New online tool that monitors anti-Semitism in France records 51,816 incidents in 2019

Of the anti-Semitic posts recorded, the majority (52%) referred to anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories.

By Benjamin Brown, TPS

A new online tool is being used to measure anti-Semitism on social-media in France, Francis Kalifat, president of the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), an umbrella organization for French Jews, has revealed.

In 2019, 51,816 incidents were picked up by the tool and classified according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition on anti-Semitism, Kalifat stated.

Of the anti-Semitic posts recorded, the majority (52%) referred to anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories. Anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hatred featured in over two-thirds of posts (38% and 39% respectively).

Some 13% of posters denied the Holocaust.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Kalifat said the tool helped “to have a more complete picture of anti-Semitism in France,” adding that “it was necessary to identify, quantify and qualify the hateful content present on the internet.”

In January, a survey by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found that a staggering 70% of French Jews say they have been victims of anti-Semitism, 59% suffered physical abuse in school and 46% suffered verbal abuse at work.

Other disturbing findings in the survey showed that young French Jews between the ages of 18-24 are most vulnerable to anti-Semitism.

More than 8 out of 10 young French Jews have suffered at least one anti-Semitic incident, and 39% have been the victims of physical violence.

Attempting to avoid anti-Semitic attacks, more than a third of French Jews refrain from wearing Jewish symbols in public, and a quarter avoids revealing their Jewish identity at work, and 40% avoid arriving at certain areas to circumvent attacks.

Some 52% of French Jews have considered leaving France while Israel has seen several large waves of Aliyah of French Jews in recent years.

Between the years 2000 and 2017, 10 percent of the French Jewish community, the largest in Europe, immigrated to Israel.

The National Assembly in France in December voted in favor of a resolution that endorses the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which also defines anti-Zionism as a form of Jew-hatred.

“This has to stop,” said Ann Sebban-Bécache, Director of AJC Paris. “The fight against anti-Semitism must be a national priority which has the adequate means to cover all of France.”