Is it any coincidence that anti-Semitism is on the rise in France at a time when the newly elected French president – Francois Hollande – captured an overwhelming majority of the anti-Semite vote?
Three Jews were attacked Saturday night in Southeast France by 10 men wielding a hammer and an iron bar. Two of the victims, both wearing yarmulkes, were hospitalized in what the French Interior Ministry is calling an act of anti-Semitism.
This latest attack comes on the heels of a report released June 1 by the French Jewish community’s protection service, known as the SPCJ, which documented a surge in anti-Semitic attacks throughout France in March and April. The impetus is believed to be the March 19 shooting at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, in which Muslim radical Mohamed Merah claimed the lives of three children and a rabbi.
The report states that the Toulouse shooting “triggered an explosion” in anti-Semitic attacks in France, with more than 90 incidents occurring in the ten days immediately following the shooting. In total, the Interior Ministry logged 148 anti-Semitic attacks in March and April, with 43 classified as violent. In the same months last year, only 14 violent attacks were recorded against Jews.
To be fair, Hollande was elected after these attacks in March and April took place but 95% of the Muslims in France reportedly voted the Socialist ticket in the last elections. The point is that Hollande’s election is not likely to lead to a decrease in anti-Semitic attacks.
In fact, Hollande is beholden to the anti-Semitic contingent of his electorate.