The leader of France's Jewish community has expressed concern for the future of French Jews, who he says are treated like "second-grade citizens" amid a rising tide of violent anti-Semitism.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva from the European Jewish Congress General Assembly in Brussels, Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) President Roger Cukierman warned of the twin dangers of Muslim extremism and the French far-right, which he said are leaving French Jews feeling cornered.
Jews have lived in France "for 2,000 years," he noted, adding: "to see now that we are like second-grade citizens, having to be protected by the police and by the army, is pretty unacceptable."
"As if it was not enough, we have also the danger of a growing extreme right," he said of the National Front party. While the National Front no longer spews the anti-Semitic sentiment it was once notorious for, French Jews are extremely suspicious of its claims to have rehabilitated itself under the leadership of Marine Le Pen.
"All the descendants of the collaborators of the Nazis duirng the Second World War are within this party, and it complements a very bad atmosphere for the Jews in France," said Cukierman, who is also Vice-President of the EJC, while praising the French government for "fully backing the Jews" and providing protection at Jewish institutions.