New Interministerial Delegate for Combating Racism, Anti-Semitism and Anti-LGBT Hatred, appointed in May, chooses The Times of Israel to unveil his plans
Times of Israel : You belong to the prefectural body and worked in particular in the cabinets of Claude Bartolone, when he chaired the National Assembly, and of the former Prime Minister Manuel Valls. You were also in office at the Ministry of the Interior. What led you to accept this position as Delegate?
Frederic Potier : I served the Republic and I want to continue in this way. I followed the ultra-marine files a lot. I was therefore made aware of the issue of slavery. And even if I have not been confronted with racism in my personal life because I come from Béarn, a land of tolerance, defending universalist values is for me the most beautiful mission. This is the meaning of my commitment.
How would you qualify the action of your predecessor, Gilles Clavreul?
He's a longtime friend. He is a prefect and was a sub-prefect like me. We often met, we were together place Beauvau, inside… He is an energetic man.
From his appointment in November 2014 to last May, he was able to establish the DILCRAH in the public landscape, obtained serious means and was able to bring together personalities of great talent, while forging a series of effective partnerships with the associative world.
Its 2015-2017 action plan against hate was proactive and ambitious.
Will you have the same resources?
I'm not a decision maker but I think so. In terms of the anti-racist fight, there is continuity between the previous executive and the power of today. We saw it with the very strong speech of President Emmanuel Macron at the July 16 ceremony.
He clearly recalled the responsibility of the French State in the roundup of Vel' d'Hiv' and expressed his determination, his intransigence in the face of racism and anti-Semitism.
The deputies have voted at the end of July the impossibility for a convict on racist or anti-Semitic grounds to stand in a parliamentary election. This means, for example, that the anti-Jewish propagandist Dieudonné, candidate in Essonne in June 2017, will no longer be able to seek the votes of voters. How do you react to this change?
The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) fought on this point and I salute a remarkable legislative advance.
It is not easy, in fact, to reconcile fundamental democratic freedoms – such as the ability to stand for election – and the fight against hate speech and exclusion.
The Constitutional Council watches over the grain and is legitimately finicky. I know this all the better because I myself was in charge of electoral law with the Minister of the Interior.
Do you understand the emotion caused, in the Jewish community, by the silence around the assassination of Sarah Halimi, defenestrated in Paris on April 4, and by the refusal of the prosecution to qualify the crime, at this stage, as anti-Semitic? , Barbarian and Islamist?
I understand and share the trauma of the Jews of France about this painful file.
The President of the Republic wished, on July 16, that all the light be shed by justice. It is not for me to comment on an ongoing procedure.
I met the representatives of Jewish institutions and I deplore with them the emergence of new forms of anti-Semitism, linked in particular to radical Islamism.
As for anti-zionism, if it was the subject of debate within the Jewish community itself in the first half of the 20th century, it is clearly today a 'reinvented' way of hating the Jews, as Emmanuel Macron said, in to the extent that it denies the legitimacy of Israel's existence.
That said, if the Sarah Halimi affair did not attract media attention at first, talking about omerta does not correspond to reality.
But it seems that not everyone has sufficiently perceived how much our compatriots were shocked by this crime.
How do you respond to the president of CRIF, Francis Kalifat, when he accuses one or the other of constantly presenting the killers of Jews as irresponsible lunatics?
Former Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, regarding the violence in New Caledonia, insisted that nothing could justify shooting at the gendarmes. Similarly, no excuse can morally clear an anti-Semitic murder.
But the criminal irresponsibility, it is something else: it is a legal qualification relating to the instruction. This takes nothing away from the heinous and unacceptable nature of such a crime.
Racist and anti-Semitic acts have been on the decline for more than a year. How to accentuate the movement?
After the 2015-2017 plan, DILCRAH will present a new three-year plan for 2018-2020. We will have to go much further in the fight against hate on the Internet. We have made progress with more reports, more cooperation from operators and more legal convictions. But extremist groups remain hyperactive on social networks.
To catch up with their time in advance, it is no doubt necessary to draw inspiration from the German example, with very dissuasive financial penalties. Across the Rhine, you can be fined up to 50 million euros for not removing unwanted content!
