French leader warns of rise in anti-semitism
PARIS — Prime Minister Edouard Philippe sounded the alarm Friday over a sharp rise in antisemitic acts this year, and he pledged to increase efforts to punish perpetrators and to police hate speech.
Philippe announced on his Facebook page a 69 percent rise in the number of antisemitic acts reported to police in the first nine months of 2018 compared with the same period last year.
Resurgent antisemitism is of national concern in a country with Europe’s largest Jewish population and which still struggles with the stain of collaboration with the Nazis.
“There’s this feeling that something has opened up, a gateway to intolerance and hate,” said rabbi and researcher Delphine Horvilleur. “Words kill. It starts with words and very quickly they turn into acts.”