PARIS (Nov. 14)
Two supporters of the right-wing “New Forces Party” yesterday entered the Marseilles main synagogue and tried to distribute neo-fascist leaflets and brochures. The two were expelled by a group of young Jews who were attending a class in the building but a small fist fight broke out in this process.
A spokesman for the neo-fascist organization later said that the two right-wing supporters did not know the city and thought they were distributing the leaflets in a church. The president of the local Jewish consistory, Marcel Guenoun, said this excuse is completely groundless.
He added, “it is increasingly difficult for the city’s Jews to maintain a peaceful attitude in the face of constant provocations: the distribution of neo-Nazi literature and slogans pasted on communal buildings.” Other Jewish spokesmen said that the incident typifies “the serious climate” now reigning in the city.
There are over 100,000 Jews in France’s second largest city, many of whom are newcomers from North Africa. The city’s Socialist Mayor, Gaston Deferre, has steadfastly opposed new fascist activities and personally led last week a small demonstration against the right-wing meeting held in the city. Marseilles also harbors right-wing refugees from Algeria and Corsica who are trying to set up a neo-fascist party in the city.