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Attack in France a Tragic Reminder of Anti-Semitism's Persistence


Rabbi David Saperstein: This weekend's unprovoked attack on three young Jewish men near Lyon, France was a tragic reminder of the threat and reality of anti-Semitism, religious and ethnic discrimination that the French Jewish community has known far too much of.

Contact: Sean Thibault or Molly Benoit
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington, D.C., June 4, 2012: In response to this weekend's attack on three young Jewish men near Lyon, France, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:

This weekend's unprovoked attack on three young Jewish men near Lyon, France was a tragic reminder of the threat and reality of anti-Semitism, religious and ethnic discrimination that the French Jewish community has known far too much of. We appreciate the clear classification by the French Interior Ministry of the attack as "anti-Semitism" and law enforcement's efforts to apprehend the ten assailants. The perpetrators must be held accountable and punished in accordance with the rule of law.

In light of the Toulouse tragedy in which four members of the Jewish community in Toulouse, France, were senselessly murdered in front of the Jewish day school, on top of the persistent occurrence of anti-Semitic verbal and physical harassment, it is clear that the ongoing problem of anti-Semitism in France - indeed in Europe -- must be addressed. France is home to the largest Jewish community in Europe, nearly 600,000 Jews, and yet the number of anti-Semitic attacks has risen in recent years. The attacks have also become increasingly more violent. We call on the political, cultural and civil society leadership France to address this pattern forcefully, consistently and effectively.

The Reform Movement stands shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in France and sends its prayers of healing of body and soul to the victims and their families.



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