RealNews

French Jews fear Iraq war will trigger anti-Semitic backlash

European and French Jewish officials met with Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin on Friday to convey their concern that a war against Iraq will revive anti-Semitic violence in France. “Jews cannot be the victims of this international conflict,” said Michel Friedman, president of the European Jewish Congress, after meeting with the prime minister. He said the center-right government that took office after last spring’s election has shown greater will to crackdown on anti-Jewish acts than its predecessors, but that more needed to be done. “We are still nervous.” Friedman said. In the last two years, France has suffered a wave of violence against Jewish schools, temples and cemeteries that coincided with new fighting in the Middle East. The violence, which peaked last March when a Marseille synagogue was burned to the ground, has markedly decreased. But Muslim-Jewish relations remain tense. France has the largest Jewish community in western Europe and one of the continent’s biggest Muslim populations. Full Story

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