California Muslims Send 16,000+ Letters to Senators on Gaza

(ANAHEIM, CA 8/15/2014) — The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today announced figures of the letter-writing campaign that calls on California State senators to advocate for an end to the killing in Gaza.

Staff and volunteers of the Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization began the circulation of the letters on Tuesday July 22 during the Islamic month of Ramadan when Muslims held special prayers and other activities at mosques nationwide. More than 16,700 letters across the state of California have been signed to date. 

The letters, which were hand-delivered to both Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein’s offices, read in part:

The U.S. government must not remain silent about Israel’s unjust and disproportionate use of force against Palestinians in Gaza. The ‘right of a nation to defend itself’ does not extend to unrestrained aerial bombardments of civilian populations and must be condemned immediately.”

“The response to our Gaza letter-writing campaign has been very enthusiastic,” said CAIR-CA Chair, Safaa Ibrahim. “California residents are deeply concerned about the toll Israel’s latest military campaign has taken on innocent civilians. They want to be sure elected officials hear their constituents’ voices.”

Baroness Warsi resigns from Conservative party over Gaza and warns Tories over attracting ethnic minorities

August 10, 2014

Former Conservative chairman Baroness Warsi says her party will not win the next election unless it does more to attract ethnic minority voters. She resigned as a government minister over the UK’s policy on Gaza last week but has now broadened her criticisms. Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke said her criticisms would soon be forgotten.

Lady Warsi became the first female Muslim cabinet minister when David Cameron became prime minister in 2010. In her newspaper interviews she also criticised “bitchy” male colleagues and repeated her anger at the government’s handling of the fighting in Gaza. She said: “I will be out there, vocally fighting for an outright Conservative majority. But the electoral reality is that we will not win outright Conservative majorities until we start attracting more of the ethnic vote.”

Lady Warsi said she was one of David Cameron’s earliest supporters in 2005, stating: “This is a guy who gets today’s Britain. He’s a new kind of Conservative. He’s comfortable with today’s Britain. I think the party has shifted since then. The party leadership has shifted since then. I think over time it will be a regressive move because we have to appeal to all of Britain, not just because it’s morally the right thing to do… but because it is an electoral reality.”

She called on the government to “recognise Palestine as a state” and impose an arms embargo on Israel. She also criticised Chancellor George Osborne and chief whip Michael Gove for not using their “very, very close” relations with the Israeli government to help end the hostilities. “What is the point of having that strong relationship if you can’t use it to move them to a position which is in their interests and our interests?”

She also rejected Mr Osborne’s claim that her resignation had been “unnecessary” by saying: “My actions would not have been necessary if he had done what he should have done, which is pick up the phone to people he is incredibly close to and say: ‘It’s unnecessary for you to meet your ends by taking out power stations, taking out homes, taking out schools and killing kids on beaches.'”

Mr Shelbrooke, who is the MP for Elmet and Rothwell, said Lady Warsi had “embarrassed herself” and her criticisms would “quickly fizzle out”. He said: “I think within a week, ‘Who was Lady Warsi?’ will be the question. She has ended her career in many ways. Isn’t it best to step down on a point of principle, but don’t you embarrass yourself if you start launching into a tirade about many other things, when you come from a position of having never held elected office.”

The Conservative Party said it would not comment on Lady Warsi’s newspaper interviews at the moment. Lady Warsi stood for election to the Commons in her home town of Dewsbury in 2005 but lost to Labour. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2007. The government’s chief whip in the House of Lords is to replace Baroness Warsi as a Foreign Office minister, with the right to attend cabinet. Lord Taylor of Holbeach is the new Lords Chief Whip. Conservative MP Lord Bates, replaces Lord Taylor as parliamentary under secretary of state at the Home Office. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who paid warm tribute to Lady Warsi on Tuesday, will take over her faith brief, in addition to his existing responsibilities.

In her letter to the prime minister, Lady Warsi – the first Muslim woman to serve in a British cabinet – said: “I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in government at this time I do not feel that I can be sure of that.” Mr Cameron replied that he understood her “strength of feeling on the current crisis”, adding the situation in Gaza was “intolerable”, but he rejected her call to change direction.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said he had a “great deal of respect” for Baroness Warsi, adding that she had done “excellent work” for the Conservative Party and in government.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Israel had “overstepped the mark” in the conflict and called for the suspension of arms export licences.

