Why France's far-right RN party co-founded by an ex-Waffen SS officer wants to head anti-Semitism group


Despite a history marked by anti-Semitism, the far-right Rassemblement National wants to preside over a working group on the subject at the National Assembly. The authorities at the French Parliament are due to make a decision on this on December 7th. Marine Turchi looks at the reaction to the RN's request, examines the history of a party that was founded as the Front National in 1972, and explains why it now wants to head a group tackling anti-Semitism.  

Veteran French far-right leader Le Pen on trial for hate speech

France — Link

The trial opened on Wednesday of Jean-Marie Le Pen, 93, founder of France's far-right Front National party (now renamed Rassemblement National), for an anti-Semitic jibe he made in an online video targeting French Jewish singer Patrick Bruel.

Macron to boycott UN racism conference, citing anti-semitism concerns

International — Link

Ten other countries, including Israel, have announced that they will boycott the UN conference, known as the Durban conference.

Two men to stand trial in France for killing of Jewish woman, 85

France — Link

Stabbing of Mireille Knoll in 2018 prompted national outcry over antisemitism.

Jewish cemetery in north-east France vandalised

France — Link

French interior minister Christophe Castaner announced the creation of a special hate crimes investigation unit on Wednesday when he visited a Jewish cemetery in a village in the north-east Alsace region, which includes the tombs of relatives of Karl Marx and also past French political figures, after 107 gravestones were found daubed with swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti.

Ilhan Omar, the black Muslim Congresswoman who has become a focus of US divisions


US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, elected to the House of Representatives last November, has since become a focal target for President Donald Trump and many among of the American Right. Arriving in the country as a child with her refugee family from Somalia, obtaining US nationality at the age of 17, she has engaged a political career as an outspoken, hijab-wearing Muslim politician who espouses radical-left policies. She also denounces American support of the Israeli government, and her controversial comments on that subject and the place of Muslims in US society have prompted death threats and accusations of anti-Semitism. Just what does Ilham Omar really represent, and what is behind the virulent campaign by Trump and his allies over recent months to make her a political pariah? Mediapart’s US correspondent Mathieu Magnaudeix reports.        

The 'new' and 'old' anti-Semitism blighting France

France — Interview

Several rallies denouncing anti-Semitism in France were held on Tuesday evening in Paris, in reaction to a recent spate of anti-Semitic acts across the country, the latest of which was the desecration overnight Monday of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery near the eastern city of Strasbourg. Meanwhile, official figures show a 74 percent year-on year rise in anti-Semitic acts recorded by police in France in 2018. Mediapart asked Nonna Mayer, a specialist in anti-Semitism and emeritus research director with France’s national scientific research centre, the CNRS, for her insight into the growth of anti-Semitic acts recorded in the country, her analysis of the different motives behind the anti-Semitism, and her views on how best to respond to the problem.

Jewish graves desecrated in cemetery in eastern France

France — Link

Around 80 graves, some dating back more than 200 years, were vandalised and daubed with swastikas overnight Monday at a Jewish cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim, near Strasbourg in eastern France, in the latest anti-Semitic outrage in the country as nationwide rallies denouncing anti-Semitism are due to be held on Tuesday evening.

France's 'yellow vest' movement tainted by anti-Semitic jibes

France — Link

Several rallies against anti-Semitism are to be held in France on Tuesday evening following alarming recent incidents of attacks trageting Jewish businesses and symbols, and notably following the verbal abuse by protestors among 'yellow vest' marchers in Paris at the weekend against an outspoken Jewish academic which has tainted and divided an eclectic movement prompted by anger at falling living standards for the lower-paid. 

Alarm in France over latest spate of anti-Semitic attacks

France — Link

A recent series of anti-Semitic acts and attacks have raised fears of a new wave of anti-Jewish violence in France, home to Europe’s biggest Jewish population, where reported incidents rose year-on-year in 2018 by 74 percent.

Surge in numbers of reported anti-Semlitic attacks in France

France — Link

The number of reported anti-Semitic attacks rose year-on-year by 69% over the first nine months of 2018, announced French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday, when he said the government was planning a series of measures against hate crimes, including a campaign aimed at educating schoolchildren on the issue of anti-Semitism.

The hate crimes stoking Jew-Muslim tensions in France

France — Link

What the French interior ministry calls a 'proccupying' rise in anti-Semitic acts since 2016 appears to be prompting a flight of Jews from some areas around Paris with a predominently Muslim population, while Muslim representatives say talk of a 'new anti-Semitism' is a nonsense that ignores Islamophobia among Jewish communities. 

Open letter linking Islam to anti-Semitism sparks backlash in France

France — Link

Signed by prominent figures, it drew a link between anti-Semitism and Islam, blaming Islamist radicalisation for a 'quiet ethnic purge' of Jews.

Jewish brothers wearing kippahs assaulted in Paris suburb

France — Link

A police investigation has been opened into the attack on the two brothers, aged 29 and 17, who said they were assaulted as they drove through Bondy, east of Paris, by two men in a van who were soon joined by others, one wielding a metal saw, and which left them both hospitalised.

Anti-Semite French comic Dieudonné given jail sentence in Belgium

International — Link

Stand-up comic Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, who has been previously prosecuted in France for anti-Semitic speech during his shows, was handed a two-month jail sentence and a fine by a Belgian appeals court for anti-Semitic comments during a performance in the country.