France Uses Media To Sell The ‘Cure’ For Antisemitism, Raising Awareness


Over the past couple of years, antisemitism – or hostility and prejudice towards Jews – has increased substantially. Just recently, a billboard was erected up in Nazareth, Israel calling all Muslims to kill Jews, especially those in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), by running them over with their vehicles. Such antisemitism may have been a factor in why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Government passed the Jewish State Bill, a document that recognizes Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Just as Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jews have to deal with antisemitism within their country, Jews living outside of Israel have to deal with antisemitism too. In Paris, there were two antisemitic crimes that happened within hours of each other. A Jewish boy was brutally assaulted by 15 African youth just 12 hours after a kosher restaurant was firebombed. Because of the rising antisemitism within the country, France is now selling its “cure” to raise awareness.

According to an article by JSS News and translated by Times of Israel, the European Jewish Organization (OJE) launched a very daring digital campaign on December 16th. It was titled “Antisemitox: First Aid for Antisemitism.” The campaign consisted of a meme of a white-coated, stethoscope-wearing doctor holding a box of honey candies. The meme garnered strength when it was heavily shared on the internet, specifically social media sites.

As for the European Jewish Organization, it was founded six months ago in Levallois – a northwestern suburb of Paris – six months ago to combat the rise of antisemitism in France. Fabian Bellahsen, the leader of the OJE, confirmed this in the following statement.

“Antisemitism has become a plague in France, and it is growing towards a crescendo. Our objective is to raise awareness in the media, the public authorities and the civil society.”

Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was presented a box of Antisemitox on the following Monday after its debut during a meeting with Jewish French MP, Meir Habib. Mr. Habib spoke about the meeting with JSS News.

“We decided to use humor as a weapon against the resurgence of violence. However, I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to keep that sense of humor, especially when it comes to such serious matters.”
Antisemitox is selling for only five euros, and the profits will be used to finance the fight against antisemitism, such as giving legal advice to victims of verbal and physical abuse. Each box contains three honey-flavored “pills” and “detox patches.” There is also text of the French law prohibiting antisemitism and its penalties.

The campaign also received strength when the French media welcomed it. Both Coordination Against Racism and Islamophobia president, Abelaziz Chambi, have deemed it an excellent idea. The campaign also works well with the fact that French President Francois Hollande delivered his first speech on immigration just the day before.

Right now, the European Jewish Organization has about 400 members in France. The OJE seeks to reach out to other communities in Europe with plans to expand to Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Netherlands in 2015.

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