A new wave of antisemitism forces French Jews into hiding

A wave of antisemitism has swept across France, forcing Jews to conceal their identities to avoid incidents and discrimination.

Antisemitism has exploded in France since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, and it has been compelling many Jews in the country to hide their identities in the face of antisemitic discrimination, threats, violence and hate crimes they encounter on a day-to-day basis ever since, reports the United with Israel.

An investigation has revealed that antisemitic behaviour has reared its head in daily life, in hair salons, cabs, food deliveries, public transport, post offices, and so on. More than 1,500 outrages have been recorded over the last seven weeks, and the present climate has worsened what was already a precarious situation.

The report on the investigation conducted by Le Figaro included interviews with several Jews who have been confronted with antisemitic discrimination since the October 7 atrocities, some of it comparatively subtle, much of it blatant.

Several cases have involved Jews being denied commercial services, including ride-hailing services. A 60-year-old rabbi said that he had received a message from Uber warning him that his account faced suspension because of the consistently low ratings given to him by the firm’s drivers. He reported that a few months ago, a Muslim driver explained to him that he most probably receives bad ratings from drivers because of his visibly Jewish identity. Another respondent reported to have been kicked out of an Uber vehicle due to his phone conversation in the car about antisemitism on campus. Even more seriously, a taxi driver was accused of kidnapping and then beating at least two Jewish passengers.

Despite these reports, a spokesperson for Uber told Le Figaro that the company had not „observed any significant change in the number of incidents” related to antisemitism.

„Any verbal or physical violence reported while using our platform results in immediate suspension of the account, which can be permanent,” the spokesperson emphasised.

The victims of such antisemitic hate crimes most often do not report the incidents or file a complaint due to fear of retribution.

Antisemitic discrimination took other forms as well. A 31-year-old woman was refused service while having an appointment at her usual hairdresser’s salon. The hairstylist explained the cancellation of her appointment: „I’m not going to be able to do your hair because I support Palestine, and you’re Jewish!”

The La Poste national mail service has long been a source of antisemitic agitation, and cases have grown since October 7. Packages sent to Israel are frequently delivered late, „sometimes in poor condition, with ‘Israel’ crossed out and replaced by ‘Palestine,'” a 50-year-old woman reported.

Many Jews are hiding visibly Jewish names on mailboxes and on apps that contain personal data, adding that removing mezuzah from front doors and hiding kippahs under caps is also recommended.


Original article: Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner