Interview by Eliezer Sherman, published in the Algemeiner September 17, 2015
France is fighting a long-term battle against domestic antisemitism, and the threat of a terrorist attack against the country’s Jews remains as high as it was after the grisly attacks last January in Paris, if not higher, France’s Inter-Ministerial delegate to fight against antisemitism and racism, Gilles Clavreul, told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
As part of the government’s efforts to protect some 717 Jewish sites in the country, 7,000 soldiers and 3,000 police forces have been mobilized in what Clavreul says may be the largest mobilization of French troops in the country since World War II.
“The risk [of terrorist attack] is as high as it was in January if not higher,” he said, adding, “and it will be for some time.”
This is why France has agreed to assign millions of euros annually for efforts aimed at combating antisemitism, Islamophobia and racism, said Clavreul, who was tapped by President Francois Hollande’s office to lead this initiative.
France has taken a four-pronged approach to tackling this issue, he explained: mobilization of NGOs and local groups to jointly develop working plans to fight racism; strengthening law enforcement’s hand to ensure that criminal acts are reported and criminals effectively prosecuted; regulating the Internet to ensure netizens are protected from hate speech; training citizens through education, sports, culture and other social activities.
Clavreul is confident the government plan, which actually launched last December before the January attacks in Paris against the HyperCacher kosher supermarket and Charlie Hebdo satire magazine, has begun to yield results. He said reports of antisemitic and racist abuse have increased since January, and punitive actions against the perpetrators of racist crimes is on the rise... Read more