Thursday, January 15, 2009

Four French Synagogues Firebombed

Unknown people hurled petrol bombs at a synagogue in a Paris suburb Thursday in the latest outbreak of anti-Semitic violence in France since the start of Israel's Gaza offensive, firefighters and police said. The main entrance door to the synagogue at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, southeast of Paris, was damaged by fire and a police source said it remained unclear whether one or several petrol bombs were thrown.  

France has recorded around 60 anti-Semitic incidents since Israel launched its Gaza offensive last month, drawing appeals for calm from politicians and religious leaders.

Three other synagogues have been fire-bombed in the past two weeks and vandals have daubed anti-Israeli graffiti on at least two other Jewish places of worship. CRIF, the umbrella representative body of Jewish organizations in France, denounced this “new unacceptable act of violence” and called again on the authorities to take  their responsibilities “to measure the seriousness of the situation and contain this unbearable rise of anti-Semitic acts in France.” 

President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday vowed "zero tolerance" for hate violence and warned "there is no place in the republic for anti-Semites or Islamophobes."  He has promised severe punishment for "those who want to import to France" the Arab-Israeli conflict in Gaza.

Sarkozy is demonstrating an excess of even-handedness considering the violence he refered to is virtually all anti-Semitic in nature.

Vandals have daubed anti-Israeli graffiti on a synagogue in Lille, northern France on Wednesday. Picture: aA journalist films the wall of the synagogue, tagged with a "Zog" inscription (Zionist Occupation Government) and a swastika overnight.

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