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What do we know about the census of anti-Semitic acts recorded since October 7? – Liberation

Question placed on X(formerly Twitter)

You ask us about the census of the number of anti-Semitic acts communicated by the Ministry of the Interior, since the Hamas attack on October 7, and the way in which the figures are gathered. On Europe 1, Minister Gérald Darmanin presented the latest figures on Tuesday, November 14, noting that “1,518 anti-Semitic acts or anti-Semitic remarks which go directly towards French people of Jewish faith have been recorded since October 7”. Stressing that among this number, there are “almost 600 arrests”the minister vaguely explained that “these are essentially tags, insults but there are also assaults and injuries”.

The minister’s publication indicates the details of anti-Semitic facts, expressed in percentages. The minister’s entourage specifies that “these percentages are based on the number of 1,518 anti-Semitic acts since October 7 given by the minister” this Tuesday. According to information posted by Gérald Darmanin, these 1,518 anti-Semitic acts are as follows: “50% of tags, posters, banners (including “deaths to the Jews”, swastikas, etc.); 22% threats and insults; 10% apology for terrorism; 8% property crimes; 6% suspicious behavior; 2% assault and battery; and 2% of attacks on community places.”

This results in approximately 760 tags, posters and banners, 334 threats and insults, 152 apologies for terrorism, 121 attacks on property, 91 suspicious behaviors, 30 assaults and injuries and as many attacks on community places.

In numerous publications on social networks, some minimizing anti-Semitic acts, it is asserted that the census would be the work of Jewish institutions, of the Crif (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France), or of one of its emanations, the SPCJ (Jewish Community Protection Service). A message posted on X on November 14 by Davut Paşa, defining himself as “historian, speaker and activist (and) French living in Turkey”thus indicates that it is possible to“invent an anti-Semitic act”by going to the SPCJ website and reporting, without any proof, an anti-Semitic attack.

This confusion can be explained by the fact that the SPCJ communicates the figures for anti-Semitic acts each year, presenting them as recorded by “the Ministry of the Interior and the SPCJ”. Furthermore, it is correct that the website of the Jewish Community Protection Service offers a form for reporting such acts. But this does not mean that the count made from these reports is the one communicated by the ministry.

Until 2008, and as explained Release, there were two censuses: one carried out by the authorities of the Jewish community, the other by the Ministry of the Interior. In order to “to improve the reliability and quality of the figures”, a collaboration between the associations and the ministry has been established in order to carry out a single count, explains Yonathan Arfi, president of Crif. Which count is therefore now the one communicated by the ministry. Collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior was put in place, explains Yonathan Arfi, at the beginning of the 2000s, and the explosion in the number of anti-Semitic acts, in order to “to improve the reliability and quality of the figures”.

Asked how this assessment is carried out, the Ministry of the Interior indicates to CheckNews that these are reports made to the “prefectures, police and gendarmerie”, and in particular complaints. “These are not statistics but a state of feedback”, adds the ministry regarding the figures communicated by Gérald Darmanin. We are also told that this assessment is carried out within the ministry and not by the Crif nor the SPCJ. A report made only on the SPCJ website will not be included in the ministry’s statement if it has not otherwise given rise to a complaint or an investigation.

In an article in the Dalloz magazine from 2020, available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior, on “racist, xenophobic or anti-religious attacks: the statistical measurement of a phenomenon rarely reported to the security forces”, the method and the link with the SPCJ are detailed as follows:

“To the extent that the study of the statistical bases of the offenses committed does not make it possible to target this specific form of delinquency which brings together several types of offenses, a methodology and specific criteria were defined in 2008. The SCRT (central service of territorial intelligence) thus collects the information provided to it by various sources (territorial relays, local partners such as police stations and gendarmerie brigades, associations or even religious representative bodies) which allows it to refine the characterization of the facts retained through a statistical approach, cross-checked by the perception of the victim communities”we can read.

“There can be discussions to shed light on the context, on how to characterize anti-Semitism which evolves over time”explains Yonathan Arfi, the president of Crif, contacted by CheckNews. Furthermore, the association forwards the reports it receives to the ministry. “Some people come to us directly, and we report things to them, but we tell them to file a complaint.” And to add: “It’s the ministry that ultimately decides.” And “only the facts giving rise to a complaint or intervention by the police followed by a report are included in the statistics”we read in Dalloz’s article.

On the content of the acts currently recorded, Yonathan Arfi states: “Currently, messages (reported as anti-Semitic acts, editor’s note) are very directly linked to the conflict. Hatred of Israel is anti-Semitic fuel.” But according to the president of Crif, a tag or an inscription relating only to “Israel is not anti-Semitic”. Arfi specifies that he “there must be probable qualification”for the opening of legal proceedings.

On this subject, the Ministry of Justice indicates to CheckNews that 340 judicial investigations were opened between October 7 and November 15 in connection with the attacks in Israel and that of Arras for anti-Semitic acts and glorification of terrorism. “Investigations are often opened for both”, specifies the chancellery. In addition, 306 Pharos reports recorded for similar reasons are being studied. It is the job of the public prosecutor’s office to qualify the facts based on the investigations and findings carried out and to decide, case by case, on the direction of the investigation.

Not all acts identified by the Ministry of the Interior will necessarily give rise to investigations. The Ministry of Justice also specifies that a single judicial investigation can bring together several facts or several authors, as is the case in the investigation opened after anti-Semitic chants filmed in a metro train on line 3, in Paris. In this case, eight minors were arrested and placed in police custody.

Gn Fr France

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