4 years after Charlie Hebdo attacks, French Jews fear growing antisemitism
Updated 13:22, 12-Jan-2019
By Elena Casas-Montanez
Four years ago, two al-Qaeda inspired terrorists, Chérif and Said Kouachi, burst into the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and shot 12 people dead, including cartoonists on the magazine's staff and a police officer. 
Two days later, their accomplice Amedy Coulibaly took shoppers hostage in a kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes in western Paris, killing three Jewish shoppers and one of the staff. 
The attack made some French Jews feel that they were no longer safe in their own country, prompting 24-hour security at synagogues and Jewish schools. 
Four years later, the statistics suggest the situation is getting worse. According to the French interior ministry, attacks of an antisemitic nature increased by 69 percent in 2018, with the biggest rise seen in Paris and the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis. 
Two high-profile murders of elderly Jewish women,  Sarah Halimi in April 2017 and Mireille Knoll in March 2018, both considered as antisemitic crimes by the police, have further raised concerns. 
Floral tributes at the shooting site, January 8, 2019. /CGTN Photo

Floral tributes at the shooting site, January 8, 2019. /CGTN Photo

The recent "yellow vest"  protests have also seen antisemitic content spreading on social media as far-right activists try to hijack the popular discontent. 
The comedian Dieudonné, previously convicted of inciting racial hatred against Jews, has tried to portray himself as a figurehead of the movement. 
On the Saturday before Christmas, a group of "yellow vests" were caught on camera chanting antisemitic slogans at an elderly woman, who turned out to be the daughter of a victim of the Holocaust, on the Paris Metro. 
The French interior minister, Christophe Castaner, said: "Antisemitism must be fought with all our strength, whether it's hiding behind a yellow vest or a pseudonym on Twitter," but many Jewish activists say they're worried by rising antisemitic sentiment not only on the far-right but also on the far-left. 
Floral tributes at the Charlie Hebdo attack site, January 8, 2019. /CGTN Photo 

Floral tributes at the Charlie Hebdo attack site, January 8, 2019. /CGTN Photo 

A video that went viral last week, covering a well-known French pop song with "yellow vest" inspired lyrics, took aim at the Rothschild bank and was dedicated by its writer to two well-known Jews who have prominently criticized the protest movement, philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy and MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit. 
Critics of the spontaneous, disorganized nature of the "yellow vest" movement have pointed at this risk from the beginning - that the protest could be easily hijacked by extremist fringe groups, especially online. 
For French Jews, there's a very real fear that spreading extremist slogans could encourage further acts of violence.