An anti-Semitic atrocity that stunned France has Jewish citizens fearing the wave of anti-Semitism holding France in its grip may grow worse.
“Jews represent less than 1 percent of the population in France, yet in 2014, 51 percent of all racist attacks were carried out against them, according to the French Interior Ministry,” tweeted writer Nicholas Kaufman, who was quoting from a New York Times opinion piece penned by Bari Weiss.
"Jews represent less than 1 percent of the population in France, yet in 2014, 51 percent of all racist attacks were carried out against them, according to the French Interior Ministry." https://t.co/L4g40RHQzw
— Nicholas Kaufmann (@TheKaufmann) March 30, 2018
Among the dead was one whose brutal murder has stirred anger, an 85-year-old woman who survived the Holocaust only to be slaughtered in her Paris apartment, according to The Washington Post.
As reported by Time magazine, Mireille Knoll was sitting in her apartment late last month when two men burst in, stabbed her 11 times and set the building on fire. Two men, one 22 and the other 29, have been charged with committing an anti-Semitic murder.
Reverberations of the crime stirred feelings in Israel. President Reuven Rivlin sent the family official condolences, according to The Times of Israel.
“On behalf of all of Israel, I send our sincere condolences,” Rivlin wrote. “The fact that this terrible incident took place merely two weeks before the date when we mark Holocaust Remembrance Day and mourn the victims compounds the heartbreak.”
Knoll was not the only victim of the wave of attacks. A similar attack in 2017 claimed the life of a Jewish woman. Moreover, an 8-year-boy was beaten on the street in January.
“If you are a practicing Jew and visible, if you wear a kippa (skullcap) and live in not such a nice neighborhood, then it is nearly impossible not to be confronted on an everyday basis with anti-Semitism,” Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, the Europe director of the American Jewish Committee, told Time.
“People are extremely shocked and very worried,” said Marc Knobel, head of studies at France’s Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, according to The Local. “There have been 11 anti-Semitic murders since 2000 and added to that there is all the everyday violence that the Jewish community goes through.”
Knoll’s murder sparked marches in her honor, and to demand change.
Today, thousands of people marched in France in memory of Mireille Knoll, a murdered Holocaust Survivor. Let's stand together as we confront anti-Semitism and hatred. #MireilleKnoll #MarcheBlanche pic.twitter.com/RxY3k9eCKG
— WJC (@WorldJewishCong) March 28, 2018
French President Emmanuel Macron went on Twitter to denounce the slaying as a “dreadful crime.”
“I reaffirm my absolute determination to fight against anti-Semitism,” he tweeted.
A 2014 report, “Anti-Semitism in France,” noted that anti-Semitic attacks have been increasing.
“Admittedly, the majority of French citizens are not Antisemitic, successive French governments have rallied in the fight against Antisemitism, and perpetrators of Antisemitic acts represent a tiny minority. Nonetheless, it is also true that the daily life of Jews in France has changed enormously in the last 14 years, and many have lost hope in seeing the situation improve, given the lack of mobilization commensurate to what they are going through, commensurate to the Antisemitic violence within overall racist violence,” the French report said.
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