Holocaust jokes, widespread use of Nazi salutes, violent attacks, polls that track an increase in anti-Semitic opinions: France is become a hotbed of hostility towards Jews. The WaPo gives a sobering account of anti-Semitism on the rise in the country with Europe’s largest Jewish population:
The first three months of the year saw reported acts of anti-Semitic violence in France skyrocket to 140 incidents, a 40 percent increase from the same period last year. This month, two young Jewish men were jumped and severely beaten on their way to synagogue in an eastern suburb of Paris. […]Anti-Semitism, Jewish activists fear, is becoming more socially acceptable. In May, for instance, the far-right National Front — a party long rooted in anti-Semitism but that sought to portray itself as reformed — came in first in elections here for the European Parliament, winning a whopping 25 percent of the national vote. Yet last week, its patriarch, Jean-Marie Le Pen, suggested just how unreformed a segment of the party remains. In a video posted on the party’s website, he suggested a Jewish folk singer should be thrown “in an oven”
Jewish citizens aren’t the only ones under threat in France. A sixteen year old Roma was recently kidnapped by a group of youths, beaten, and left bloody and unconscious in a grocery store parking lot. France, like much of Europe, is getting more violent and dangerous as its social fabric breaks down. It’s a scary time to be a minority ethnic group in Europe.