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What Do The Statistics Tell Us?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter starts with the acts of anti-Semitic violence which are serious enough to be listed in the official statistics. These data refer to attacks against institutions and their property (synagogues, community centres, Jewish schools, and cemeteries) and against individuals (attacks, death threats, and throwing of stones), or their property (notably vandalism). Crimes are solved primarily when the perpetrators are caught red-handed and rarely as the result of an inquiry. The incidence of anti-Semitism in French public opinion does not shed light directly on the upsurge of acts of violence targeting Jewish people: these are forms of anti-Semitism which are more appropriately dealt with separately. In France, people are now protesting much more rapidly, sometimes even too much so, about anti-Semitism than about other forms of racism. But this is neither a reason to refuse to acknowledge its spread nor to dispense with the attempt to understand it.

Keywords: anti-Semitic violence; Jewish people; perpetrators; racism; vandalism

10.1163/ej.9789004163379.i-432.9
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