Travel Alert – France – Violence

Alleged Anti-Semitic Attack in Paris Underscores Risk of Racial Violence

Category: Criminal Activity

Severity: 2 (Low)

Source: Drum Cussac

03/10/2014 (France) – French media reports indicate that an Israeli man was attacked by two unidentified assailants in central Paris on the evening of Sunday, 9 March. The victim was targeted in the vicinity of a synagogue in the Marais district, the capital’s Jewish quarter. At this juncture, the motivations of the assailants remain unclear. However, the nature of the target point toward a possible anti-Semitic incident.

The risk rating for France is currently LOW. According to a report issued by the Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ) on Sunday, 2 March, the number of anti-Semitic attacks in France registered in 2013 dropped by 31 percent in comparison to 2012. In 2013, 423 incidents were recorded against 614 in 2012. The 2012 number of anti-Semitic attacks was abnormally high as authorities believe that far-right militants and radical Islamists were spurred by the March 2012 attack against a Jewish school in Toulouse. In 2013, approximately 40 percent of all racist attacks conducted in France targeted members of the Jewish community.

Roger Cukierman, President of the Representative Council of Jewish Organisations in France (CRIF), claims that anti-Semitic attacks may increase in 2014 because of the rise in far-right militancy as well as because of current tensions generated by the Dieudonne affair. Dieudonne M’bala M’bala is a comedian whose show has been banned due to its alleged anti-Semitic content.

Attacks targeting French religious or ethnic minorities periodically occur in Paris, Strasbourg and in the country’s major cities. These incidents are often conducted by small groups of militants and may include verbal assaults as well as physical attacks. Racial violence does not directly target foreign personnel. However, it generates a risk of exposure to incidental violence. To mitigate the risk generated by these incidents, clients should maintain awareness of their surroundings at all times and keep a low profile.

Copyright © 2014 Drum Cussac

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