News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorisraeldissentjewish-hatred — Viewing Item

Jews france { May 7 2002 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Tuesday, May 7, 2002
Jews Rethink Vacations to France
NEW YORK (AP) - Abbey Goldberg was supposed to be in France this week, vacationing in places such as Avignon and the Loire Valley - all part of a romantic trip he'd been planning with his wife for months.

Instead, the couple stayed in the United States, unnerved and angered by a spate of anti-Semitic acts in France this spring, ranging from a synagogue arson to physical assaults.

``We had plane tickets, hotel reservations, everything,'' he said. ``But with all the anti-Semitism going on, we didn't feel comfortable going. ...There also was a bit of a desire not to spend money in a country that was tolerating this kind of thing.''

His anxiety is shared by many American Jews who are delaying trips to France. Although reports of anti-Semitism in Germany, Belgium and elsewhere have increased amid the escalating conflict in the Middle East, tourists say the French incidents are particularly jarring.

Arson destroyed a synagogue in Marseille, and gasoline bombs have been thrown at about a dozen other synagogues and cemeteries. Attackers beat Jewish teen-agers with sticks and metal bars while a kosher butcher shop was shot at.

French authorities say the incidents are at the highest level since World War II.

``Usually France is one of our most popular destinations. Not this year,'' said David Lawrence, director of Kosher Expeditions, which caters to Jewish travelers. ``We've canceled all the tours.''

Rachel Kaplan, who offers tours on Jewish history for English speakers in France, said she receives several e-mails each week from Jewish Americans wondering whether it's safe to visit.

``I basically tell them that the French government is alerted to the situation. All Jewish areas have plainclothes and uniform police,'' she said.

Even French tourism officials are having to reassure prospective visitors.

``We're getting a couple of questions a day about it,'' said Robin Massee, director of communication USA for the French Government Tourist Office. ``Mainly the questions are, 'Is it safe to travel,' which of course we're saying it is.''

French authorities have promised tough action against violence. And indeed, it's been a few weeks since the most serious incidents, though many tourists remain concerned.

Other Jews feel that avoiding France is the wrong reaction, particularly since the country has its own large Jewish population - an estimated 600,000, the largest community in western Europe.

During difficult times like this, they say, it's important to be visible.

``I'd feel safer in France than in Israel with what's going on there now,'' said Herbert Roskind, a retired businessman who is planning a European vacation this summer. ``If you want to take a political stand, you should go there and show that you support the Jewish communities there.''

Others point out that blacklisting France will make little difference given the small size of the Jewish population.

Jews make up only 2 percent of Americans, and travel agents, aside from those specifically specializing in Jewish travel, report no broad trend in trip cancellations beyond a broader pullback in overseas traveling in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

Still, anger and apprehension remain. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, last month issued a travel advisory for France and Belgium because of the recent attacks.

For many American Jews, the issue is also about what they perceive as France's historical tendency toward anti-Semitism and racism.

An estimated 75,000 French Jews perished during World War II and France's Vichy government collaborated with the Nazis. France also rarely aligns itself politically with the state of Israel, and has been one of its most vocal European critics in the current crisis.

The strong showing by extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in the first round of the presidential election intensified the doubts, even though he ultimately lost the final ballot to the more mainstream incumbent President Jacques Chirac. Le Pen has called the Holocaust a detail of history and called for immigrants to be expelled from the country.

The French government has said it will punish those responsible for the attacks. But for many American Jews, that is not enough.

``I'm absolutely livid, and I think other people should be too,'' said Danielle Lewis, who had planned a honeymoon in France, but is now looking elsewhere. ``I've lived in France, I'm a Francophile and I love French food and wine. But I don't want to go there. Why would I want to give money to people who want to kill me? ``

Anti semitic acts up on campuses { March 26 2003 }
Anti semitism rising in europe
Attacks by arabs on jews in france { December 3 2003 }
Berlin jews { April 23 2002 }
Blaming jews { October 20 2002 }
China insult { July 30 2002 }
Churchill said jews partly responsible for treatment
Egyptian french
Elders of zion { October 26 2002 }
Eric rudolph anti semite
Europe warned on anti semitism { June 19 2003 }
Europeans believe jews control US policies { May 14 2007 }
France cannes { May 9 2002 }
France stabbed { April 7 2002 }
French 1
French 2
French jews leave { January 7 2003 }
French schoolbus
Frenchwoman who started antisemitic uproar lied { July 13 2004 }
Germany jews { May 28 2002 }
Harvard president { September 17 2002 }
Israeli youth fear low world view of jews
Jews france { May 7 2002 }
Martyr art [jpg]
Martyr art { November 14 2002 }
Nazi protest { August 25 2002 }
Record high british hatred of jews { January 2007 }
Rights group hatred highest level since wwii { May 13 2003 }
Russia posters { June 5 2002 }
Santa rosa college paper { May 2 2003 }
Skinhead russia { June 9 2002 }
Swastikas slur painted on synagogue

Files Listed: 32


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple