By D. Bender
No less than 16 percent of France’s residents think that there is a “Zionist conspiracy on a global scale,” according to results of a survey released Sunday.
Additionally, one in four – 25 percent – also believe that “Zionism is an international organization that seeks to influence the world and society in favor of the Jews,” according to the study conducted on behalf of the Foundation for Political Innovation (Fondapol) on the persistence of anti-Semitic prejudice in French public opinion.
On Saturday, CRIF, the umbrella group representing France’s Jewish community, issued a statement suggesting that the French government’s upcoming vote on Palestinian statehood would cause a rise in anti-Semitism and diminish France’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
An Israel-based francophone news site, jssnews.com, which first reported on the study, said that two polls – one online and another held as man-in-the-street interviews – also found that among those that trust video-sharing sites as information channels a whopping 54 percent believe that infamous anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is correct in his claims of a global Zionist conspiracy.
Thirty-five percent of those surveyed believe “Jews today, in their own interest, exploit their status as victims of Nazi genocide during World War II,” and 25 percent claim that “Jews have too much power in the field of economy and finance.”
Twenty-two percent said “Jews have too much power in the media,” and 19 percent believe “Jews have too much power in the field of politics.”
In light of such results, the European Commission has decided, as of the beginning of 2015, to take legal steps against countries that do not enforce statutes against anti-Semitism, racism and Holocaust denial, Israel’s NRG News reported.
Frans Timmermans, the first Vice-President of the European Commission, told the Conference of European Rabbis, at a meeting between the two in Brussels last weekend, that the Commission “will initiate legal proceedings against EU member states that do not meet the resolution against anti-Semitism and racism,” according to the report.
“I ask you to provide us with all the information in your communities about systematic verbal incitement by EU member states,” Timmermans requested of the group. President of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, and Chief Rabbi of Belgium, Rabbi Abraham Gigi attended the session, among other Jewish community and legislative officials.
Timmermans added that he was unaware of any legislative initiatives against religious laws, including ritual slaughter and circumcision. “We will not tolerate such legislation that will limit the religious rights of citizens of Europe,” he clarified.
Public incitement to violence and hatred based on race, color, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin is prohibited, as well as crimes motivated by racial or anti-Semitic basis – including Holocaust denial.
However, according to reports received by the Commission, this statute is not enforced in at least half the member states.
The poll comes in the wake of a stabbing attack against an Orthodox Jew in Antwerp on Saturday.
The 31-year-old victim was treated for his wounds and released from hospital, according to the JNS News service. The man was walking to synagogue at about 10 a.m. when a man he did not recognize stabbed him and fled. Security camera footage shows the attacker, who appears to be a white male, running away from the scene of the crime. The Belgian police have not yet determined whether the stabbing was an anti-Semitic crime.
As well, according to reports, a neo-Nazi party from the German city of Dortmund has reportedly demanded the city’s mayor give them a list of all city’s Jews, in an event eerily reminiscent of darker days in Germany’s past. The mayor refused and slammed the request, passing it on to legal authorities who are working to outlaw the party.
The Algemeiner Journal