Int’l pop-star warns “anti-Semitism is at an all-time high” in France,”The level of intolerance is so enormous, it’s scary.”
By Ben Ariel
Speaking to Europe 1 radio in an interview to be aired Friday morning, Madonna said “anti-Semitism is at an all-time high” in France and elsewhere in Europe, and likened the current atmosphere to the period when German fascism was on the ascent.
“We’re living in crazy times. It feels like Nazi Germany,” the 56-year-old singer said, calling the situation “scary,” and lamenting what she described as France’s lost tradition of welcoming diversity and honoring freedom.
“It was a country that embraced everyone and encouraged freedom in every way, shape or form — artistic expression of freedom,” Madonna said, adding, “Now that’s completely gone.”
“France was once a country that accepted people of color, and was a place artists escaped to, whether it was Josephine Baker or Charlie Parker,” she continued.
The globally-acclaimed entertainer also spoke out in 2012 when she denounced the rise of xenophobia and extreme-right parties in Europe.
The diva said her earlier comments were made when “I was receiving a lot of criticism and threats from Marie (sic) Le Pen and her” National Front party, which Madonna described as “fascist.”
The singer’s spat with Marine Le Pen began after the far-right leader threatened to sue Madonna over a video featuring an image of Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead. The offending symbol was eventually replaced with a question mark to avoid litigation.
The pop star said in the Europe 1 interview that the motives that led her to speak out against intolerance in 2012 were even more pressing today.
“What I said two years ago is valid today,” she said. “It’s not just happening in France, it’s all over Europe. But particularly in France.
“The level of intolerance is so enormous, it’s scary,” she added.
Madonna’s comments come after months in which anti-Semitism in France, and throughout Europe, has been on the rise. The hatred flared particularly intensely during Operation Protective Edge, with violent protests in Paris.
In one incident, hundreds of Muslim extremists attacked a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.
According to statistics released in late January, the number of anti-Semitic acts doubled in France during 2014, with acts involving physical violence leading the increase.
Some 851 anti-Semitic acts were registered in 2014, compared with 423 the previous year, with acts of physical violence jumping to 241 from 105.
Earlier this week, French President Francois Hollande vowed to introduce tougher penalties for “racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic” remarks in the wake of last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
Speaking at an annual dinner hosted by the country’s Jewish community, the French leader called for “faster, more effective sanctions” against hate speech and added, “I want such speech to come under criminal law rather than press laws.”
Hollande said anti-Semitism should be treated as an aggravating circumstance in the prosecution of all offenses.
View original Arutz Sheva publication at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/191907#.VPAhceFbg8I