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A supporter of French comic Dieudonne Mbala Mbala displays a t-shirt with his image, Nantes, France, Jan. 9, 2014 (AP photo by David Vincent).

Anti-Semitic Violence in France Part of Broader Political Unraveling

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PARIS—The recent attacks against synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses on the margins of pro-Palestinian demonstrations in France have shocked many, both here in France and beyond, despite being only the latest in a string of anti-Semitic incidents and violence in the country over the past few years. Nevertheless, the most recent attacks have been in some ways sensationalized and distorted, especially in the American press. While alarming, they do not represent a generalized sentiment of anti-Semitism in France; they have been rightfully condemned across the French political spectrum and by many in the communities in which they took place.

More important, to focus only on the anti-Semitic nature of the violence is to make the mistake of paying attention only to the tip of the iceberg, while missing what lies beneath the surface. Two things in particular bear attention here. ...

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