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French Jewish security service reports 58% increase in anti Jewish attacks

By Mason White 3:05 PM February 25, 2013
Security forced patrolling Jewish neighborhood in France 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
A Jewish organization in France has warned that the Jewish community faces a sharp rise in attacks related to an increased hatred towards Israel, according to press reports in France.

Last year saw an increase in anti-Semitic acts when compared to 2011, of 58 percent in France, according to new figures released this week by the Service Protection of the Jewish Community or SPCJ, with 614 incidents compared to 389 a year earlier.

A quarter of all attacks were physical attacks, which rebounded 82 percent. Most physical attacks were committed with firearms in a worrying trend that doubled from the previous year.

The SPCJ concluded that 2012 marked a year of unprecedented violence against French Jews, with 96 violent incidents recorded compared to the previous record of 83 in 2008, which coincided with the last Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip. 2009 also saw a spike in incidents coinciding with the Second Lebanon War.

Among the most high profile of these incidents, the French Jewish community was the subject of two attacks in less than 6 months, including the one perpetrated by radical Islamist, Mohammed Merah, against the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, which resulted in the deaths of four Jews, three children and a school teacher. Another attack was against a Jewish deli in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles.

In response to the latest figures, Richard Prasquier, president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF said that for some people, especially children, walking into a store, a school or a subway can be a source of anxiety and sustained psychological trauma and urged that the rise in anti-Semitism must be at the center of the national political debate.