A new report from the Jewish Community Protection Service says that anti-Semitic attacks in France increased by 58% from 2011 to 2012.
The biggest attack in 2012 was that of Mohamed Merah, who shot dead seven people, including three children and a rabbi, outside a school in Toulouse. Merah’s killings, the report says, led to a spike of anti-Semitic attacks in the days following.
The increase in anti-Semitism has led to an exodus of French Jews who have moved across the Channel to English shores, with St. John’s Wood Synagogue in London establishing French-language Shabbat services to fulfill a growing demand.
UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who is retiring this year, has expressed concern over whether there was still a place for Jews in Europe after recent legal challenges to the Jewish practices of circumcision and ritual slaughter.