Published on 8 January 2020

Crif - The words of Francis Kalifat, President of Crif, for the new year

A new year begins. But how can we approach this new year with serenity, when the trauma of past aggressions resounds within us? To answer all these questions effectively, you have to change your paradigm: words are no longer enough, we need strong actions.

2019 has ended with its procession of hatred of all kinds (antisemitism, anti-Christian acts, racism, anti-Muslim acts, homophobia, violence against women, feminicides ......). For 2020 I can only hope better for each and every one of you.

But how can we approach this new year with serenity, when the trauma of past aggressions resounds within us? 

How can we approach this new year with optimism, when verbal or physical violence has targeted French Jews throughout the past year for the sole reason that they were Jews?

Violent, hateful, liberated, uncomplicated anti-Semitism, made up of old jokes, rumours, stereotypes and prejudices straight out of the garbage cans of History.

How can we approach this new year with hope, when the venom of anti-Semitism is maliciously pouring out under the false nose of anti-Zionism, encouraging and working towards the disappearance of the only Jewish state?

Those who advocate this new form of anti-Semitism bear the stigma of hatred. They use Israel to say the same words, producing the same evils and expressing the same hatred: hatred of the Jews.

How can we approach this new year with confidence, when 2019 has ended with a shocking and incomprehensible court decision, which deprives the children and family of Sarah Halimi, not of the conviction of her killer, which only a popular jury in a Court of Assizes could or could not pronounce in the name of the French people, but of the fair trial they deserve ?

In order to answer all these questions effectively, a change of paradigm is needed.

Sincere sympathy, unreserved condemnation and the expression of full solidarity are important and we appreciate that, but words are no longer enough; strongs actions are needed.

Time can no longer be at the obligation of means. We must immediately set ourselves an obligation of results and use all the levers of the State: Police, Justice, Education. . . and society as a whole to apply the principle of zero tolerance with the rigour that the situation demands.

It is on this condition that we will be able to put a stop to the hatred that is gnawing at our society, that the path of trust can be found again and that we will respond to both the insecurity experienced by some and the feeling of insecurity felt by others.

It is with this hope that on the occasion of this new year I express the wish that it will be for each and every one of you a year of fulfilment, success, happiness and serenity.

May it be the year of security restored for everyone, everywhere in France.

May it be a year of peace and prosperity for our country, and for the world.

Finally, I hope that it will be the year of peace and security for the State of Israel, a country so dear to our hearts.


Francis Kalifat, President of Crif