The number of antisemitic incidents reported in France in 2007 declined by 30 percent to 261. There was a corresponding fall in figures for violent acts, from 213 in 2006 to 146 in 2007. There appeared to be no direct link between Middle East events and antisemitic activity. An extremely antisemitic website, www.toutsaufsarkozy.com, run mostly by activists from the national revolutionary extreme right, but also involving leftists and Arab nationalists, was operating during the French presidential election period. The poor showing of the Front National in the national elections triggered a crisis within the extreme right. Several antisemites and racists were convicted and sentenced in 2007.
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
The French Jewish community, which numbered about 575,000 out of a total population of 63 million in 2005, is the largest in Europe. The greatest concentration is in the Paris area (300-350,000), followed by Marseille (80,000), Lyon (30,000), Nice and Toulouse (20,000 each). Strasbourg, where 12,000 Jews live, is a major religious and cultural center. In comparison, the foreign population (holding foreign nationality) amounts to about 4.3 million, while French citizens of foreign origin (born in France, but having at least one parent who was not) number 19.7 million (official census figures). The Muslim population was estimated at 4 million, including 2 million holding French citizenship. (French legislation forbids census questions relating to religious affiliation.)
The three main organizations of French Jewry are the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), the Consistoire Central and the Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU). The Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ) operates under the auspices of all three organizations.
There has been a dramatic revitalization of communal life since the early 1980s, reflected in the large number of Jewish private schools (about 100, attended by 30 percent of Jewish schoolchildren, or some 30,000 pupils), as well as synagogues (over 150 in the Paris area). Since the beginning of the antisemitic wave which began in autumn 2000, many families have transferred their children from state-run secular schools to Jewish (mainly Orthodox) schools, or to other private schools, either Catholic or non-denominational. The immigration of French Jews to Israel has returned to the 2004 level: 2,659 in 2007 compared to 2,865 in 2006.
POLITICAL PARTIES AND EXTRA-PARLIAMENTARY GROUPS
There were presidential elections in April/May 2007, followed by general, legislative elections in June. Nicolas Sarkozy, the candidate of the right, defeated the Socialist candidate, Ségolène Royal, by a wide margin (53.06 percent vs.46.94 percent). In the legislative elections, the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), Sarkozy’s party, returned an overall majority of the seats. During the campaign, the extreme right, and especially the national revolutionary extreme right such as Tout sauf Sarkozy (see below), repeatedly attacked Sarkozy because of his foreign and Jewish origins (his father is a Hungarian-born Catholic, while his mother is the daughter of a Jew from Salonika who converted to Catholicism). They also stressed the Jewish origins of the president’s then wife Cécilia Ciganer, who is the daughter of a Jew from Moldova and a Spanish Catholic mother. Nicolas Sarkozy has stated repeatedly that he is a Catholic. (For a typical anti-Sarkozy blog condemning his Jewish origins and his support for Israel, see http://fn-populaire-et-social.over-blog.com/article-10803086.html, on the Front National de la Jeunesse in Nice website.)
Extreme Right Parties
The Front National (FN), founded in 1973 and led by Jean-Marie Le Pen (born, 1928), became a marginal force in French politics in 2007. Because of an ageing leader and internal strife, but mainly because of Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign centering on identity, immigration and law and order, Le Pen suffered an unprecedented setback in the presidential election, polling only 10.44 percent. In the legislative election held the following month, the party obtained only 4.29 percent (no seats), adding to the previous loss of all the cities it had run since 1995. This led to a two-thirds drop in state financing of the party and as a consequence, half of the permanent staff was dismissed in September, the weekly party magazine, Français d’abord, was suspended and the other weekly, National Hebdo became available only online. The party convention held in November 2007, elected Le Pen as chairman for another three-year term (for the first time, he was elected by secret ballot) and the matter of his succession was not settled. However, the main contender for the presidency is his daughter, Marine Le Pen, who has marginalized her long-time rival, the hard-line Bruno Gollnisch. Although Marine Le Pen is often described as a moderate because she seeks to soft the party’s racist and antisemitic rhetoric, the difference between the two is mainly tactical. In January 2007, Gollnisch was given a three-month suspended sentence and a heavy fine, for “questioning the existence of crimes against humanity” during an October 2004 press conference in Lyon. With regard to anti-Zionism and antisemitism, it should be noted that in the European Parliament, Marine chose to sit on the Europe-Israel Committee, although she is allied with the Egalité et Réconciliation faction, led by the antisemitic novelist Alain Soral. However, there is no cooperation between Marine Le Pen and Israeli officials or parties (see http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2006/france.htm).
