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Fight against racism and anti-Semitism

Published on December 11, 2014
Reply by M. Manuel Valls, Prime Minister, to a question in the National Assembly (excerpts)
Paris, December 9, 2014

I imagine everyone here agrees with this, and I want to say it as clearly as possible: racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia can have no place in the Republic, and they have no place in France. I’m convinced that the government and the nation’s elected representatives can never resign themselves to tolerating such acts, which seek to destroy their victims physically, morally and psychologically. Each of those attacks and each of those acts committed for reasons of religion and origins is an insult to France.

Last week the most despicable anti-Semitic violence was in the news once again. Just as the Interior Minister did in Créteil on Sunday, so I once again express our very great compassion for the victims of this violence, those of Créteil of course but also those – too numerous – who don’t become the newspapers’ top stories. It’s true that this form of violence has reached new peaks in 2014, because the number of offences has doubled compared to 2013.

There’s an old, treacherous evil which has carried an abhorrence of the Jewish people down through the centuries. Sometimes this evil is also encouraged by political groups, especially on the Internet. This is often done under the pretext of anti-Zionism and a hatred of Israel. There’s also the terrorist threat, which, apart from this dreadful climate, adds the risk of acts directed against symbols of the Jewish community and our Jewish compatriots. The tragedies of Toulouse and Brussels were the most horrifying illustration of this.

We understand the concern expressed by our compatriots in the Jewish community. I know that many are thinking of leaving because they’re worried and have doubts about France’s ability to protect them. Here before you, as I’ve sadly already had occasion to do, I want to tell them that a France without the Jews of France wouldn’t be France.

It’s this message of protection we must send to them. To reduce this threat which, of course, hangs over so many fellow citizens, the police and courts have a role to play. Of course, it is important for the government to take measures. Moreover, it did so a few days ago by creating a bolstered interministerial delegation with more resources at its disposal, because there’s a considerable amount of work to do in society. Public officials and the government are leading this work, based on the rule of law. (…)./.

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