World Issues: Media Review

Essay by auth3nticHigh School, 12th gradeA-, February 2006

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Bruce Crumley, 'Caught Up In A Circle Of Hate', Time Inc. Publishing, Paris, Sunday, July 18, 2004.

The article's target audience is French Jewish individuals due to their frequent exposure to anti-Semitism and racism in France. The purpose of this material is to help France understand that the outburst of racist and anti-Semitic acts is a reality and must not be concealed. Consequently, it is a reality France must fight. The material is developed topically, relating to the particular topic of anti-Semitism in France. On July 9th, 2004, a 23-year-old woman, Marie Leblanc mistakenly conceived as a Jew, was attacked by six ethnic-Arab and black youths in a train near Paris. They shredded her clothes, hacked off her hair, drew swastikas on her body and manhandled her 13-month-old baby. Devastated by this incident, President Jacques Chirac stated, "anti-Semitic aggression this young woman and her baby were victims of must be tried and convicted with all the severity merited."

But the details of Leblanc's story could not be verified so by July 13 she admitted it was all a hoax. However, no one felt safe afterwards, for the simple reason that the tale had been completely believable. Today France is a place where such acts of anti-Semitism are ordinary. "If reaction was so intense, it's because people unfortunately know that such a horrific scenario is plausible," says Yonathan Arfi, president of the Union of French Jewish Students. For years, officials downplayed the problem of ethnic assaults in France. But the pace of attacks has now escalated to record levels. In addition, France's National Consultative Commission of Human Rights (N.C.C.H.R) reported 766 anti-Semitic threats during the first six months of 2004 - almost as many as 817 recorded in all of the last year. In order to resolve this matter, France...