World Jewish News
French PM Edouard Philipe pleads for practicing Jewish students to be offered an alternative to examination on Shabbat
03.10.2017, Jews and Society
French Prime Minister Edourd Philippe pleaded for practicing Jewish students to be offered an alternative to an examination that would take place on Saturday, the Shabbath in Judaism, and made a commitment that the practice of ritual slaughter would not be questioned, as he presented his wishes to the Jewish community on the occasion of the Jewish New Year, in a Paris synagogue.
“I do not see, for example, what prevents it from ensuring that the exam schedule allows a high school student or a student to live out his faith while pursuing his studies,’’ Philippe said;
“It is out of the question, he assured, ” to question the practices of worship traditions, such as ritual slaughter “, which according to Jewish religious law prohibits the prior stunning of animals.
The Prime minister was challenged on these issues by the President of the Jewish Consistory, Joel Mergui, who emphasized that “faith and citizenship have never been, incompatible.’’
In the follow-up of the national plan of action against racism and anti-Semitism launched by Phillipe’s predecessor Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister announced that a new plan of the same type would be implemented ” for the period 2018-2020 “. “One of its objectives is to combat anti-Semitism on the internet, in particular the flood of hate that comes down on the social networks,” he said.
“We will not let anything pass and you won’t be alone in this fight because this fight is obviously that of the whole Republic “, Edouard Philippe told the community leaders, including France’s Chief Rabbi Haïm Korsia and the president of the Jewish Consistory, Joel Mergui. The Chief Rabbi concluded the ceremony with the prayer for the French Republic.
For the head of the government, if anti-Semitic acts have declined in 2016 (-58,5 %) in the country, this decline ” should not make us forget another reality “, that of the ”trivialization of anti-Semitism and its reinvented form, anti-Zionism.’’
He cited as cause of this anti-Semitism, ” the ultraviolence of islamist terrorism “ which led to the assassination of Ilan Halimi in 2006 and the killings in a jewish school in Toulouse in 2012.
Edouard Philippe also recalled the attack on the HyperCacher supermarket in January 2015, where four people were killed, the murder by defenestration of Sarah Halimi last April, and then the sequestration of a family in September in Livry-Gargan, near Paris.