French High School Teacher Under Police Protection After Receiving Antisemitic Threat Warning of Decapitation
Protestors in the Place de la Republique in Paris following the brutal murder of school teacher Samuel Paty. Photo: Panoramic/Reuters.
French police are investigating a blood-curdling antisemitic death threat mailed to a history teacher at a public school in the suburbs of Paris.
The unnamed teacher, who is in this thirties, is now living with police protection at his home in Evry, a satellite town of 50,000 people on the southern border of the French capital.
The unsigned letter containing the death threat, mailed last Friday, was widely posted on social media and reported by French news outlets, which noted the sinister reference to the fate of Samuel Paty — a 47-year-old history teacher at a Paris school who was beheaded in broad daylight two years ago by an 19-year-old student who objected to Paty showing his class controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a discussion on religion and freedom of speech.
“The dirty Jew must stop being clever,” the letter sent to the George Brassens school in Evry stated. “We are going to give a ‘Samuel Paty’ for him and his father, the old Zionist rabbi.”
The letter went on to state: “The Jews, we don’t want them in high schools, stay in your synagogues. We will take care of (this teacher) when you leave high school.”
In a statement, the school principal said he had accompanied the teacher to the local police station to file a complaint. The teacher had been present at the school when the death threat was received, he noted.
France’s minister of education meanwhile pledged to protect the teacher and any other member of staff at a French school subjected to similar threats.
“When teachers or members of the educational community are threatened, we intervene, first by firmly condemning any form of verbal or physical aggression, but also with functional protection,” National Education Minister Pap Ndiaye said on Friday.
The threat was also condemned by the head of Crif, the umbrella organization representing France’s Jewish community, the largest in western Europe.
Quoting the statement in the threat that “we don’t want Jews in high schools,” Yonathan Arfi, Crif’s president, responded on Twitter that “what I don’t want in high schools is antisemitism, rejection of the Republic, hatred of teachers.”
Separately, Jewish communal groups announced that they would hold a rally in solidarity with the victimized teacher on Sunday afternoon, gathering at a square near the Sorbonne University named in honor of Paty.