In 2012, the number of anti-Semitic crimes in France sharply increased. The six-month period that followed the March killings in a Jewish school in Toulouse were particularly harsh. The killer , Mohammed Merah, became a hero in many suburbs, his name on many graffiti. For some people, apparently, shooting children in the head just because they are Jewish is inspiring.
Although acts such as as the killing in Toulouse had no equivalent elsewhere, France is not an exception: statistics show that insults, assaults, and cries of hatred against Jews multiply throughout Europe. Jewish schools, synagogues and Jewish cultural centers are everywhere threatened and urgently require more stringent security measures.
Political leaders say they are aware of the problem and are determined to act. In November, French President François Hollande said that "the struggle against anti-Semitism is a top priority." Angela Merkel used the same words a few weeks later in Germany. In the beginning of December, after a spike in verbal and physical anti-Semitic incidents in Britain, David Cameron said that he wanted to "tackle Antisemitism head on."