Poll: 90% of French Jewish uni. students experience antisemitism

Vast majority of French Jews feel they need to defend Israel due to their identity, say they fear left-wing antisemitism.

By World Israel News Staff

A startling 90 percent of Jewish university students in France have experienced antisemitism on campus, according to a new poll from the French Institute of Public Opinion.

The survey, in which both Jewish students and non-Jewish students participated, quizzed the respondents regarding antisemitic incidents they had witnessed at French universities.

Shockingly, 20 percent of respondents said they had seen an antisemitic attack that involved physical violence on campus at least once.

Notably, 83 percent of Jewish students said they feared antisemitism originating from the far-left. Significantly fewer (63 percent) cited right-wing antisemitism as a major concern.

“Hostility towards Jews doesn’t come from any one community or especially from Muslims. Far-left propaganda is a bigger issue,” Philippe Schmidt, vice president of the International League Against Racism and Antisemitism, said in a media statement.

75 percent of French Jewish university students said they had felt obligated to defend Israeli security policies due to their Jewish identity.

12 percent of students said that they had heard professors spout antisemitic rhetoric in the classroom.

France is home to the second largest diaspora Jewish community in the world after the U.S., with some 550,000 Jews living in the country.

But despite their relatively large numbers, French Jews have cited an increasingly antisemitic atmosphere as having a major impact on their quality of life.

In several high-profile incidents in recent years, Jews have been murdered in antisemitically motivated slayings, yet French authorities have been slow to name Jew hatred as a motivating factor behind the slayings.

Sarah Halimi, an elderly Jewish woman, was brutally murdered by her Muslim neighbor in 2017. The perpetrator had repeatedly targeted Halimi with antisemitic insults prior to the incident.

He eventually broke into her apartment, attempted to suffocate her, and ultimately hurled her from the third floor of the building.

However, despite reciting verses from the Quran at the time of his arrest and his documented history of antisemitic statements towards the victim, French police dismissed antisemitism as the motive for the murder.