June 4, 2012
Toulouse massacre encouraged more French anti-Semitic attacks, report says
The recent massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse “triggered an explosion” in anti-Semitic attacks across France, according to the French Jewish community’s protection service.
The Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive, or SPCJ, made the observation in a statement about its report released Monday, which 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.
In total, the ministry recorded 148 anti-Semitic incidents in March and April. Forty-three of those incidents are classified as violent.
The SPCJ report was released two days after the violent anti-Semitic attack on June 2 against three Jews at Villeurbanne near Lyon.
The report relies on data compiled by the French Interior Ministry since the March 19 Toulouse shooting, in which Muslim radical Mohamed Merah killed three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school.
In March and April, the French interior ministry listed 24 and 19 violent anti-Semitic attacks respectively, compared with four and 10 incidents in the corresponding months of the previous year.
Authorities also recorded 69 instances of anti-Semitic intimidation and threats in March and 36 such incidents in April, compared with 17 and 37 in March and April 2011.
The last violent incident recorded in the interim report occurred April 30 in Marseille.
A Jewish man and his friend were assaulted by people who self-identified to the victims as Palestinians and promised to “exterminate” the Jews, according to the report.
The perpetrators assaulted the man, causing him internal bleeding.
SPCJ called the situation “deeply worrisome” and added that it reflected “empathy” on the part of some attackers toward the actions of Toulouse shooter Merah.