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France: Haïm Korsia (Chief Rabbi), “may the fight against anti-Semitism become a big national cause”

“The desecration of the Jewish cemetery of Quatzenheim, on Tuesday 19th February, is the consequence of the fact that some people can’t stand it when they say there is an anti-Semitic reality”, as well as of “the lack of an effective response”: Haïm Korsia, Chief Rabbi of France, speaks on the pages of today’s La Croix, the day after the desecration of 96 graves in Alsace, which happened a few hours after the rallies that took place all over France last night to denounce the recrudescence of anti-Semitism in the country. “The fight against anti-Semitism must become a big national cause”, with “extreme measures”, as president Chirac did for the fight against road traffic deaths, Korsia quotes. “Words must materialise into actions”, starting with inspections and fines for insults on the Internet. But “longer-term education” is also needed, “what is being done now is not enough” and saying “we did all we could” would be tantamount to “surrender”. As to yesterday’s rallies, the Rabbi believes “they are important to show that anti-Semitism is not only a problem for the Jews, it is a problem for the whole of society”: “we have got used to violence in debates in society, we look for jokes, instead of ideas”, Rabbi Korsia ends, quoting Charles Péguy: “there is something worse than having a perverse soul, and it is to have an accustomed soul”.

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