Jewish leader told to ‘get lost’ at Toulouse anti-racism rally

(JTA) — Participants in a march against anti-Semitism in Toulouse hurled anti-Zionist insults at a Jewish fellow demonstrator.

The insults were directed at Nicole Yardeni, who heads the local chapter of the CRIF umbrella group of Jewish communities, during a march by 2,000 people in Toulouse. The march was organized on Saturday by a gay group, Arc-en-Ciel, following the spraying of anti-Semitic and anti-gay slogans in several locales in Toulouse last week.

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But a certain point, a group of demonstrators started chanting: “Yardeni, get lost” and: “CRIF, Fascists, Zionists, get lost.”

The Jewish participants were “absolutely unprepared for such a reception,” Yardeni told the news agency AFP. ”Jews are now being chased away from a demonstration against anti-Semitism,” she added.

The demonstration’s organizers said they regretted the chants.

“We are deeply disturbed by what happened,” Noemie Henry, a president of Arc-en-Ciel, said.

Also on Saturday, the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala performed at the Zennith Theater in Toulouse.

Some 400 protesters showed up for a demonstration against Dieudonne, who has used his shows to air anti-Semitic views. The protest was organized by CRIF and the LICRA anti-racism watchdog, and was held a few kilometers away from the theater.

City officials did not permit the groups to demonstrate opposite the building and police officers helped check that everyone entering the theater had a ticket to prevent disturbances by anti-Dieudonne infiltrators, the France 3 television channel reported.

The report showed excited young men leaving the theater while performing the quenelle, a quasi-Nazi gesture which Dieudonne invented and labeled anti-establishment, but which many French Jews and politicians believe is anti-Semitic.

Earlier this month, French police arrested a graphic designer they suspect of disseminating with intent to offend a photo of a man performing the quenelle in front of the Ohr Hatorah school in Toulouse, where an Islamist killed four Jews in 2012.

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