French university students accused of ranking classmates’ levels of Jewishness in Facebook group


(JTA) — University students in France listed and ranked Jewish classmates according to their level of affiliation as part of a string of jokes online and on campus featuring anti-Semitic hate speech, an alleged victim of this behavior said.

The medical student at Paris 13 university, a 19-year-old woman identified only as Rose, filed a complaint with police on Oct. 20, the Europe 1 radio station reported Monday.

“Jew level 31, involved but capable of interacting with the goyim,” one remark about a Jewish student read on a Facebook group belonging to Paris 13 students.

“Jew level 75, category 4, will do anything for the community,” another said.

A third one read: “Level 2, aware that there’s a holiday called Shabbat.”

Rose said the list was part of a series of incidents involving anti-Semitic hate speech that she had experienced in recent months.

Several months ago, a group of students began making anti-Semitic jokes about the Holocaust on campus in Rose’s presence, she told police, including by performing the Hitler salute. To offend her, they also played a game they called “frispa” in which a kippah is thrown around like a Frisbee, she said. She said the classmates would point at her and make insults, ignoring her pleas that they stop.

On a student Facebook channel, the same students and others invented a caption contest about her that included “Auschwitz 2019,” “deportation 2019” and “Nazis against Jews” accompanied by a graphics-generated picture depicting a Jewish student on fire.

French Education Minister Frederique Vidal told Europe 1 that “these acts are profoundly unacceptable.”

“Days after the attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, I want to remind everyone that words can kill,” Vidal said.

Last week, Sacha Ghozlan, the president of the Union of Jewish Students of France, said that anti-Semitic graffiti are “becoming an almost daily occurrence” in institutions of higher education in that country. He made the remark following the discovery of graffiti targeting the dean of a Paris-area medical school.

Earlier this month, the word “Juden,” German for Jews, appeared along with swastikas on the walls inside the HEC business school in Paris.

Last month, Vidal also condemned what she termed “anti-Semitic graffiti” targeting the rector of the Grenoble-Alpes University in eastern France.

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