President Macron Vows to Fight Anti-Semitism
France is the home to more Jewish people than any other country in Europe. Only Israel and the United States have higher Jewish populations.
While there are many Jewish people living in France, many within the French Jewish community have felt threatened due to physical attacks and a growing anti-Semitism being expressed in French culture. Several thousand Jewish people have left France over the last three years.
In order to combat the growing anti-Semitism within some parts of France, and to provide a sense of security to Jewish citizens of France, President Emmanuel Macron is vowing to combat anti-Semitism in a broad and aggressive way.
This week, President Macron spoke to a gathering of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF). During his speech, Mr. Macron strongly denounced anti-Semitism calling it a scourge upon the nation. He called anti-Semitism an attitude that is totally in opposition to the ideas of the French Republic.
President Macron said that he would crack down on any instances of anti-Semitism found on online sources within France. He also stated that he would call upon all members of the European Union to immediately take down from the Internet, or other sources, instances of anti-Semitism or hate speech.
While not stating that a specific law would be passed, Mr. Macron praised legislation in Germany designed to curb hate speech. He hinted that a similar piece of legislation may be enacted within France sometime in the near future.
During his speech, Mr. Macron also called on the publishing industry within France to carefully consider what it published. Mr. Macron said that France did not seek censorship, but he did stress that it was not necessary to inflame tensions through the publication of inflammatory materials.
Anti-Semitic violence has risen in France by over 25 percent in the last year. In one poll, as many as one-third of the respondents expressed anti-Semitic views. The Jewish community within France is hoping that forceful denunciations of anti-Semitism, like the one from President Macron this week, will help violence against the Jewish community to wane.
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