(JTA) – Citing a “dangerous atmosphere” in France due to a rise in recent weeks in antisemitic attacks, the federation of the country’s Jewish communities demanded authorities take tough action to stop it. CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, made the appeal Jan. 16 in a statement following threats to burn down a Jewish community center in the Paris suburb of Saint-Maur. “In recent days, numerous serious incidents have begun occurring in the Paris region: The scrawling of swastikas and arson in Creteil, the slashing of a young girl’s face in Sarcelles, an anonymous letter and threats against the synagogue in Saint-Maur,” CRIF wrote.
In the Saint-Maur incident, the letter sent to the community center and synagogue on Tuesday read, “After Creteil, it is you, you bastards, who are going to burn in this neighborhood.” It was a reference to the torching earlier this month of two kosher shops in Creteil, a Paris suburb adjacent to Saint-Maur. A week before what police suspect may have been arson, individuals painted swastikas on the facades of those kosher stores. On Jan. 10, a Jewish teenager had her face slashed by an unidentified assailant on a street in the suburb of Sarcelles while she was wearing the uniform of her Jewish school.