Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Calls for Action by French Government to Protect French Jewish Community

Spring 2002

Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) has called for the French Government to respond immediately and forcefully to the wave of violent anti-Semitism sweeping France. JWV's position was announced by National Commander Bernard Becker in the wake of a months-long epidemic of attacks against French Jews and their synagogues and other institutions. NC Becker observed, "The French government, which is quick to condemn the USA for claimed inaction, has buried its head in the sand, proclaiming these attacks the works of hooligans, not anti-Semitic bigots. So much emphasis on semantics, so little effort to bring the attacks to a halt. This past week has seen a terrible escalation in these attacks, with attempts made to burn three synagogues." Mr. Becker's remarks referred to attacks on synagogues in Lyon, Strasbourg and Marseille. In the first two instances, police and firefighters were able to save the synagogues. In Marseilles, fire completely leveled the 4,800-square-foot Or Aviv synagogue. Citizens and businesses were also attacked across France, leading some French Jewish leaders to fear a new "Krystallnacht." "It is no accident that these incidents have been taking place right after pro-Palestinian demonstrations," Mr. Becker continued. "If the French Prime Minister says he cannot protect the French Jewish community, then perhaps he should say why not, and tell us who he thinks France can protect. This protection is as basic an obligation as a government can have, to protect its people. It is a very simple test, really- can you protect your own law-abiding citizens from those who are not law-abiding? The test is pass-fail. If France cannot carry that out her neighbors and allies should be asking what other obligations cannot be relied on."


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