(JTA) – Leaders of the Freemason movement in Paris urged members not to attend events organized by France’s Jewish communities because of their support for Israel, which they said increases antisemitism. The reference to Israel appeared in a draft resolution circulated during this week’s congress of the Grand Orient in Rouen. It was rescinded and senior Freemasons said it had been sent out by mistake, but the original document was obtained by bloggers covering the movement, which has tens of thousands of members.
The document called CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, “a follower of policies” promoted by Israel of “religious extreme right-wing ideology” that leads to “divisions and rise in antisemitism.” The draft resolution has not been adopted. Francis Kalifat, the president of CRIF, told Le Parisien that he was “infuriated” by the text, which he called a “scandalous manifestation of far-left ideas” from the France Unbowed movement led by the Communist populist politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, who is a Freemason. In 2017, a French Freemason leader said he was assaulted on the street by a woman carrying a hammer who called him a Jew.
Main Photo: Members of the French Jewish community hold signs reading “I am Charlie” and “I am a Jew from France” at a rally in Jerusalem, Israel in January 2015.