The prime minister has faced criticism from some in his own party for not condemning Israel for what they believe is its disproportionate use of force against Hamas and civilians in Gaza. But neither Mr Cameron nor any Conservative minister has said that Israel has gone beyond what is proportionate. The response from the new foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, was telling. What Lady Warsi has labelled a “morally indefensible” position he has dismissed as a call for “megaphone diplomacy”. He emphasised that he felt he had to be “balanced”.

Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC: “The government’s position is wrong and I think Sayeeda Warsi’s statement is completely right about this.” He said that Mr Cameron had to “think much more clearly” about policy on Gaza and had to “break his silence” over Israel’s actions.

But Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “I do find it rather surprising that she has chosen now, this particular moment, to take this step when, in fact, we are now at long last seeing some relief, seeing some progress on the issues about which she was so passionately concerned.”

David Cameron’s response to her resignation stated he had “much regret” she hadn’t talked to him about her concerns before she quit. But there was also a warm tribute. “I would like you to know how much I have personally appreciated your support and friendship over the years’ he wrote.

Belfast City Hall peace vigil for those suffering in conflicts

August 6, 2014

Several hundred people have attended a prayers for peace vigil at Belfast City Hall. Prayers are being said by representatives of churches from across the world, including the Jewish and Muslim faiths. Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon called for peace in countries across the Middle East and other war torn areas of the world. Belfast City councillors from across the political divide also attended. One group holding a Palestinian flag stood outside the gates, but were unable to get into the grounds. It was organised by the lord mayor.

Ms Mallon said the vigil was “about people coming together in a humanitarian appeal to end this suffering and conflict”.

“This is a multi-denominational vigil offering people the opportunity to show solidarity with all of those suffering and to pray for peace in Gaza, across the Middle East and the wider world. It is open to everyone – those of all faiths and none.

Naughty Boy defends #FreePalestine tweet with Zayn Mailk

July 31, 2014

Producer Naughty Boy admits he and One Direction’s Zayn Malik sent tweets with the hashtag #FreePalestine, not because they are Muslim but because they are “humanitarian”. Zayn Malik was criticised about his decision to send the tweet last Sunday to his 13 million followers. But despite comments from fans and the media the singer did not delete it. Naughty Boy, who’s 29, said artists had a “responsibility” to speak out on Twitter. The producer, whose real name is Shahid Khan, has been working with One Direction on new track One Chance to Dance and happened to be in the studio with Zayn Malik. “We did a simultaneous tweet,” he told the Asian Network. It’s just more about being a human being. If I saw that going on in Israel, the amount of women and children being killed, that is just too shocking

He said: “We are educated on the subject and the history of Palestine; so we have a responsibility as we are creating awareness about children dying. Zayn’s biggest fan base is teenage girls so it’s good to highlight.” His tweet prompted a response from upset One Direction fans in Israel using the hashtag #ZaynYouHaveFansinIsrael. Naughty Boy denied he was taking sides in the conflict.

Have French socialists and Francois Hollande lost the Muslim electorate because of Gaza?

August 6, 2014

“To our French cousins, one thing to repeat for Hollande, Valls and Cie: ‘Gaza, if I forget you in the 2017 polls, let my right hand be cut off!’” Reads one of the latest Facebook posts calling to “punish” Hollande and the Socialist Party at the next presidential election in 2017.

The Party of the Indigenous of the Republic (PIR), which is very active in mobilizing for Gaza in France and which played a major role in the two demonstrations that were banned, has been vocal about its dislike for Hollande’s policies.

“The tide is turning. After more than a month of a Zionist invasion, from all sides, emerges the slogan: ‘In 2017, the PS will pay,’” it warned in a recent statement.  “Numerous voices have marked the date for the presidentials, and call for a real Waterloo for the PS in the next elections” stated the PIR, which has promised to “employ all its forces.”

