Watchdog: Anti-Semitic incidents doubled in France

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Last year saw a doubling of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in France, and a 60 percent increase Belgium.

In France, the Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, SPCJ, recorded in 851 incidents in 2014 compared to 423 the previous year, the group reported on its Facebook page on Tuesday, International Holocaust Memorial Day.

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In Belgium, the number of incidents recorded last year rose by 60 percent over 2013 to a total of 200 events, according to a report published Friday by the Le Soir daily. The number was based on data collected by the online platform, which works with Jewish and government institutions.

Belgium has approximately 40,000 Jews, while France has approximately half a million.

In both countries, the increase is attributed to attacks on Jews because of Israel’s actions during its war in Gaza last summer.

In France, the figures for 2014 were slightly higher than the previous record year of 2009, which saw 832 incidents.

According to SPCJ, about half of all racist attacks in 2014 were committed against Jews, who constitute one percent of the population. SPCJ released similar figures in 2012, but France’s National Consultative Commission on Human Rights said anti-Semitic attacks accounted for only 39 percent of the overall figure of 1,539 that year.

Anti-Semitic incidents that involved violence increased by 130 percent in 2014 over 2013, according to SPCJ, reaching a total of 241 last year as opposed to 105 in 2013.

Along with major cities like Paris and Marseille, anti-Semitism was prevalent in heavily Jewish suburbs of the French capital such as Creteil and Sarcelles, SPCJ reported.