The president of the BNVCA reports that many attacks are now carried out "at home", with intrusions and neighborhood quarrels - including in the beautiful neighborhoods of Paris
Jewish activist forever, Sammy Ghozlan is retired commissioner, vice-president of the Consistory of Paris and president of the Council of the Jewish communities of Seine-Saint-Denis (CCJ-93).
Based in Netanya but in constant contact with his correspondents in France, he is a daily pilot of the National Office of Vigilance against Antisemitism (BNVCA) he founded eight years ago.
He stands for the Times of Israel a complete assessment of the security situation of French Judaism. It also responds to anti-racist associations that accuse the BNVCA of "communitarianism" and Islamophobia.
Times of Israel : Anti-Jewish provocations have multiplied as we commemorated the third anniversary of the bloody attack perpetrated by Amedy Coulibaly in the HyperCacher at the Porte de Vincennes. In Sarcelles, before the assault on an eight-year-old girl wearing a kippah, on January 29, a teenage girl in uniform schooled in a religious high school was assaulted on January 10 and her face slashed with a knife. But the thug did not say a word. Was it really an antisemitic attack?
Sammy Ghozlan : The two assaults are of the same order, I am convinced.
The shirt and skirt of the girl left no doubt about her environment: that of practicing Jews in the city.
That said, we risk never having the proof because the alley where the attack occurred is a poorly protected dealer landmark, where the police hardly dares to penetrate ... And the culprit, who fled, was perfectly hidden under a hood.
What about the authors of the swastikas and the fire that struck kosher shops in Creteil on January 3 and 9?
Here again, we are dealing with a neighborhood where drug sellers abound, paradoxically without surveillance cameras.
The prefect of Val-de-Marne [Laurent Prévost] promised me to install but the facts in question, it is too late: unless denunciation, the investigation will probably not happen.
It is in the 17th that incivilities are the most numerous
The official figures show a significant drop in antisemitic acts for about two years. But has fear decreased in intensity?
Absolutely not, it has even spread over the territory.
First, we suffered traumatic attacks, such as the murder of Sarah Halimi in April 2017, preceded by torture.
On this subject, the refusal of the investigating judge Anne Ihuellou to remember the aggravating circumstance of anti-Semitism is scandalous.
The file is in the hands of lawyers but in my opinion, his bias is such that it should be unsuccessful judicial inquiry.
I also think of the terrible kidnapping, in September, of the community activist Roger Pinto and a part of his family in Livry-Gargan. Then, the attacks have certainly decreased because the synagogues, schools and other Jewish places are rather well secured.
The Garges-lès-Gonesse prayer area, in the Val-d'Oise, which remained the target of projectiles from surrounding buildings, is itself better protected and has recently been equipped with a network of CCTV finally effective.
Twenty-five damaged cameras were repaired. But the violence has changed in a dramatic way: unable to attack the buildings, our enemies hit us at home.
There are tags on mailboxes, threatening letters and especially crimes and offenses committed inside the houses and apartments.
This is new and this is accompanied by a generalization of incivilities between neighbors, everywhere on the territory - including in the so-called quiet areas where our co-religionists have fled massively for six to seven years.
Do you know where there is the greatest number of conflicts degenerating into anti-Semitic insults? In the very chic 17th arrondissement of Paris!
These incivilities do not really enter the statistics, rarely giving rise to complaints. But fear is justified.
In Ile-de-France, do internal migrations continue at a steady pace?
Yes. In Seine-Saint-Denis, there were nearly sixty thousand Jews in 2008 against ten to fifteen thousand today.
And the movement is accelerating in favor of more "bourgeois" areas where, nevertheless, I repeat ... nobody is safe. The same trend is observed in provincial agglomerations.
And in Créteil?
Here as in Sarcelles, the major novelty is the disturbing grouping of Jews in certain neighborhoods.
They do not come out anymore. In these cities, Jewish demography remains important because worship services and kosher shops are abundant.
The erosion is less marked than elsewhere but in Creteil, the Jews deserted around the lake or around the great synagogue of the street May 8, 1945. They are rather on the side of the prefecture.
In Sarcelles, you can not wear the kippa if you are far from Flanades ... But there are also refuges cities: Raincy, Lilac and even Epinay-sur-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, the most practicing are very visible and the aggressions infrequent.
In the same department, La Courneuve or Saint-Denis were almost emptied of their Jewish populations.
We do not accuse Islamo-leftists of anti-Semitism
How do you explain it?
In my opinion, the explanation is essentially political. In these communes, as in Stains, Bondy, Noisy-le-Sec, Pierrefitte or Bezons, the municipalities are violently anti-Israel.
Led mostly by the Communist Party (the leaders of the insubordinate France are often less radical), they set up Palestinian terrorist leaders such as Marwan Barghouthi to the rank of honorary citizens.
They campaign for the boycott of Israeli products, in violation of the law, speak of "apartheid" about Israel, etc.
I remind you that the president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS), the former deputy of the PCF Jean-Claude Lefort, even recommended to non-Jews to refrain from buying sheets of brick made in the Hexagon for the simple reason that they were kosher!
All of this creates a terribly unhealthy and unbearable climate for members of our community - regardless of their political views. This climate is obviously encouraged by the conspiracy on the Internet, social networks in particular.
The left-wing Jews who criticize the Netanyahu Cabinet, or even more so those who feel close to Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Insoumis, are they ... anti-Semites without knowing it?
Not at all ! Communist sympathizers either. And I get on well with many imams. We must stop mixing everything.
You know that anti-racist associations consider the BNVCA as a 'communitarist' organization, Islamophobic and defending the exclusive point of view of the Zionist right.
It's absolutely wrong. There are certainly antisemites on the left, as Houria Bouteldja, spokesman of the Indigenous people of the Republic, a racialist identity movement.
But at the risk of surprising you, I do not qualify Islamo-leftists as anti-Semites.
Communists have sometimes helped us. Marie-George Buffet, when she presided over the party, allowed Enrico Macias to sing in Ivry, an ultra-Propalestinian municipality that wanted to ostracize it.
And Jean-Luc Mélenchon is morally unsuspected. The problem is elsewhere: these people unconsciously produce a speech that tends to justify the anti-Jewish acts.
If Mohamed Merah or Amedy Coulibaly proclaimed that they wanted
"To avenge Palestinian children" by killing our fellow believers is not by chance.
It's because they have been bathed in an ideological atmosphere that makes this kind of crime possible.
That's why I fight fierce anti-Israelis, whether extreme right or extreme left, without necessarily accusing them of hating us. And I am not a communitarian, I defend the Jews attacked in the strict respect of the legality, point.