New measures to tackle soaring anti-Semitism across France were announced by President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, including a law to reduce online hate speech.
The president told Jewish leaders that France would also recognise anti-Zionism – the denial of Israel’s right to exist – as a form of anti-Semitism, adding parliament would soon vote on a new law to tackle hatred on the internet.
Macron, speaking at the annual dinner of a Jewish organization, said Europe in general and France in particular have recently seen, “a resurgence of anti-Semitism that is probably unprecedented since World War II.”
He said applying the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance would help guide police forces, magistrates and teachers in their daily work.
The definition states anti-Semitism can take the form of “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”
Macron said he thinks that view is correct.
“Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism,” the French leader said in Paris at the dinner of Jewish umbrella organization CRIF. “Behind the negation of Israel’s existence, what is hiding is the hatred of Jews.”
Macron mentioned anti-Semitism based on “radical Islamism” as a rampant ideology in France’s multi-ethnic, poor neighborhoods.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation at France’s action, in a phone call with the French leader ahead of the speech, Netanyahu’s office said.
The sensation of “not feeling welcome” is nothing new to French Jews. In 2015, journalist Zvika Klein recorded the reaction to his taking to the streets of Paris wearing a traditional kippa. See the result for yourself below:
Macron’s move comes in the same week it was revealed France saw a 73 percent rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, according to figures released by the Interior Ministry.
As Breitbart Jerusalem has reported, more and more French Jews are feeling so unsafe that they now feel they have no other choice but to move to Israel for safety.
They are continuing a trend that has seen tens of thousands of Jews quit the country.
More than 5,000 departures were recorded in 2016 on top of the record 7,900 who left in 2015 and 7,231 in 2014. In total, 40,000 French Jews have emigrated since 2006, according to figures cited by AFP.
AFP contributed to this report