10 times more anti-Semitic acts in France since the Hamas attack on Israel

The number of anti-Semitic acts in France has exploded since the deadly offensive led by Hamas against Israel on October 7.

10 times more anti-Semitic acts in France since the Hamas attack on Israel

The number of anti-Semitic acts in France has exploded since the deadly offensive led by Hamas against Israel on October 7. According to a Crif report published this Thursday the increase is estimated at 1000%...

“Anti-Semitism was already present in France, the attacks on Israel were just a spark.” This is the conclusion drawn by Yonathan Arfi, the president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (Crif) invited on the set of France 2, after reading the report published by his organization this Thursday, January 24. According to the document, anti-Semitic acts have experienced an unprecedented increase, increasing tenfold (1000%) since the deadly attack carried out by Hamas on October 7. A level which, in less than three months, “equaled that of the previous three years combined”. In total, 1,676 anti-Semitic acts were reported throughout 2023, four times more than the 436 reports recorded in 2022.

The scale of this wave of anti-Semitism, in a country which has the largest Jewish community in Europe (around 500,000 people), manifests itself particularly acutely in the "private sphere", including homes and places of work, which represent a large third of incidents, compared to 20.4% on public roads. The figures reveal that more than half of the acts (57.8%) are direct attacks on people, such as physical violence, threatening remarks or insults. The seriousness of the situation is underlined by a shocking incident in Fontaine (Isère), where a Jewish couple and their two-year-old child were victims of a ransacking of their home, marked by anti-Semitic inscriptions and Nazi symbols.

Nonna Mayer, research director at the CNRS and member of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH), explains this resurgence by a recurring phenomenon observed since the second intifada in the early 2000s. According to her, each military intervention Israel in the Palestinian territories is leading to an increase in anti-Semitic acts, making French Jews scapegoats for Israel's actions. This phenomenon is exacerbated by social networks and the media, particularly influencing psychologically fragile individuals.

The diversity of the profiles of the perpetrators of these acts is also highlighted. Me Oudy Bloch, lawyer for the European Jewish Organization, underlines the absence of a typical profile, observing a presence of young men sensitive to events in Palestine, influenced by their origins, their religion or their political positioning. Anti-Semitism has also infiltrated the educational environment, with a 1200% increase in acts in schools, colleges and high schools, eliminating the idea that schools are a sanctuary against hatred.

This rise in anti-Semitism resulted in 600 arrests and 300 proceedings launched in the month after October 7. In this difficult context, the Jewish community is looking for ways to persevere. In Grenoble, where between 4,000 and 5,000 Jews live, Hervé Gerbi, president of the local section of Crif, expresses cautious optimism, emphasizing that synagogues continue their religious practices, despite the need for police reinforcements.

According to a CNCDH survey, 79% of French people believe it is necessary for a vigorous fight against anti-Semitism to be organized. The president of Crif, Yonathan Arfi, is of the same opinion but according to him this fight must not only go through the authorities, there must also be "more social condemnations, social reprobation of anti-Semitism".

And the representative of the Jewish community analyzes: “Today, there are environments where we can make anti-Semitic remarks without anyone being offended. The social price to pay is too low and contributes to the trivialization of anti-Semitism.