6 in 10 French people think Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism, survey finds

More than one in 10 also said they thought there were too many Jewish people in France

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The Independent Online

A total of 59 per cent of French people think members of the Jewish community are at least partially responsible for anti-Semitism, a survey conducted by the Fondation de Judaisme Français and Ipsos has suggested

The foundation surveyed 1,005 people who “constituted a sample representative of the French population” online over nine days. 

Respondents were asked whether they thought Jews held part of the responsibility for anti-Semitism in France. 

Of the 59 per cent that answered yes, three per cent thought they had ‘a very important part’ and 14 per cent said they had a ‘significant’ part. 

Over half of respondents said Jewish people had a lot of power and were richer than the average French person. 

A total of 13 per cent of respondents thought there were too many Jewish people in France, despite the Jewish community only making up one per cent of the population. 

Reported anti-Semitic crimes in France have more than doubled between 2014 and 2015 according to a report by Human Rights First, who stated that the crimes were becoming “increasingly violent”.

Approximately 8,000 French Jews migrated to Israel last year, making France the highest source of immigrants to Israel, and many more have migrated to the UK and Canada. 

Board of Deputies of British Jews Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: "it is troubling to consider that more than one in 10 French people believe there are 'too many Jews' in the country. 

“The sad reality today is that visibly-Jewish French citizens are subject to a range of disturbing reactions, from latent anti-Semitism to acts of extreme violence - a number of which have resulted in deaths. For many, this has led to a decision that Jewish life is no longer viable in the country. 

“In the UK, French Jews have been welcomed with open arms by our own community - there are two French Rabbis both Orthodox and Progressive - while the in-take at some Jewish schools is now made up of 50 per cent Francophone children. 

“Throughout the Jewish diaspora but particularly in Europe there is deep unease at the trends suggesting anti-Semitism . Governments and wider society must reinforce their commitment to supporting Jewish communities who contribute so much to wider society."