The number of anti-Semitic attacks recorded in France during the first quarter of 2015 increased by 84 percent over the corresponding period last year, a watchdog group said.
The SPCJ security service of France’s Jewish communities released the figures Monday in a quarterly report that counted 508 anti-Semitic acts recorded between January 2015 and May 2015. In all of 2013, SPCJ documented 423 incidents. And in first four months of 2014 SPCJ recorded 276 incidents between January and May out of a total of 851, which made last year second only to 2004’s 974 incidents recorded by SPCJ.
The worst of the attacks recorded occurred on January 9, when Amedy Coulibaly, an Islamist in his 30s, killed four Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket. Of the total of 508 anti-Semitic incidents recorded during this year’s first quarter, 121, or 23 percent, were classified by SPCJ as violent. The proportion of violent attacks was slightly higher in the first quarter of 2014, with 27 percent of the total, or 76 violent attacks.
Death threats accounted for 387 incidents out of the 508 total in the first four months of 2015, or a little over three quarters of the incidents.
The slaying of three children and a rabbi in Toulouse in 2012 by a jihadist spurred a spike in anti-Semitic incidents throughout France, possibly by people inspired by the attack to target Jews, SPCJ reported at the time.
SPCJ, or Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive, documented more than 90 anti-Semitic incidents in the 10 days that followed the March shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse that left four dead.