In activist circles and beyond, Francois Hollande, who obtained 85% of the Muslim vote in 2012, is currently at his lowest popularity level. Although it is impossible to determine what constitutes the “Muslim vote,” it is evident that many Muslims are angry with Hollande and how he has dealt with the situation in Gaza.

Early in the conflict Hollande expressed his support for Israel and urged the government to “take every measure to protect its population in the face of threats.” This statement has since prompted outrage from the Muslim community.

Many activists and elected socialists of Muslim origin have noticed the rise in hostility toward the Socialist Party, a dislike which has increased since the ban on public demonstrations in Paris and Prime Minister Valls’s accusation of anti-Semitism in poor neighborhoods. Hollande’s party has suffered from internal debate.

Certain members of the French government have revised their original support for Francois Hollande as more civilian casualties in Gaza take place. For example, Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius recently recognized the “massacre of civilians” in Gaza.

Gaza, Islam and Anti-Semitism

August, 2014

Due to the tragic situation in Gaza and the gross violation of human rights and international law, Muslims (without any clear organizational affiliation) have addressed the atrocities effecting the Palestinian civilian population by demonstrating in various cities. Parts of the demonstrators, however, forwarded anti-Semitic slogans sparking public debate about the nature of such rallies, about anti-Semitism in Muslim communities and the lack and limit of a legitimate critique focusing on Israel. Micha Brumlik, well-known philosopher and educator, warned against a new “quality” of anti-Semitism influenced by the war in Gaza. Focusing on anti-Semitism from Arabic-Muslim background in particular, Brumlik suggested to immediately increase educational work and interreligious dialogue as well as claimed Muslim organizations to extent their engagement with this issue as well. Wolfgang Benz, established historian and director of the Center for Research on Antisemitism, however, warned against exaggerating the issue and didn’t see any new “quality” of anti-Semitism in Germany. Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD), explicitly answered the public concerns regarding anti-Semitism in Muslim contexts in an interview by condemning anti-Semitism, racism and the exploitation of the situation in Gaza by Islamic radicals, respectively. As an effect of these and related debates, the Islamic Community Milli Goerues (IGMG) together with the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) organized a rally in Berlin. Equally the Islamic Religious Association Hesse (IRH) formed a coalition with the Palestinian community in Hesse as well as with the European Jews for Just Peace and condemned anti-Semitism, agitation and xenophobia along with the systemic destruction of Gaza, the killing of civilian population in Palestine, the illegal Israeli occupation and settlements as well as the blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel and Egypt since 2007. The Islamic Religious Association Hesse had invited several non-Muslim speakers including Janine Wissler (Member of the Landtag of Hesse) and Athenagoras Ziliaskopoulos (Minister of the Greek Orthodox Church in Frankfurt).

 

On demonstrations and Anti-Semitism:

http://www.fr-online.de/frankfurt/demonstrationen-israel—palaestina-parolen-gegen-israel,1472798,27897172.html

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2014-07/antisemitismus-gazastreifen-israel-deutschland-demonstrationen

http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2014-07/nahost-demonstrationen-antisemitismus

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/antisemitismus-unter-muslimen-der-hass-ist-voellig-ausser-kontrolle-geraten-1.2059322

http://www.fr-online.de/politik/antisemitismus-warnung-vor–franzoesischen-verhaeltnissen-,1472596,27932444.html

http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2014-07/al-quds-tag-berlin-antisemitismus

http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2014-07/al-quds-demo-berlin

http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2014-07/alquds-demonstration-berlin-israel

http://www.fr-online.de/meinung/kommentar-antisemitismus-antisemitismus-und-mogelei,1472602,27952464.html

 

From Anti-Semitism to a legitimate political critique of Israel

http://www.fr-online.de/politik/nahost-konflikt–es-gibt-keine-lawine-,1472596,27917186.html

http://islam.de/23968

http://islamische-zeitung.de/?id=18166

http://islamische-zeitung.de/?id=18154

http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.interview-mit-rolf-verleger-in-israel-gibt-es-eine-kultur-des-hasses.57c6125c-ba8b-4a56-b25b-6d1771763317.html

http://www.fr-online.de/meinung/gaza-krieg-israels-unrecht-auf-geraubtem-land,1472602,28007268.html