The FN’s poor showing in the polls triggered a crisis within the extreme right. Since the very existence of the party after Le Pen steps down is in doubt, several elected officials left for the arch-conservative Mouvement Pour la France led by Philippe de Villiers, or chose to sit as independents. Moreover, Identité, Tradition, Souveraineté, the group chaired by Gollnisch in the Euro-Parliament, split in November 2007.
The Mouvement National Républicain (MNR), led by Bruno Mégret, maintains a very low profile because of lack of support and meager financial means. It polled 0.39 percent in the legislative election.
The Far Left, the Greens and the Anti-globalization Movement
There are very few examples of plain, open antisemitism coming from the far left, and people or organizations mentioned in this section cannot be labeled antisemitic. However, they support various forms of anti-Zionist and anti-Israel prejudice which convey a distorted view of the situation in the Middle East to members and voters. Demonization of Israel and its people continues to be one of the reasons for the high level of antisemitism in France, and this is of grave concern to the Jewish community, since the extreme left (especially the LCR, see below) has been gaining strength, as a result of the decline of the Communist Party, and the dissatisfaction of some voters with the shift of the Socialist Party toward social liberalism.
The Green Party and the Communist Party, which participated in the Socialist-led coalition government between 1997 and 2002, are in the opposition at the national level, but are part of regional council majorities in some areas (such as the Ile de France region, in Paris). The Trotskyite far left has never aspired to join any coalition. These political forces are part of the anti-globalization movement.
There are three Trotskyite factions: the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR; led by Olivier Besancenot), Lutte Ouvrière (led by Arlette Laguiller) and the Parti des Travailleurs (PT; led by Daniel Gluckstein). In the 2007 presidential election, Besancenot polled 4.08 percent and Laguiller 1.33 percent of the vote, while the PT candidate, Gérard Schivardi, won 0.37 percent. Anti-Zionism is historically part of their agenda, and they support the idea of a single democratic, secular state in Israel/Palestine, although some voices within the LCR now openly advocate a two-state solution (in line with the official stand of the Association France-Palestine Solidarité, the major pro-Palestinian lobby). Not all far left factions favor an alliance with political Islam: in fact, as rigorously secular parties, both Lutte Ouvrière and the PT are against it, while the LCR is divided. Pro-Islamists are influenced by the Socialisme par en bas faction − which might be regarded as the French branch of the British Socialist Workers Party − which has integrated into the LCR. The LCR maintains close relations with the leftist Palestinian PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), and a minority of the party even supports Hamas as the spearhead of the Palestinian people’s struggle for liberation. A serious problem on the extreme left has been the emergence, especially among young militants, of formal or informal groups that openly support Hizballah (whose flag has become a common feature at far left demonstrations) or, to a lesser extent, Hamas. Those groups, such as the Indigènes de la République, the Association Générale des Etudiants de Nanterre (AGEN), the Comité Georges Abdallah, the French branch of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and the Mouvement de Soutien à la Résistance du Peuple Palestinien (MSRPP), believe that the Palestinian Authority and the PLO have failed in their mission because they recognize the right of Israel to exist and talk to “the enemy.” This radical pro-Palestinian coalition is secular, not Islamist, and although it has followers among Arab immigrants, it is led mostly by native French, non-Muslim leftists.
The Communist Party, whose candidate Marie-George Buffet, polled only 1.93 percent in the 2007 presidential election, is a long-time friend of the PLO but does not deny the right of Israel to exist. The party is divided between the Orthodox minority, which is outspokenly anti-Zionist and supports the PFLP or the DFLP, and the pro- PLO majority. Several Jewish communal leaders have argued that the anti-Israel exhibitions often displayed in the city halls of Communist-led suburban cities, contribute to the high level of antisemitic incidents there. Mouloud Aounit, secretary general of the anti-racist NGO MRAP (Mouvement national contre le racisme) and a regional councilor elected on a Communist slate, is very anti-Israel and supports dialogue with the followers of Swiss fundamentalist theologian Tariq Ramadan (see below). Aounit lost his bid for the Communist candidacy in the June 2007 general election in the Islamist (and Communist) stronghold of La Courneuve. He ran as an independent and polled only 3 percent against the official Communist candidate.
