PARIS ---The National Bureau of vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNCVA) has condemned death threats against France’s Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim contained in a virulently anti-Semitic document sent via Facebook.
The BNCVA was alerted to the incident by a number of outraged internet users.
The image projected on the document shows a montage of the Chief Rabbi’s face with a Star of David projected on it and a revolver pointed at his forehead. A lighter branded Zyklon (the trade name of cyanide used by Nazi Germany in gas chambers to exterminate Jews) is additionally placed under the nose of Rabbi Bernaim.
The creator of the document captioned the image with the following text: "Calm down Bernheim, I’m not going to deport you, I just want you to inhale the contents of this lighter, that’s to say the person within! You won’t kiss me on the mouth, I prefer to say."
The BNVCA noticed that the highest-profile figure of the French Jewish community is personally insulted and intimidated by the hate mail, continuing that the figure of a Chief Rabbi represents “all of French Judaism, all French Jews, who are also threatened."
For the BNVCA this incident is of a “most serious nature”. It has consulted its lawyer over filing an official complaint.
The organisation asked French Interior Minister "to immediately demand the an investigation around the identity of the anti-Semitic author of this message."
"Neither the Holocaust nor the anti-Semitic murders of Sebastien Sellam, Ilan Halimi and the victims of the Jewish massacre in Toulouse have served a lesson, it seems. On the contrary, the most heightened form of anti-Semitism is further developing, spreading and becoming commonplace, and it seems there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it,” declared the BNCVA, adding it was "in favour of increasing awareness and publicising condemnations of serious acts."