Monument at synagogue in northern France vandalized

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — A Holocaust-era monument at a synagogue in northern France was destroyed in a vandalism incident.

The vandalism at the synagogue in Elbeuf was discovered last week, the news website reported.


Red paint was thrown on yellow stars that pro-Nazi French collaborators drew on the synagogue in 1942. The stars had been preserved as a somber reminder of that period in French history. The synagogue is not used by a Jewish community.

Police were looking for the perpetrators, the report said.

Elbeuf Mayor Djoude Merabet said the act was anti-Semitic.

“A little over 70 years after what happened here, this act is clearly the disgusting fruit of the anti-Semitism that is manifested [also] in the profanation of Jewish cemeteries,” he  said.

French watchdog groups on anti-Semitism and the CRIF umbrella group of Jewish communities have said that most anti-Semitic attacks in France are being perpetrated by a minority of radicals from within the country’s Muslim community.

CRIF President Roger Cukierman reiterated this assertion on Monday during a radio interview, drawing condemnation from the French Council of the Muslim Faith. A spokesman from the group told the French media that his organization would pull out of the CRIF annual dinner in reaction to Cukierman’s statement, which the spokesman called “”irresponsible and unacceptable.”

Cukierman said he was disappointed at the Muslim’s group decision to boycott the annual dinner, which French President Francois Hollande said he would attend along with other dignitaries.

Separately, swastikas were discovered twice last week on the walls of a sports center named for a Jewish family in the city of Issoudun, in central France. Police have no suspects in custody, the news website reported.