Facing anti semitism: French Jews removing Mezuzahs

Facing anti semitism: French Jews removing Mezuzahs

Since the Hamas killing in southern Israel on October 7, there has been an alarming increase in antisemitic acts in France. According to the most recent data, which was confirmed on Monday by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, a startling 819 such actions have been documented, almost twice as many as there were for the entire year 2022.

Antisemitism in France

The French Jewish community has been rocked by this increase, with many feeling a profound sense of terror and dread reminiscent of darker times in history. Concerning concerns have been voiced concerning the security and tolerance of Jews in France due to the abrupt surge. A new 900-page report on antisemitism in France, exclusively published in the La Parisienne, Ynet, and Yedioth Ahronoth, paints a grim picture of the situation facing French Jews. The younger generation, ignorant of Israel and the Holocaust, takes antisemitic positions and backs French Muslims’ anti-Jewish sentiments. Regarding the incidence and perceived rise of anti-Semitism, the general public’s perceptions and those of French individuals of Jewish faith or culture align. The majority opinion is that anti-Semitism is widespread in France, held by both the general public and Jews: 47% of the general public and 67% of Jews think anti-Semitism is prevalent in France, while 22% and 27% think it is minimal, and 11% and 26% did not respond to the survey. 

The significance of the mezuzah

However, in following centuries, the mezuzah came to be understood as an apotropaic tool that kept evil forces out of the dwelling. According to a culture-comparative investigation, the items that are frequently left on household thresholds serve as amulets that ward from evils that are commonly recognized. Merely 42% of Jews state that their religious membership never poses a problem to them in their day-to-day existence. In contrast, 34% of respondents claimed to feel intimidated occasionally or frequently. This percentage is significantly greater than the 8% seen in the French population overall. Jews under the age of 35 (43%) and those who identify as observant (45%) are significantly more likely to feel threatened. Additionally, Jews in France are more likely than the general French population (10%) to say that they feel endangered because of their ethnic background (19%).

A response to anti semitism

Despite the general consensus that racism is not a significant problem in France, some observers have labeled racism as a severe societal issue facing French society. Prejudice towards Muslims and antisemitism have a long history. Reports have surfaced of acts committed against members of local minority groups, such as Asians, Berbers, Jews, and Arabs. 1,142 acts without a religious overtone were labeled as “racist” in 2019, according to police data. The state has supported assimilationist efforts in this way. The government has specifically pushed for foreign-born citizens who have obtained French nationality to be recognized as French rather than according to their ethnic self-identity. The majority of French Arab Muslims consider themselves Muslims, not Algerian, Moroccan, or Arab. This is less about religious attendance and more about links to the community and family. It is believed that, in contrast to how the term is thought to be used in North America and the United Kingdom, which focuses on cultural factors, the concept of ethnicity (ethnicité) in France lacks reference to race.

Community responses and support

More than half of French people still think that Roma people only work as thieves and other illegal enterprises, making the Roma people the least accepted minority group in the country (74% call them a “apart group”). According to data released in March 2024 by the French Ministry of the Interior’s statistics agency, there was a 32% increase in racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and anti-religious crimes and offenses in France during the years 2022 and 2023. 

Certain acts of racism carry a religious undertone: 154 anti-Muslim and 687 anti-Jewish actions were committed in 2019 against a populace of approximately 67 million. According to official government figures, antisemitic activities in 2019 greatly outpaced Islamophobic incidents, despite the fact that Muslims make up a larger portion of France’s population than Jews do. Because of France’s legislation pertaining to secularism, religious minorities have faced discrimination. 

Call to action: Boycott Pairs Olympics 2024

On the basis of these racism issues, the public as well as fans should boycott the paris olympics 2024. The Council of State recently decided in 2022 that the municipality of Grenoble had violated secular national law when its council decided to approve burkinis in public swimming pools, ruling in favor of the Ministry of the Interior. Since beaches were determined to be “public spaces” as opposed to “public services,” the Council of State declared that burkinis were permitted to be worn on French public beaches.



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