French Jews Organize for Self-Defense

(Times of Israel) Leonard Colebr - The Jewish Community Security Service of France (SPCJ) has about 2,000 volunteers. Founded in 1980 after the bombing of the rue Copernic synagogue, its role has grown in response to the rise of anti-Semitism and terrorism. Working in cooperation with government authorities, the SPCJ identified more than 800 acts of anti-Semitism throughout France in 2015. Although comprising less than 1% of the population, Jews were the target of 40% of racist crimes and 49% of racist acts of violence, perpetrated mostly by Muslim extremists. Trained SPCJ volunteers offer protection at synagogues, community centers, organizations, and other Jewish gatherings. The writer is an adjunct professor of political science at Rutgers University and of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where he is director of the program on terror medicine and security.

2016-07-12 00:00:00

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