As France decides on whether to recognize a Palestinian state, a spotlight shines on a foreign minister with Jewish roots who will help decide the vote.
A Paris synagogue has been vandalized for the third time in only 10 days. During the attack windows were shattered, prayer books thrown to the floor and items stolen. Speaking on the 70th anniversary of the largest roundup of Jews in French history, President Francois Hollande promised to crack down on anti-Semitism. French President Francois Hollande “Conscious of our history, the Republic will track down with the greatest determination all anti-Semitic acts and words that could cause theJews in France to feel uneasy in their own country. This would be intolerable. This would be unacceptable. In this matter, nothing is too small. Everything will be fought with the utmost vigour.” Jewish News 1 spoke to French member of the European Jewish Parliament Jacques Sebban to ask how recent attacks have affected French Jewish communities and what they expect from the authorities. Jacques David Sebban, French MEJP “In many parts of France today wearing a Kippah or distinctive Jewish sign may be unsafe, we have seen kids being attacked at school, students attacked in their universities, and Jews being attacked in the streets….anti-Semitism is not only a matter of the Jewish community…Jews are now waiting to see how this will be applied and what impact those words are going to have.” Former President Jacques Chirac was the first to acknowledge the persecution faced by French Jews during the Second World War and led the first of such ceremonies in 1995.
The French election is heading to a run-off between Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. But the real winner was far-rightist Marine Le Pen, who grabbed 18% of the vote.