“The number of anti-Semitic acts has exploded.” This is the observation made by Gérald Darmanin, interviewed on France 2 news, Sunday November 5. The Minister of the Interior announced that 1,040 anti-Semitic acts had been committed in France and that 486 people had been arrested since October 7, the start of the war between Hamas and Israel. Among the 486 arrested, “102” are foreigners, he added.
Paris police chief Laurent Nuñez, for his part, indicated on BFMTV on Sunday that there had been 257 anti-Semitic acts in Paris and in the three departments of the inner suburbs (Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine- Saint-Denis) since October 7, “more than in an entire year”. There were also 90 arrests for these anti-Semitic acts, “authors of insults, tags, even violence”.
There is “no typical profile”, added the police prefect. “We find all the profiles, young kids, who say very serious things”, but also “people more anchored in the defense of the pro-Palestinian cause and who slip up”, he affirmed.
On October 31, Gérald Darmanin indicated that throughout France, “857 anti-Semitic acts” had been recorded since October 7, or “as many in three weeks” as in “the entire past year”.
More than 400 anti-Semitic acts in 2022
According to a count made public on January 25, 2023 by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (Crif), the anti-Semitic acts recorded in 2022 were numbering 436 in 2022compared to 589 the previous year, a decrease of 26% compared to 2021.
Crif specified that these figures come from the annual report published by the Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ), a private organization emanating from the main Jewish institutions. A report carried out “with the Ministry of the Interior”, according to Crif.
In detail, the SPCJ notes that in 2022, 231 acts of attacks on people were recorded, or 53% of them, mainly threatening comments and gestures. Forty-two violent acts were committed, or approximately 10% of all anti-Semitic acts. In addition, 205 attacks on property were recorded, mainly anti-Semitic writings.
These figures must be put into perspective, indicated the president of Crif, Yonathan Arfi, to the AFP, in particular because they are “only the figures recorded in police stations”, because “the most serious acts remain at a high level” or because it “does not reflect […] the reality of anti-Semitism on the Internet.
Nearly 1000 acts recorded in 2004
Figures from the Ministry of the Interior, established by the central territorial intelligence service (SCRT), which became the National Directorate of Territorial Intelligence (DNRT) in 2023, indicate that the number of recorded anti-Semitic acts fluctuated between 1992 and 2022 in France.
If the second half of the 1990s was marked by a limited number of anti-Semitic acts, as in 1998, with 81 cases reported, reports the statistics portal Statista, the figure rose sharply in 2000 with nearly 750 cases recorded that year. It was in 2004 that a peak was reached during this period, with nearly 1000 cases recorded: 974, precisely. Subsequently, the figures vary depending on the year, with between 311 and 851 anti-Semitic acts being recorded per year.
According to Crif, the SPCJ also carried out “a study […] on the criminal response to anti-Semitic physical attacks committed from 2015 to 2019”. It appears that “63% of cases of anti-Semitic attacks were dismissed” and that “in only 24% of cases the attackers were convicted” .
Of the 257 anti-Semitic acts committed in the Paris metropolitan area since October 7, only “124 complaints” have been filed, said police prefect Laurent Nuñez, urging people to file a complaint so that investigations can be initiated.