‘Quiet purge’ of Jews, ‘Islamist radicalisation’ denounced by French politicians and celebrities
More than 250 major French personalities including politicians and actors have signed a manifesto denouncing a “new antisemitism” in France marked by “Islamist radicalisation” after a string of murders of Jews. The text was published on Sunday in several newspapers.
Radical Islam in France. (AP Photo/Laetitia Notarianni)
France’s half-a-million-plus Jewish community is the largest in Europe but has been hit by a wave of emigration to Israel in the past two decades, partly due to the emergence of virulent antisemitism in predominantly immigrant neighbourhoods.
“In our recent history, 11 Jews have been assassinated – and some tortured – by radical Islamists because they were Jewish,’’ they say.
The signatories condemn what they called a “quiet ethnic purging” driven by rising Islamist radicalism particularly in working-class neighbourhoods. They also accused the media of remaining silent on the matter. “French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their fellow Muslim citizens,” adds the manifesto.
“We demand that the fight against this democratic failure that is anti-Semitism becomes a national cause before it’s too late. Before France is no longer France,” reads the manifesto co-signed by several politicians from the left and right including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls and also celebrities like actor Gerard Depardieu and singer Charles Aznavour.
The latest attack to rock France took place last month when two perpetrators stabbed 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll eleven times, before setting her body on fire. Her brutal death sent shock waves through France and prompted 30,000 people to join a march in her memory. Condemning the “dreadful” killing, President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his determination to fight antisemitism.