The Green Party, which is on the decline (its candidate to the presidential election, Dominique Voynet, polled 1,57 percent), is divided on the Israel/Palestine issue, too, although the majority of the leadership and rank and file, while recognizing the State of Israel, equate it with imperialism and occupation. In some places, Green Party leaders cooperate with followers of Tariq Ramadan, as in Roubaix, where prominent Green activists Ali Rahni and Sihem Andalouci are also national leaders of the Collectif des Musulmans de France (see below), which supports Ramadan’s attempt to build a coalition between political Islam and the anti-globalization left. Paris Senator Alima Boumediene-Thiery, a former member of the European Parliament, is particularly active within the ranks of the pro-Palestinian organizations.
The anti-globalization movement is not monolithic and issues relating to antisemitism, the Middle East and political Islam generate much internal dissension. While the weekly Charlie Hebdo, for example, describes itself as anti-globalization, it is at the forefront of the fight against Islamist and left-wing antisemitism, as is the essayist Caroline Fourest, who wrote several books on those topics. The Union des Familles Laïques (UFAL), which promotes a strictly secular (even anti-religious, and particularly anti-Islamist) society, is chaired by Bernard Teper, who publicly supported the Communist Party candidate for president of the republic, Marie-George Buffet, because of its socio-economic platform. ATTAC, the leading anti-globalization organization, originally founded to support the concept of the Tobin tax on financial profits, is divided between a radical left tendency, favoring dialogue with Ramadan’s followers, and a strictly secular, republican left, anti-Islamist current, led by Pierre Cassen. On the other hand, the monthly Le Monde diplomatique, the weekly Politis and the left-leaning Catholic weekly Témoignage Chrétien support Palestinian organizations and Third World liberation movements, because of their anti-colonialist history. Anti-globalization websites, such as the French page of the Indymedia network (http://paris.indymedia.org) and http://bellaciao.org/fr often post anti-Israel articles or comments that border on antisemitism and support for radical Islam. The CAPJPO (Coordination des Appels pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient; http://www.europalestine.com), although appearing to be a single-issue movement, is in fact also part of the anti-globalization far left, and the Paris bookshop it opened, Résistances, is a rallying point for the movement.
Anti-Israel feelings are also fueled by local, grass-root groups active throughout the country (such as the Mouvement de Soutien à la Résistance du Peuple Palestinien, MSRPP, which supports both Hamas and Hizballah), and which are often more radical than the official stance of the national umbrella organizations.
A significant development among the pro-Palestinian far left has been the emergence of a strong pro-Hizballah movement, which views both the PLO and the Palestinian Authority as traitors, and which ties its support for Hizballah/Hamas to that for the so-called Iraqi “resistance.” Such groups include the Mouvement de l’Immigration et des Banlieues (MIB) and the Indigènes de la République, which specifically target French citizens of Arab/Muslim descent and promote the notion that the contemporary French state treats immigrants as it did their forefathers in North Africa when France was a colonial power. Both movements link the fight against criminalization of Muslims in France to the Palestinian struggle against Western imperialism.
Réseau Voltaire, led by Thierry Meyssan, disseminates conspiracy theories intended to demonstrate that the 9/11 bombings were a joint US-Israeli plot aimed at justifying the war against radical Islam. Originally a left-wing, anti-fascist and pro-gay rights group, Réseau Voltaire became a rallying point for anti-Zionists of all kinds after 2001. It is reported that Meyssan left France in 2007 and now lives as a “political exile” in Syria.
The website http://lesogres.org, launched in support of the Afro-Caribbean comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala (although not his official website) is undoubtedly the most virulently antisemitic site in France. It is rife with conspiracy theories, anti-Zionist propaganda and openly anti-Jewish talk, including lists of Jews, or supposed Jews, who allegedly control France, its media, politics and economy. The rationale behind the website is that France and the Western world are dominated by the Jews, coded-named “Zionists,” who are both anti-Muslim and anti-black racists. As a consequence, Les Ogres is a forum for both Islamists and Black supremacists, with links to far left and neo-Nazi/fascist websites. In November, Dieudonné was fined 5,000 euro, in the Paris Court of Appeals, for incitement to racial hatred, after declaring that the Jews had built fortunes from the slave trade.