Alain Soral's fascinating site is still visited every month by millions of fans...
The character you quote was condemned, like others.
For them, the obstacles are stronger than in the past, but we must redouble our efforts to counter the sites in question – without deluding ourselves: in a democratic state like ours, digital hatred will not be eradicated from day to day. on the next day.
What are your educational projects?
I note that our agreements with places of remembrance have produced excellent results. Visits by schoolchildren, students, teachers or even future police officers to a particular museum or former internment camp, citizenship courses at the Paris Shoah Memorial reserved for perpetrators of racist and anti-Semitic acts…: these innovations made possible thanks to the work of the DILCRAH are encouraging and effective. They must be extended and generalized, especially in the provinces.
I intend to work in this direction.
What do you want to say to the Jews of France who make their aliyah for security reasons?
Going to Israel for ideological or religious reasons is respectable. But I regret that some leave our country for fear of anti-Semitism. We must do everything so that this feeling disappears. As Manuel Valls summed it up, “France would not be France without the Jews”.
It suffices to read Pierre Birnbaum's work on "State Jews", entitled "Les Fous de la République" (Fayard), to realize to what extent the destiny of our democracy is inseparable from the history of the Jews of France, how decisively they have contributed to shaping our Republic.
Is prohibiting circumcision or kosher ritual slaughter a form of anti-Semitism?
I will not comment on this plan, nor on decisions made abroad in this area. I will simply recall that the Republic has been able to put up with these practices so far. I am sure it still can and will in the future. In any case, I wish.
Source: © Frédéric Potier, head of DILCRAH: “There is no omerta in the Halimi affair” | The Times of Israel
Patricia JS Cambay
“There is no omerta in the Halimi affair”
Absolutely, my little one, “omerta”. In your mouth, the word passes perfectly.
“But the criminal irresponsibility, it is something else: it is a legal qualification relating to the instruction. This takes nothing away from the heinous and unacceptable character of such a crime.”
Little fake ass!
You have to do violence to me and stop reading anything about this case, especially since I had foreseen the outcome from the start. I am furious and sick of this feeling of helplessness that I feel; a total failure.
Who is this fire ass who dares to claim that there is no omerta in the Halimi affair.
This gentleman thinks he's a snake charmer and wants to put us to sleep.
The police had to intervene and not wait on the sidewalk with folded arms.
You mustn't say, Muslim, terrorist etc….it will stain, let's vote
Is it enough to affirm that “there is no omerta” so that it corresponds to reality when everything proves the contrary?
The bigger it is, the better it goes!
It's interesting character explains to us the continuity existing between his functions and that of his predecessor, a great friend, under the Hollande government...
there is, it seems to me, something disturbing, when one thinks that the atrocious assassination of Sarah Halimi occurred in the middle of the electoral campaign and that a leaden blanket immediately fell on this affair!
So, the reference to Macron's speech on the Veldiv...
This makes me think irresistibly of the Chiraquian “repentance” about the responsibility of France in the deportation of its Jews just before it crucified Israel during a trip to Jerusalem!
So, Chirac, “the friend of the Jews” who recognized the fault of France and Macron who “is moved” for the Veldiv same fight ”
Because behind these declarations there are realities: French positions taken at Unesco, at the UN...
There are commercial interests that have led our country to rush into the resumption of good relations with Iran.
And, of course, during the presidential election campaign, these concerns did not disappear: It was imperative to woo an electorate that had become unavoidable...
So, the assassination of a Jewess by a Muslim, it was not really the right moment!
But, as this smiling and sure of himself (!) gentleman explains to us, the Jews have become paranoid, there has never been an omerta.
On the contrary, everything in this case shows that there was a deliberate desire to hush up this affair.
Will we be naive enough to accept these “explanations” or, on the contrary, will we be determined enough to bring out the truth?
Will we be able to distinguish, the dissimulation behind the communication?
Are we determined to know who profited from the crime?
For politicians, the language of wood will always remain for them the only way to solve the anti-Semitic problem…..