French anti-Semitic incidents double in 2009


PARIS (JTA) — Anti-Semitic crimes in France coinciding with the Gaza war drove the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2009 to nearly double over the previous year, according to a new report.

The Jewish Community Protection Service counted 832 anti-Semitic acts committed in France last year, compared to 474 in 2008, according to a report made public Thursday. Some 42 percent of the incidents, 354, took place in January, during Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

By February, the number of monthly anti-Semitic acts was down to 62 and by the summer, the number had dropped below those of 2008 for the most part.

The Protection Service said that 43 percent of the anti-Semitic incidents in 2009 involved written statements such as graffiti, 28 percent spoken comments and threats, 10 percent violence, 9 percent vandalism, 2 percent arson or attempt at arson, and 8 percent distributed printed material.

Thousands joined in pro-Palestinian protests across France during the Gaza war in late December 2008 and January 2009. Several of those protests turned riotous, and many anti-Semitic crimes were reported in connection with the marches.

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