French ambassador for human rights speaks in S.F.

The French ambassador for human rights told a San Francisco audience last week that his country has taken strong measures to fight anti-Semitism, so that “the Holocaust does not get a second chance.”

At a Feb. 2 breakfast briefing held at the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee with the French Consulate, Ambassador François Zimeray described France’s efforts to combat any nascent anti-Semitism.

“He went to considerable lengths to cite examples of France not being an anti-Semitic country,” said Mervyn Danker, AJC’s S.F.-based regional director. “Currently there are stringent laws [against] anti-Semitic incidents. [Zimeray] has the ear of [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy, and travels the world on behalf of [human rights] issues.”

With a population topping 600,000, France’s Jewish community is the largest in Europe. Zimeray said that France, like the rest of the world, is waiting to see how the convulsions sweeping through the Arab world will play out. Zimeray also focused on issues of human rights abuses in Syria and Iran. — dan pine

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.