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2014-07/israel-gaza-konflikt-antisemitismus

http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/anti-israelische-proteste-wer-hat-uns-das-denn-eingebrockt.694.de.html?dram:article_id=292408

A Militant Jewish Group Confronts Pro-Palestinian Protesters in France

August 6, 2014

Several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators rampaged through the Jewish quarter of this northern suburb of Paris in July, some chanting, “Death to Jews.” As the rioters attacked a funeral home and set fire to a pharmacy, a band of young Jews formed a human shield in front of the city’s main synagogue, brandishing motorcycle helmets as weapons.

Foot soldiers of a French offshoot of the Jewish Defense League, a far-right Zionist group that advocates muscular self-defense in the face of violence and anti-Semitism, they faced off with the crowd as protesters clashed with riot police officers.

“If it wasn’t for those boys, this whole neighborhood would have been burned and turned into hell,” said Fortunée Fitoussi, a cashier at Boulangerie Nathanya, a popular bakery in a large Jewish neighborhood of kosher grocery stores and blocky apartment buildings in Sarcelles often called Little Jerusalem.

But while some Jews embraced members of the group as heroes, it also added a volatile element to France’s sometimes violent street protests as the Gaza war fueled tensions, especially between Muslims and Jews, in a climate of growing anti-Semitism in France and elsewhere in Europe.

The group models itself loosely on the Jewish Defense League in the United States, an organization founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was assassinated in 1990, and whose Kach party was banned in Israel as racist. The American group has been listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a terrorist organization. The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, warned in July against “excesses” of the French League, prompting speculation that he was considering banning the group.

The French news media has characterized the French League as a dangerous vigilante group, though experts say it is small, disorganized and less militant than its American counterpart.

Founded in France in 2003 by former members of Betar, the youth movement linked to the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the French League has roughly 400 members. They are predominantly young Sephardic men from working-class suburbs, some trained in krav maga, a hand-to-hand martial art used by the Israeli military. Critics accuse the group of advocating violence and racism, noting a past entry on the League’s Facebook page that referred to Arabs as “rats.”

“They are dangerous, violent and anti-republican,” said Sihem Souid, a human rights activist whom the League has lambasted on its website and accused of encouraging anti-Semitism. Ms. Souid, who works for a victims’ organization attached to the Justice Ministry, vehemently denies the accusation and has called for the group to be banned.

In a rare interview, one of the group’s senior officials, a burly 62-year-old former law enforcement official who declined to give his full name but called himself Eliahou, summarized the French League’s philosophy: “I would rather be a mean Jew than a dead Jew.”

Eliahou said the League had no qualms about harassing people wearing kaffiyehs, the black-and-white scarf that is a symbol of Palestinian resistance, on the Rue des Rosiers, a street lined with Judaica shops and falafel joints in central Paris. “This is our neighborhood,” he explained. “Our aim is to annoy people who hate Israel and are anti-Semites.”

Eliahou said anti-Semitic violence was swelling the group’s ranks, with 10 recruits joining every day, while donations had poured in from as far away as Canada. Though his claims were not possible to verify, the group’s members are being embraced across Jewish neighborhoods in the French capital as gutsy, if hotheaded, protectors, residents said.

During another attack in July at a synagogue in an eastern district of Paris, on the Rue de la Roquette, several witnesses, including Jean-Yves Camus, director of the Observatory of Political Radicalism at the Jean Jaurès Foundation in Paris, credited the League with helping to fend off up to 150 pro-Palestinian demonstrators as congregation members cowered inside.

Several congregation members who were there said demonstrators, some wielding metal bars and bats, had tried to scale the walls while League members forced them back by tossing tables and chairs. Palestinian groups accused the League of provoking the attack by taunting demonstrators and throwing projectiles.

Mr. Camus said he had studied the group extensively and concluded that it was capable of fighting but did not resemble its American counterpart, a serious terrorist organization.

Still, members have gained reputations as provocateurs. Bernard Ravenel, a member of the France Palestine Solidarity Association, said that in 2004, half a dozen masked members of the League tried to break down the door to the group’s headquarters to disrupt a conference. Eliahou denied that the attack took place.

