PARIS (EJP) --- French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered increased police protection and more patrols in a Paris Jewish neighborhood, during a visit Wednesday afternoon three days after a group of Black extremistes threatened Jews.
The men, belonging to an underground group called Tribu-KA appeared in the small commercial street of Rue des Rosiers, shouting “death to Jews” and saying they were searching for members of the Jewish right-wing groups Jewish Defence League and Beitar.
Sarkozy, who is a 2007 presidential election candidate, has been considering visiting the Marais neighborhood since he was alerted on Sunday’s anti-Semitic incident.
The minister met on Monday with Jewish community leaders who informed him of the incident and, according to EJP sources, advised him to wait before he came to Rosiers street, fearing such a visit would encourage the extremist group.
“The state’s duty is to protect all its citizens and among them the Jews," Sarkozy said after meeting with shopkeepers.
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy
He added “nothing would be worst than if Jews started to defend themselves on their own," calling Tribu-KA’s ideology "delirious".
Sarkozy admitted that police took a long time to arrive to the quarter. On Sunday, police arrived only 20 minutes after it was alerted by shopkeepers.
A police office located less than a hundred metres from Rue des Rosiers was recently closed.
A French right-wing leader, Philippe de Villiers, was also expected to visit the Marais only a few minutes before Nicolas Sarkozy.
Legal action considered
On Tuesday the Interior Minister had asked the Justice Department to examine law suit options against the Black extremist group which marched through quarter.
In a letter addressed to Justice Minister Pascal Clement ,Sarkzoy said the group may be indicted for racist incitement.
“The public prosecution opened two investigations following the incident," Sarkozy said. “The group could be targeted as a whole and its members indicted separately.”
|Anti-Semitism is rising in France|
|In 2005, the number of anti-Semitic acts decreased in comparison with 2004. From 200 to 90 anti-Semitic acts and from 774 to 406 threats. But during the first three months of 2006, we have registered 29 anti-Semitic acts and 98 threats.|
Nicolas Sarkozy, French interior minister
He said he aimed for the group to be dissolved using the 1936 law on private organised combat groups but that it would be extremely difficult since this type of procedure was rarely implemented.
Sarkozy explained why no gang member was arrested. “On a penal aspect, the men from Tribu-Ka stayed on the edge of the acceptable. They couldn’t be indicted for what they did on Sunday.”
According to the minister Tribu-KA clearly stated in its internet site (www.tribuka.com) that it had violent intentions toward members of the right-wing Jewish groups Jewish Defence League and Beitar.
The minister and the Justice department declared Tuesday that the group’s Internet site might be prohibited as a first measure against Tribu-KA.
Comparing JDL members to cockroaches, Tribu-KA wrote: “We will search for you anywhere, multiplying, for as long as it takes, our patrols.”
As Justice minister Clement ordered an investigation on the matter on Tuesday morning the general prosecutor’s office of Paris began evaluating the procedures it would recommend, Tribuka’s site was already out of order.
According to the umbrella organisation CRIF, the minister said it would be harder to disband the Tribu-KA itself.
Several organisations, such as SOS Racism and the French Union of Jewish Students have asked that Tribu -KA would be dissolved.
Tribu Ka, an organisation created in December 2004, is opposed to all contacts between blacks and non-blacks.
In February 2005 a dozen young men and women claiming to be part of the Tribu Ka infiltrated a meeting of the Jewish-black friendship association and vigorously advised the Jews to cease all contacts with their “Khemite brothers”.
They also accused the Jews of being the descendants of slave-traders, an accusation repeated by controversial comic Dieudonne Mbala Mbala, who is one of Tribu Ka see as an inspiration.