France’s Premier Sees No Deep-rooted Anti-semitism in Country

Premier Jacques Chaban-Delmas of France said today that he did not “believe there is a deeply rooted sense of anti-Semitism in France, particularly in the city of Bordeaux.” The Premier, who is Mayor of Bordeaux.” made that statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after receiving a delegation representing this city’s Jewish community which expressed concern over several recent anti-Semitic incidents here.

He said that while it was “true that in Bordeaux, as elsewhere in France, there are perhaps isolated Fascist elements and some madmen, the general atmosphere in this city is nowhere anti-Semitic. Nevertheless,” the Premier added, “we are watchful.”

Chaban-Delmas assured his visitors that the local authorities are particularly vigilant. “As long as former anti-Nazi fighters sit at the municipality, you may stand assured that no anti-Semitism will develop in this town,” he said. The government leader praised French Jewry and described those in his city as the “yeast which gives some dynamism to a town which would otherwise fall asleep.” Bordeaux is an industrial and shipping center in the heart of one of France’s major wine producing regions.

As Mayor, Premier Chaban-Delmas has established permanent contacts with the local Jewish community. He recently appointed Emile Leon, a Jewish community leader, to the city council.

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