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Miss France runner-up suffers anti-Semitism on Twitter

The runner-up of the Miss France 2021 competition has been subjected to a torrent of anti-Semitic abuse on social media after revealing her Israeli origins, the BBC reports.

April Benayoum, 21, was awarded second place in the pageant during a televised ceremony on Saturday. She later revealed her Israeli origins in an interview at the event, leading to anti-Semitic attacks on Twitter.

The tweets were widely condemned by French politicians and Jewish groups.

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he was “deeply shocked by the rain of anti-Semitic insults” against Benayoum.

“We must not let anything go,” he wrote in a tweet, adding that police were looking into the abusive tweets.

The organizers of the competition denounced the “hate speech” against Benayoum, saying it was “totally contrary to the values ​​of the channel, the production and the show”.

France’s Minister of Citizenship Marlène Schiappa tweeted that the beauty competition was “not a contest of anti-Semitism”.

In an interview with the Var-Matin newspaper, Benayoum said she heard about the anti-Jewish insults from her relatives.

“It is sad to witness such behavior in 2020. I obviously condemn these comments, but it does not affect me at all,” she said.

Jewish groups condemned the anti-Semitic tweets as well. The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) said the Miss France competition had “turned Twitter into an anti-Semitic cesspool against Miss Provence”.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, wrote a letter to Miss France Competition Director-General, Sylvie Tellier, in which he expressed outrage at the attacks against Benayoum.

“Madam Director-General, we suggest that the Competition’s response – beside a protest to Twitter – should be its adoption of the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism,” wrote Samuels.

“We are ready to assist in bringing this tool – that has been adopted so far by the EU, France, a number of democracies worldwide, international organizations, universities, football clubs and sport federations, municipalities, administrations, private businesses and NGOs – to cleanse the filth that has sullied this Miss France Competition,” he added.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in France in recent years. A total of 687 anti-Semitic acts were counted in 2019, compared to 541 the previous year.

The number of anti-Jewish offences reported to police in France surged 74 percent in 2018.

Darmanin recently promised to protect France’s Jewish community from extremists after a double stabbing in Paris blamed on Islamic terrorism.

Source: Arutz Sheva