Soaring Anti-Semitism in France Sparks Crackdown by Macron Government

Members of French Jewish community walk in a street of Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. If far-right candidate Marine Le Pen wins the upcoming presidential election, she plans to ban religious symbols from French streets, which would impact on Jews who would no longer be allowed to wear their kippa …
AP/Jeffrey Schaeffer
SIMON KENT

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.

TOPSHOT - French President Emmanuel Macron looks at a grave vandalised with a swastika during a visit at the Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, on February 19, 2019, on the day of a nationwide marches against a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. - Around 80 graves have been vandalised at the Jewish cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim, close to the border with Germany in the Alsace region, which were discovered early February 19, 2019, according to a statement from the regional security office. (Photo by Frederick FLORIN / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron looks at a grave vandalised with a swastika during a visit at the Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, on February 19, 2019, on the day of a nationwide marches against a rise in anti-Semitic attacks.  (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

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

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com

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