‘Ev­ery­one is now seen as a threat’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY CHAR­LOTTE OLIVER

THE “IL­LU­SION” that ter­ror­ist at­tacks are only a threat to Jews, and not all French peo­ple, is over, says a po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tant based in Paris.

David Khalfa said ev­ery cit­i­zen “will have to con­front the threat and the changes it im­plies”.

He told the Times of Is­rael that, since Jan­uary’s at­tack on the Char­lie Hebdo of­fices, French Jews had been on alert and were more pre­pared for at­tacks.

“Now ev­ery­one is a tar­get: it hap­pened in cof­fee shops, in restau­rants, in a con­cert hall, and I think it has changed the whole per­spec­tive of fight­ing terror,” he said.

France’s Jewish se­cu­rity com­mu­nity ser­vice, the SPCJ, has posted on Face­book de­tailed in­struc­tions to com­mu­nity lead­ers about how to keep their con­gre­ga­tions safe.

Most Jewish communal ac­tiv­i­ties planned in France this week were also sus­pended. On Sun­day, the Jewish Fed­er­a­tion of France (FSJU) put off the launch of its Na­tional Ap­peal for Tzedakah, a money-rais­ing ra­dio ap­peal for Jewish char­i­ties.

TheMac­cabi Cen­tre, which runs sports clubs in Paris, also scrapped ev e nts, a nd the Cul­tural and Univer­sity Jewish Space o f Eu r o p e (ECUJE) can­celled He­brew cour­ses and syn­a­gogue ser­vices.

Is­raeli tech­nol­ogy was in­volved in re­as­sur­ing Parisians that their rel­a­tives were safe.

In the 24 hours af­ter the at­tacks, 4.1 mil­lion peo­ple used Face­book Safety Check, a tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped by the com­pany’s Is­raeli re­search and de­vel­op­ment depart­ment.

A spokesman for Face­book Is­rael said: “A to­tal of 360 mil­lion peo­ple re­ceived mes­sages that their loved ones were safe.”

Safety Check is a fea­ture Face­book has ac­ti­vated sev­eral times in the past, usu­ally for nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

The Paris at­tacks were the first time it was used to en­able peo­ple to “check in” and let oth­ers know they were safe af­ter such an at­tack.

It had pre­vi­ously faced crit­i­cism for not do­ing so in pre­vi­ous terror in­ci­dents in places such as Bagh­dad, Beirut, and Kabul.

Alex Schultz, Face­book’s vice-pres­i­dent of Growth, said: “We chose to ac­ti­vate Safety Check in Paris be­cause we ob­served a lot of ac­tiv­ity on Face­book as the events were un­fold­ing. In the mid­dle of a com­plex, un­cer­tain sit­u­a­tion af­fect­ing many peo­ple, Face­book be­came a place where peo­ple were shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and look­ing to understand the con­di­tion of their loved ones.”

360m peo­ple re­ceived Face­book mes­sagesthat their loved oneswere­safe

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