Far Right Extra-parliamentary Groups and Activities
According to the Renseignements Généraux (the state security police) the total number of far right activists in 2004/5 was 2,500−3,500. The report stressed that the main target of far right activity had shifted from the Jews to the Muslim community. It identified 20 groups, split into five ideological subdivisions: the skinhead movement (1,000−1,500 activists) the Identity movement; ultra-nationalists; neo-Nazis and soccer hooligans. This situation still held for 2007, with the qualification that many former young, radical supporters of far right parties had since joined extra-parliamentary groups.
The Identity movement (total membership, according to a police report, 500) revolves around Bloc Identitaire, led by Guillaume Luyt, Philippe Vardon and Fabrice Robert. It publishes the quarterly ID, which has an address in Belgium in order to avoid prosecution. In 2007, the Bloc tried to build a Fédération Identitaire, incorporating the Alsace d’abord regionalist movement. It also continued its initiative, through its sister organization, Solidarité des Français, to distribute pork meals to the homeless in Paris, thus excluding both Jews and Muslims. The Bloc maintains an online press agency Novopress (www.novopress.info), and focuses its political activity on the city of Nice, where its local leader, Philippe Vardon, polled 2.29 percent of the vote in the legislative election. A rival national revolutionary faction, the Réseau Radical, is led by Christian Bouchet, former leader of Nouvelle Résistance and Unité Radicale. Referring to Israel as “the entity,” it runs the www.voxnr.com website and publishes the magazine Résistance !, championing Iran and hard-line anti-Zionism; it has now changed its name to Les Notres, a reference to the Russian word nashii (Ours) used by the Eurasists of Aleksandr Duguin in the 1990s, and subsequently by the pro-Putin youth movement of the same name. Another Identity movement is Terre et Peuple, led by former GRECE (see http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw99-2000/france.htm) president and FN national leadership member Pierre Vial, which promotes a volkisch (nationalist) agenda. The RED (Rassemblement des Etudiants de Droite) is a student group with a record of violence and extreme antisemitism, as shown in its magazine Le Dissident.
The ultra-nationalist movement comprises groups of 30−80 followers. They include Œuvre française, a rabidly antisemitic group led by Pierre Sidos, who supported Le Pen’s candidacy in the presidential election; Renouveau Français (publication: L’Héritage), the new name of Garde Franque (a Catholic fascist fundamentalist group formerly belonging to the transnational European National Front); and Jeunes Bonapartistes (publication: La Cocarde). A small nationalist, Catholic party, Parti National-Radical, published excerpts of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in several issues of its quarterly, Le National-Radical (sold at newsstands in 2007) The party’s mail-order distribution service also offers a French edition of the tract.
Neo-Nazis (who may also be skinheads) were responsible for the desecration of mosques and Muslim cemeteries in 2007 (such as the cemetery near Arras in April 2007). (The two desecrations of Jewish cemeteries recorded in 2007 were the work of a Muslim − in Lille, March; and of a group of youths belong to a satanic cult − Le Havre, April). Most desecrations in France today are directed against Christian (Catholic) cemeteries and are perpetrated by Satanists, some of whom may be neo-Nazis and fans of the music sub-culture known as National-Socialist Black Metal. The web also hosts a handful of French antisemitic neo-Nazi websites, among them http://www.herveryssen.blogspot.com (personal page of Hervé Ryssen) and http://borislelay.blogspot.com.
In their struggle against the “New World Order,” some groups on the far right have begun cooperating with black supremacist movements such as Génération Kemi Seba (http://www.seba-wsr.com), formerly Tribu KA, which was banned in July 2006 for antisemitic violence. A marginal group, Seba has allied with the most antisemitic French fascist group in existence, the Droite Socialiste (http://droitesocialiste.hautetfort.com), led by Thomas Werlet. In February Kemi Seba was arrested for racially insulting policemen (see also below).
The power of the Islamist movement should be assessed in relation to the number of Muslims living in France, which lies between 4 and 6 million (higher figures are used in order to portray France as a Muslim-dominated country, or by Islamists to exaggerate their strength), as well as to the level of religious practice among French Muslims, which is only about 15 percent. On the other hand, anti-Jewish prejudice among those who are devout remains high (see http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2005/france.htm).
The representative body of religious Muslims is the Conseil Français du Culte Musulman (CFCM), elected in June 2005. This organization is divided between three factions: moderate followers of the Grande Mosquée de Paris, led by CFCM chairman Dalil Boubakeur and supported by the Algerian government; the orthodox Sunni Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF; led by Laj Thami Breze), guided by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and by the Egyptian-born Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the UOIFs supreme religious authority; and the Fédération Nationale des Musulmans de France (FNMF), a predominantly Moroccan organization whose former chairman, Mohamed Bechari, is reportedly close to the Moroccan Islamist PJD (Party of Justice and Development). The FNMF has split into two rival factions: one which retains the original name and the Rassemblement des Musulmans de France.
