Friday, December 01, 2006

France: Racism Down, Antisemitism Fairly Stable

Police officer Antoine Granomort in front of the McDonald's where
he fired his gun at the hooligans (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN, AFP)

Le Monde reports that the latest statistics from the direction générale de la police nationale (DGPN) reveal a 24.3% drop in racist hate crimes, and a 3.5% decrease in antisemitic acts, in 2006. Racist and xenophobic crimes went down from 378 in 2005 to 286 in 2006. According to the statistics, 436 anti-Jewish hate crimes (threats, insults, harassment, and violence) took place this year. In 2005, there were 452 such crimes.

Anti-Jewish hate crimes are down significantly from the peak of 974 in 2004. However, the number of violent crimes committed with antisemitic motives rose to 97 in 2006; a 14% increase over the 85 reported in the previous year. The secretary general of France's National Commission on Human Rights, Michel Forst, commented that

En 2005, nous avions été déjà frappés par la hausse significative de la gravité des actes ... On perçoit un faisceau de phénomènes : une hausse générale des violences aux personnes en France, une radicalisation de certaines opinions, une sensibilité toujours très forte aux événements internationaux. [In 2005, we were already struck by the significant rise in the gravity of the acts. We perceived a cluster of events: a general increase in violence perpetrated against people in France, a radicalization of certain attitudes, and an ever strong sensitivity to international events.]

In other words: when there is trouble in the Middle East, French Jews must fear for their safety.

The article in Le Monde begins with a reference to the recent events at Parc des Princes, where a black police officer defended a Jewish football fan from a group of racist and antisemitic hooligans (see our earlier post).

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