French, Canadian Jewish leaders discuss fighting Islamic radicalization

Marcy Oster

MONTREAL (JTA)— Jewish leaders from Montreal and France met to discuss ways for their cities to fight the rising tide of global anti-Semitism and Islamic radicalization.

The meeting on Thursday came a day after an Islamist attack on the premises of the factory near Lyon, in which the decapitated body of a man was found and an attacker brandishing an Islamic State flag was arrested. The meeting was billed as being held in the wake of the brutal Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket attacks last February.

The Jewish leaders met for two hours at Montreal City Hall. Discussions included officials from the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF and B’nai Brith in France, and locally from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and Jewish member of Parliament Irwin Cotler.

“[W]e have to call a spade a spade,” said Montreal mayor Denis Coderre. “We have to denounce (anti-Semitism)…(and) understand that clearly something is going on and we must be there to fight it.”


One possibility discussed for Montreal was to set up a designated police hate crimes unit.

The meeting was a follow-up to a trip Coderre made to France in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Earlier this month, Coderre also convened a meeting of 23 municipal mayors from around the world to seek out way to fight radicalization.

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