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‘Good Jew’ Hashtag Dominates French Twitter

October 17, 2012
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MARSEILLE, France (JTA) — SOS Racisme, a Paris-based anti-discrimination organization, said it was considering making complaints against some Twitter users after the phrase UnBonJuif on Oct. 10 became the third most popular hashtag among French Twitter users.
 
Literally meaning “good Jew,” it sparked thousands of Twitter users to enter what the French daily Le Monde termed “a competition of anti-Semitic jokes.”
 
One Twitter account registered to the username “Marcel Leblanc” posted a picture of an emaciated Jewish woman taken in a Nazi concentration camp as his or her interpretation of what “a good Jew” meant. Others tweeted that “a good Jew is a dead Jew.”
 
Jonathan Hayoun, president of the Union of French Jewish Students, or UEJF, called on Twitter to “put in place a new system to moderate” anti-Semitic tweets. His organization expressed “grave concern” in light of how popular the hashtag has become.
 
The Twitter affair came amid reports that France saw a 45 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks from January through August compared to the same period a year ago.
 
A group known as SPCJ counted 386 incidents, of which 101 were violent actions, including the slaying of four people at a school in Toulouse on March 19 by Mohamed Merah, a Muslim extremist. The attack triggered “an explosion” of anti-Semitic attacks, SPCJ said. Most other incidents documented were cases of intimidation, the report said.

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