In 2012, the French Jewish Union for Peace demanded that the group be disbanded, accusing it of making threats. Members have also interrupted a reading in Paris organized for Jacob Cohen, a writer critical of Israel, heckling him as a “collaborator.”

That year, a member of the League sprayed Houria Bouteldja, a French-Algerian activist, with red paint as she stood near a museum devoted to Arab culture.

Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, dismissed the League as marginal. The Protection Service of the Jewish Community, a security body that works closely with the police, is highly effective, he said, and hundreds of officers from the French security services have been deployed in recent weeks to maintain order. But he dismissed claims by pro-Palestinian groups and the French news media that the League had provoked recent anti-Semitic attacks.

“We don’t know the League, and we don’t want to know it, and I am sad that youths feel attracted to this organization,” he said. “But I understand when youths say that we are faced with a pogrom and need to defend ourselves.”

Law enforcement officials said some League members had criminal records. A leading member of the Protection Service, who asked that his name not be used, citing security concerns, said members did not have adequate training, were overly aggressive and were giving Jews a bad name.

But Chantal Haziot, owner of a Judaica shop in the Jewish quarter of the Marais, expressed a more common refrain heard these days: “People are afraid, and, like them or not, I am happy they’re there.”

Muslim Minister Quits British Government to Protest Gaza Policies

August 5, 2014

The fighting in Gaza claimed an unexpected casualty among the British political elite on Tuesday when Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim to serve in the British cabinet, resigned, saying the government’s “approach and language” in the crisis had been “morally indefensible.”

The broadside took aim at Prime Minister David Cameron’s refusal to join a chorus of British critics who have labeled Israel’s bombardment of Gaza disproportionate and an outrage. Her decision widened fissures within the coalition government and between the government and leading British Muslims, reflecting the emotional impact of the Gaza conflict, which has been relayed in graphic images on television and social media.

The resignation “reflects the unease and anxiety in Parliament and in the country about the U.K. government’s present position” on the conflict, said Sir Menzies Campbell, a former leader of the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the governing coalition.

Not only that, there were signs of division within Mr. Cameron’s Conservative Party. Nicholas Soames, a Conservative lawmaker and former minister, said on Twitter: “The government needs to note and learn from the resignation of Sayeeda Warsi she was right to leave over a matter of such great importance.”

But George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer who is close to Mr. Cameron, called her action “disappointing and frankly unnecessary.”

Shuja Shafi, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, the biggest Muslim umbrella grouping, said Ms. Warsi had taken a “principled stand” and had “spoken on behalf of humanity.”

Ms. Warsi, 43, a lawyer and the daughter of an immigrant textile worker from Pakistan, had been a member of Mr. Cameron’s cabinet since 2010 and had been seen as a political bridge to the country’s Muslim minority.

In her resignation letter, Ms. Warsi said, “My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East peace process generally but more recently our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long-term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically.”

She wrote: “I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in government at this time I do not feel that I can be sure of that.”

She announced her decision on the same day as a cease-fire came into force in Gaza.

Mr. Cameron, who has been accused by the opposition Labour Party of being too cautious on the Gaza crisis, was on vacation when news of the resignation broke. In a letter to Ms. Warsi released by his office, he said he regretted her departure and realized “that this must not have been an easy decision for you to make.”

“I understand your strength of feeling on the current crisis in the Middle East — the situation in Gaza is intolerable. Our policy has always been consistently clear: We support a negotiated two-state solution as the only way to resolve this conflict once and for all and to allow Israelis and Palestinians to live safely in peace,” Mr. Cameron said.

“Of course, we believe that Israel has the right to defend itself,” the letter said. “But we have consistently made clear our grave concerns about the heavy toll of civilian casualties and have called on Israel to exercise restraint, and to find ways to bring this fighting to an end.”

On Monday, in commenting on the crisis in Gaza, Mr. Cameron pointedly declined to echo the assessment of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations, who called an attack on a United Nations school in Gaza a “moral outrage and a criminal act.”

Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour opposition, called on Mr. Cameron to change his approach. “He needs to come out much more clearly and say that Israel’s actions are just wrong and can’t be defended and can’t be justified,” he said. Ms. Warsi, by contrast, acted with “principle and integrity,” Mr. Miliband said.

Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, said he had “never been ambiguous” in his condemnation of the bombing of United Nations schools in Gaza as “a complete outrage.”

“Clearly the prime minister and I have taken different views on this,” he said, referring to Israel’s actions in Gaza. “We always have done.”

Some analysts said that the resignation also reflected Ms. Warsi’s unhappiness with a major reorganization of the government ordered by Mr. Cameron last month, in which she was not restored to a higher office.

The resignation stirred passions as people in Britain — political leaders, members of the royalty and citizens — began what are expected to be lengthy commemorations of the centenary of World War I, which the country entered on Aug. 4, 1914. Ceremonies to commeorate the occasion on Monday were characterized by broad consensus among the country’s political adversaries.

Ms. Warsi’s resignation recalled the days in 2003 when two senior figures stepped down to protest Britain’s participation in the United States-led invasion of Iraq.

Austria: Attacks during a soccer game

July 25, 2014

The Austrian newspaper der Standard is reporting, that soccer players from an Israeli soccer club were attacked during a friendship game in Austria. According to the newspaper the attackers had a Palestinian and Turkish background. They wanted vengeance for the Israeli attacks on Gaza – the newspaper said.

Haïm Korsia: “We all have to protect the Republic”

July 23, 2014

Jewish chaplain and the new Chief Rabbi of France, Haïm Korsia is known for his commitment to interreligious dialogue and to the values of the French republic. He was elected June 22, 2014 and is now faced with a series of attacks against the country’s Jewish community that have occurred during pro-Palestinian demonstrations. In the wake of rioting in Sarcelles Korsia participated in an interfaith prayer session with Drancy’s imam Hassen Chalghoumi in the town’s synagogue. Korsia answered questions in a recent interview with Le Point.

When asked his reaction to the speeches given at the presidential palace and at the prayer session in Sarcelles, he answered that is was a “necessary time for the national community, that needed to express the idea of solidarity between all its peoples, to say that there are things that are unacceptable.”

Korsia affirmed that it was not only up to Muslim leaders to speak out against violent acts. In the words of imam Chalghoumi, those perpetrators “are not in true support of any cause, they are not Muslims, they demonstrate only a rejection of the system and a hate for Jews. It is necessary to recognize this in order to fight: it will not work to be alarmist, but to make a fair observation in order to institute working methods, education, and courage so that there may be a peaceful ‘living together,’ which is France’s true mission.” The rabbi stated, “There is no war of religions, but of Frenchmen who attacked other Frenchmen.”

The rabbi trusts Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve’s statement that there will no future demonstrations. He expressed his surprise at elected officials who attended banned demonstrations, saying, “It is incomprehensible that certain people scoff at the Republic that they are supposed to embody.”

He stressed the importance of interreligious dialogue and of schools to introduce children to classmates with different religions than their own. “Someone else’s religion doesn’t have to be a mystery, a radical otherness, but another form of humanity that is just as deserving of respect,” he said. Korsia believes that this type of dialogue is possible in public schools. “One must go back to basics, at what is at the heart of the republican intention: we are all citizens, and there is a single community that counts: the national community,” he affirmed.

When referring to the “great national cause” he acknowledged the specific fight against anti-Semitism. However he said “it’s necessary to see things as they are: when we engage in methods to fight anti-Semitism, we give the impression that there are two weights, two measures…In reality one must fight against any rejection. The fight against global racism is good, but with a specificity towards anti-Semitism, which must become a great national cause.”

According to the recent findings, 5,000 French Jews have relocated to Israel in 2014 compared with 1,907 in 2012. Korsia stated that this number may be related to the anxiety many Jews feel in France, but is not the only reason for their relocation.

When asked if he believes that the majority of France feels a “softness” towards the anti-Semitic violence that occurred he answered, “not a softness, but an indifference, a resignation.” He stated that it’s necessary to work towards instituting “freedom and brotherhood while at the same time working toward national reconciliation.”