(JTA) — A cheating investigation in France implicated a Jewish school near Paris, triggering an explosion of anti-Semitic sentiment online.
A supervisor, a women in her 30s and a student from Ozar-Hatorah school in Creteil were indicted as a result of an Education Ministry probe revealing that students there may have leaked subjects to be covered on a baccalaureate exam, Le Parisien reported last week. A fourth suspect, a student, was released.
The supervisor had been tasked with preventing cheating at the Jewish school, which posts some of the best test grades in France.
News of the arrest unleashed a “torrent of anti-Semitism online just as the National Assembly were studying legislation for fighting online hate,” journalist Frederic Metezeau noted Monday on France Inter radio.
“There are the usual anti-Semitic tropes, ‘they’re protected, the judiciary will close the dossier,’ and ‘no wonder this high school has good scores,’” he noted.
Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, the director the American Jewish Committee’s Europe office, posted on Twitter several examples of such rhetoric.
“We knew it was coming,” she wrote. “Any opportunity will serve for the dissemination of anti-Semitic hatred. And this case of fraud in the final exams is no exception.”
A bill being debated in the French parliament gives platforms like Twitter and Facebook 24 hours to remove flagged hate speech or face huge fines.