A top contestant in France’s annual beauty pageant faced a tsunami of anti-Semitic abuse after revealing her father is Israeli, in an incident that sparked an outcry from French politicians and Jewish groups.
After coming in as the first runner-up in Saturday night’s contest, Israeli April Benayoum was targeted with a slew of virulent anti-Semitic comments on Twitter, including being told “Hitler forgot to exterminate you.”
A gorgeous #MissFrance2021 contestant, April Benayoum, is receiving horrific antisemitic responses after stating she has an Israeli father.
Just a few of the tweets –
👉🏻 Don’t vote for a Jew
👉🏻 Hitler forgot this one pic.twitter.com/LPiDfBPHSP
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) December 20, 2020
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted: “I am deeply shocked by the rain of anti-Semitic insults against Miss Provence. We must not let anything go. Shame on their authors.” He added that police were “mobilized” to find those responsible.
Citizenship Minister Marlene Schiappa said the pageant was not an “anti-Semitic contest” and called on prosecutors to investigate the tweets.
Yesterday we witnessed a deluge of antisemitic tweets regarding a Jewish woman competing for Miss France This is a disgusting and deplorable situation and has created an outrage all over France #AprilBenayoun #Antisemitism pic.twitter.com/le92jUaE8E
— ronagam (@ronagam) December 20, 2020
The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, described the tweets as “despicable” and added, “All my support to April, magnificent first runner-up last night.”
The Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (Crif), the umbrella organization of France’s Jewish community, called the anti-Semitic hate speech “vile and unacceptable!”
“All occasions appear to be good for spreading hatred of Jews and Israel,” the group added sardonically.
The Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme (Licra) said attackers should face legal consequences for turning Twitter “into an anti-Semitic cesspool.”
#MissFrance2021 #AprilBenayoun came 2ND place in MISS FRANCE last night, when she clearly should have won – she had a barrage of anti Semitic comments as her father is Israeli. #Antisemitism #antisemitisme #MissFrance #MissProvence pic.twitter.com/vSgA6qpnrv
— Michelle Berkley EMELBY GOURMET artisan jams מישל (@social_projects) December 20, 2020
France, which has the largest Muslim population in western Europe, saw a 74 percent increase in violent acts motivated by antisemitism in 2019.
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