The UOIF remains a controversial organization. It appears to be split between older followers of the national leadership, who are predominantly foreign-born (mostly Tunisian), and a younger generation of French-born people, who complain about the high degree of political interference, both from abroad and from within the country. The younger generation, influenced by Tariq Ramadan (a regular speaker at the UOIF national convention) and preachers such as Hassan Iquioussen, is often more vocal and more radical than the older one when it comes to relations with the Jews and Israel. On the Middle East issue, the UOIF supports the Palestinians through the Committee for Charity and Assistance to Palestinians (CBSP), which is authorized to raise money for institutions linked to the Islamic movement of the Arab-Israeli mayor of Umm al-Fahm, Shaykh Ra`id Salah. In 2007, CBSP won its libel law suit against the Simon Wiesenthal Center (CSW) which claimed that the money the charity raised was being used to finance terrorist acts, especially those of Hamas (the decision was being appealed). Although the CSW report provided no evidence, it is public knowledge that CBSP lends political support to Hamas and financial help to the families of the movement. The UOIF supports a socially conservative agenda, preferring collaboration with right-wing parties, notably, François Bayrou’s Mouvement Démocrate.
The Swiss theologian Tariq Ramadan, and the groups that disseminate his thinking, Présence Musulmane and the Collectif des Musulmans de France, have a sizeable following among young Muslims of the middle and upper classes. Ramadan, who advocates a modern orthodox Islam, rooted in the reality of European societies and values, has close ties to the anti-globalization movement and the Green Party, where his virulent anti-Zionism is well received. The Ramadan tendency and radical left thinkers critical of Zionism and Israel meet at the main French Islamic website, www.oumma.com. In 2007 Arab nationalist René Naba, one of the main contributors to Oumma, was highly involved in the anti-Sarkozy network that launched the extremely antisemitic website www.toutsaufsarkozy.com, run mostly by activists from the national-revolutionary extreme right, such as Michel Schneider. The site had resumed operation, in October, after disappearing in July.
The important role of the Internet in the emergence of a virtual Muslim identity in France is evident in several well-designed sites with a wide readership, such as www.saphirnet.info and the above-mentioned www.oumma.com.
Of particular concern to the authorities is the growing Salafi movement, inspired by Saudi ulama (Muslim scholars). According to a 2005 report of the Renseignements Généraux, the Salafis number some 5,000 and control about 30 mosques. Non-jihadi Salafi activity is noticeable especially on the Internet, at sites such as www.darwa.com, http://www.sounnah.free.fr and http://www.salafs.com. There is no organized, open expression of the jihadist trend, such as that characterizing the British al-Ghurabaa or the Saved Sect. However, the French security services regularly dismantle cells that support jihad or plot terrorist actions.
Three other Islamic fundamentalist groups are widely represented in France: the pietist Tabligh movement, estimated at about 10 percent of religious Muslims; Foi et Pratique which split from it, led by Tunisian Muhammad Hamami; and the French branch of the Lebanon-based Ahbachi movement, with headquarters in Montpellier, under the leadership of Shaykh Khalid al-Zant. All in all, the level of Islamist activity is high, as, too, is the risk of terrorist activity, according to the state security services, because of repeated fatwas issued by the emirs of the Algerian, al-Qa`ida-affiliated GSPC (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat, among other names, whose website can be accessed from France at http://almedad.com/vb), and cells of the Moroccan Groupe Islamiste Combattant Marocain (GICM).
The number of antisemitic incidents in France declined by 30 percent to 261 (2006: 371) in 2007, according to a report released by the SPCJ in February 2008. There was a corresponding decrease in violent acts (32 percent), from 213 in 2006 to 146 in 2007, including a drop in physical attacks on individuals from 112 in 2006 to 73 in 2007. The report also noted a rise in antisemitic threats and actions coming from the extreme right, or that were carried out by people using extreme right stereotypes and slogans, such as “Jewish conspiracy,” “Jewish greed for money” or “Jewish domination of the Western world.” There appeared to be no direct link between Middle East events and antisemitic activity in France, indicating that antisemitism has become a deeply-rooted phenomenon.
