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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Although antisemitism is still a huge problem in France, the woman who reported that she was attacked on a Paris train by six Arab men who thought she was a Jew has admitted she made it up.

Haaretz - France: Anti-Semitism is 'a reality that we must combat

PARIS - A French woman who claimed she suffered an anti-Semitic attack that shocked France told police on Tuesday she made up the incident, a judicial source said.

The 23-year-old woman and her male companion were detained after police called them in to discuss the alleged attack, in which she said six knife-wielding youths of Arab and African origin had daubed swastikas on her stomach on a Paris train.

"She admitted to inventing the whole thing," the judicial source said.

The woman, identified only as Marie L., had alleged the attackers wrongly thought she was a Jew and also toppled a stroller carrying her 13-month-old baby.

When news of Friday's alleged attack emerged, Chirac and other leading French politicians condemned it.

But anti-racism group Mrap criticised officials for being too quick to blame youths of Arab and African origin.

"Mrap strongly condemns the irresponsible comments of people who took advantage of this invention to once more use anti-Semitism as a tool against a specific group of people," it said in a statement.

Government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope told RTL radio a rising trend of anti-Semitic attacks was "a genuine evil" in France, even if the woman's case might not be real.

Whether the woman's account proved true or not, he said, has little bearing on France's need to act against growing intolerance toward minorities and the violence that stems from it.

"The explosion of the number of racist and anti-Semitic acts committed in our country in the last few years is a reality that we must combat," Cope said.

The Interior Ministry released figures last week showing that hate crimes had spiked in the first half of the year. There were 510 anti-Jewish acts or threats in the first six months of 2004 - nearly as many as in all of last year, 593...

She needs to have the damn book thrown at her.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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