dining room table in a white stucco house that, until recently, housed Mrs. Bismuth's optical shop and her husband's dental practice. They have closed both businesses and plan to leave France for good.

    The Bismuths considered going to Israel, but have set their hopes on the United States instead. If all goes well, they will move to Florida when the school year ends in June.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Theres growing Anti-French feelings in my room.
     
  2. DrewP

    DrewP Contributing Member

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  3. Mr. Mooch

    Mr. Mooch Contributing Member

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    Well, you can't really blame the country of France, as these show isolated incidents. The country wouldn't "condone" this kind of attitude.

    BUT, having said that...

    F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE F**K FRANCE

    All right, now that it's off my chest I can go on. France has always been an anti-semetic breeding ground. That's also why we Americans give them beautiful stereotypes like "weasels", "quitters" or "hatemongers", and other times we say that the Franch "stink worse than their cheese" or that they "are dirty" and "don't bathe".

    Since they know they have their own problems, they have to take it out on the people better than themselves.

    As one magnificient T-shirt proclaimed: "I'm so French I hate myself!"
     
  4. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Apprently making stupid generalizations exists on all sides. It's ashame when someone blames all of a group for the actions of a misguided few.
     
  5. Mr. Mooch

    Mr. Mooch Contributing Member

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    Yeah, but it's fun to blame the French.

    YOU KNOW they're making fun of our stupidity with the "Freedom" fries, "Freedom" toast, and (this one's mine) "Freedom" Stewart.
     
  6. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Yes they are an easy target, and first I laughed right along with everyone else. I only got sad when people started burning down French owned businesses in the U.S. and stuff like that.
     
  7. X-PAC

    X-PAC Contributing Member

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    Freedom fries actually do sound good right about now.....
     
  8. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    What stupid generalizations? Anti-Semitism is a growing trend in France. That's not a generalization, that's a fact.
     
  9. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    I don't know about any French owned business being burned down here, but the anti-French feelings in America probably pale in comparison to the hatred growing in France right now, as this article shows.
     
  10. a la rockets

    a la rockets Contributing Member

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    What are you trying to say?that you don't like France?


    I don't feel any hatred and I personally don't hate anybody(maybe feel sad for a few but that's it).


    What you have to understand is that insecurity is a growing problem in France,and people are just using religion as an excuse for that.




    ALA
     
  11. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    1. after the word insecurity, insert the words "in the early 1930's"

    2. replace the word "France" with "Germany"


    now see if it sounds so excusable.
     
  12. a la rockets

    a la rockets Contributing Member

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    I'm NOT MAKING IT SOUND EXCUSABLE.
    I to suffer from insecurity and I'm not jewish.
    What I'm saying is that religion is not a factor for this problem.
    BTW who are you to comparing France to Nazism?Do I need to remember you that we all suffered from the Germain invasion?!


    ALA
     
  13. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    what?? we're not connecting on a real fundamental level here. i don't understand your last sentence at all.

    as for comparing france to nazism...if you're saying that insecurity leads to scapegoating which leads to oppression of a particular class of people...which it seems is the case...then i think comparison to germany in the early-1930's is pretty fair.
     
  14. sinohero

    sinohero Member

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    One photo shows a street sign scrawled with the words "Death to Jews," and another, taken long after the rally, shows large stars of David and Nazi swastikas with equal signs between them.

    The problem, of course, is that the Jews exist.
     
  15. a la rockets

    a la rockets Contributing Member

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    WTF?!What are you talking about?!
    What I'm saying is that the real problem in France is not religious and that people are using that as an excuse to look for trouble.
    Point blank.
    During the presidential elections,the second round saw Chirac against some extremist freak called Le Pen.What the opinion was saying here is that they feared insecurity and that they wanted something to be done for it.That resulted in the end by a cruching win(80%) of Chirac(not that he was the best choice...)
    In short what I'm trying to say is that Jews aren't the only ones suffering from insecurity and that the the article wasn't taking into consideration the French social situation at this time.


    ALA
     
  16. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    The endless cycle of hate. He hates more than I or since they hate I must hate.

    The French are people. Some good, some notso. Their government an policing have allowed a sentiment to be condoned which is anti-American, anti-Jew, anti-Israel, anti-Brit. Lots of antis in France these days.
     
  17. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    The more brutal the Israelis are to the Palestinains and the more Jews around the world support such brutality, the more some confused people will begin to mix understandable hatred of Israeli brutality with stupid hatred of Jews in general.

    Of course it doesn't help with the continual drum beat coming from Israel that equates support for Zionism, Israel and even Sharon's policies toward the Palestinians with Jewishness.
     
  18. sinohero

    sinohero Member

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    Confused people exhibit #1.

    The Russians are brutal to Chechenia, Chinese to Tibet, Iraq to Kurdistan, Sudanese to Christians......

    Seems like the confused peoples are careful to choose their targets.
     
  19. SpaceCity

    SpaceCity Contributing Member

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    Hate crimes done by extremists do not reflect the feelings of a whole country. Do we not still have hate crimes here in America? Do we not have white-power extrmeists that exist in this country claiming they are doing God's will?
     
  20. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    I am confident France will be able to work through this problem. But we shouldn't look away or not criticize them for it. By letting them know about it they will probably be more likely to do something about it. I don't want to sit around and bash France and compare them to Nazis, but I wonder why people start bashing America in this thread?
     

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