Several Muslim and Jewish leaders appeared united on French television after the attack in Toulouse, but officials within the Jewish community have no illusions: French Jews and Muslims are deeply divided.
“Don’t tell me French Muslims appreciate Jews - 50 percent of them hate Jews,” Rabbi Michel Sarfati told Haaretz. The rabbi created the Jewish-Muslim friendship group and has traveled across France for several years preaching moderation.
“Many hate Jews because extremist imams denigrate Jews in their sermons. They say we’re Israel’s puppets. Moderate Muslims try to fight this hatred, but they’re being threatened, and they get no support from the state.”
The killing in Toulouse has not improved relations between the communities.
One of the Muslim moderates is Dalil Boubakeur, mufti of the Great Mosque of Paris, who was received together with Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF, the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, and France’s chief rabbi at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday.
Boubaker promised Muslims would pray for all the killer’s victims, like the Jews did after the school massacre. Many Muslims, in the same spirit, showed solidarity with the Jewish community. But on the whole, there is a feeling the killings only worsened the gap between the communities.
The unease between communities is one of the reasons CRIF dropped out of Sunday’s planned march against intolerance.
For more, go to Haaretz.com