“In the last 20 years, entire communities have transferred,” said Ariel Goldmann, a lawyer who leads France’s leading Jewish social services agency. “These places are emptying out.”
For Muslim leaders, the accusations are infuriating.
“People leave because they have reached another economic level,” said Mamadou Diallo, who runs a youth center in Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris. But he and about a dozen other young Muslims seated around a table on a recent afternoon acknowledged having heard anti-Semitic remarks.
“Too many for my taste,” Mr. Diallo said.
Ahmet Ogras, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, was especially critical of the recent manifesto that intellectuals and political leaders released.
“It wasn’t a manifesto,” he said. “It was a grab bag,” he said, lumping together a call to Muslims to renounce parts of the Quran with assertions of an “ethnic purge.”
“We were shocked,” he said.
He said that Muslim groups were partners in fighting anti-Semitism, and that “you can’t create a ‘new’ anti-Semitism.” Jewish groups have to “stop putting the blame on Muslims,” he said.
“Why don’t they do studies of Islamophobia in the Jewish community?” he added.
Rachid Benzine, a French political scientist of Moroccan ancestry, said that some Muslims felt discriminated against in French society, especially around issues of citizenship, and that they believed Jews enjoyed far better treatment.
“What you’ve got to understand is that there is a sort of obsession, fantasized around the position that Jews hold in the French republic, that develops as a kind of resentment, a jealousy,” he said. “And then there is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which gives the whole thing its energy.”
Orignially published in NYT.