Violence, Vandalism, Threats and Insults
Despite a 40 percent reduction in racist incidents against school children reported by the French ministry of education in January 2007 for the year 2005-6, several attacks on Jewish youngsters were reported in 2007. On March 2, for example, a 13-year-old Jewish boy from Paris was beaten by five youths, who shouted, “Dirty Jew, go back to your own country...” A month previously two Jewish high-school pupils were beaten in the city by a group of youths, who also shouted “Dirty Jew.”
In other assaults, two men of Middle Eastern appearance snatched a mobile phone from a young colored Jewish woman (born of a West Indian father) near a metro station in Marseille on April 26, ripped the Star of David from her neck, lifted her shirt and drew a swastika on her chest. The police were investigating. Another young Jewish woman required medical attention after being attacked in Noisy-le-Grand near Paris, on August 9, by two youths she described as being of African origin. Shouting “Dirty Jew,” they stole her mobile phone and beat her. A 15-year-old boy was charged, in June, with beating and insulting a handicapped Jewish woman at a municipal swimming pool in Reims on April 18. Among other assault victims were two rabbis, in the Paris Gare du Nord and in Rouen.
In other violent incidents, a petrol bomb was thrown at a Jewish yeshiva in Saint Louis near Mulhouse, eastern France, on May 6, the night of the presidential elections. Synagogues in Hagondange, Metz and Aulnay-sous-Bois were stoned or desecrated.
Repeated antisemitic harassment and attacks were reported in November by Jewish residents of the Albert Camus neighborhood in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. A group of Jewish teens was forced to leave a playground on the grounds that it was “Palestinian territory,” two Jewish youngsters were assaulted on the street, and a Jewish teen was labeled “dirty Jew” and beaten during a soccer game. The neighborhood is heavily populated by Muslim immigrants from Africa and the Maghreb.
For examples of antisemitic propaganda, see above.
In an interview broadcast on the state radio station France Culture, on March 1, Raymond Barre, former prime minister of France (1976-81), defended convicted war criminal Maurice Papon, who signed the order of deportation of French Jewish children during the Vichy government, praised convicted Holocaust denier Bruno Gollnish and denounced the “leftist Jewish lobby.” He denied accusations of antisemitism on March 10 in the French daily Liberation.
During the defamation trial against former Minister of Justice Robert Badinter (1981-86), initiated by the French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson because the former had called him “a forger of history,” Faurisson repeated his claim, in March, that the gas chambers and the Holocaust were a “historic lie.”
Following a request by the French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), police confiscated books denying the Holocaust by Roger Garaudy, Robert Faurisson, Jean Plantin and Serge Thion, from the Paris bookshop Librairie du Savoir.
RESPONSES TO RACISM AND ANTISEMITISM
Several antisemites and racists were convicted and sentenced in 2007. On August 28, for example, Nizar Ouedrani was sentenced by a magistrate’s court in Paris to 9 months in prison (6 of them suspended) for attacking two Jewish men accompanied by a small child with a metal object as they were making their way to synagogue in July. Ouedrani had tried to claim that he did not know the victims were Jewish.
In Lyon, Mickael Tronchon, a follower of the extreme right “leaderless resistance” ideology, was sentenced in May to 20 years imprisonment for the attempted murder of two Arab men and the desecration of the Jewish cemetery of La Mouche, Lyon, in 2004. Tronchon apologized for the deed. In September, a French court sentenced three neo-Nazis for the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in the village of Herrlisheim in April 2004. One was given 30 months and the other 18 months each. They also expressed regret for their act.
Dismissed teacher Vincent Reynouard was sentenced to one year imprisonment and fined 10,000 euro in November for denying the Holocaust. Reynouard, a Catholic fundamentalist and leader of the Mouvement de Combat Saint-Michel, had fled France for Brussels in 2004 after being convicted of “approval of a war crime.” He was re-arrested at a neo-Nazi conference in Seine-St. Denise.
On October 26, the district attorney of Paris imposed on Kemi Seba, founder of the banned Tribu KA, a sentence of five months in prison, a fine of 10,000 euro and the forfeiting of his civic rights for five years. Kemi Seba was found guilty of incitement to racial hatred and denial of crimes against humanity. In August 2006, Kemi Seba’s website had posted an article titled "Dezionisation...Our Political Program," in which he labeled Zionism the “cancer of humanity.”
September 22th, 2008