French embassy employer under fire for anti-Semitic comments

August 5, 2016  

An employee of France’s embassy in Tunisia is under fire over anti-Semitic comments posted under his name on Facebook, including one about Adolf Hitler’s failure to “finish the job”, JTA reported Friday.

The employee, Selim Dakhlaoui, said however that hackers took over his account and posted the comments.

Dakhlaoui, who works as a consulting agent for the embassy, was responding to an outcry following the publication on a French-language blog of copies of anti-Israel messages made under his name, as well as the sentence about Hitler, which has been decried as anti-Semitic.

“Watch out, my account has been hijacked,” Dakhlaoui wrote on Thursday, according to JTA.

On Friday, the embassy called the statements attributed to Dakhlaoui “unacceptable,” adding he was summoned to talks with his superiors.

The Foreign Ministry will decide how to handle the affair once it determines whether Dakhlaoui wrote the offensive remarks, the embassy’s statement said.

In October, a comment that read, “Soon it will be the end of Israel” appeared under Dakhlaoui’s name, followed by an icon of a missile.

A week later, the same account displayed the message: “Go to hell, Israel.” Earlier this year, it featured a comment reading “Hitler didn’t finish the job” in a discussion about Israel’s alleged involvement in Islamist terrorism, according to the JTA report.

Earlier this week, according to the report, CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, posted about Dakhlaoui on its Facebook page and urged the embassy to react.

“This is a hateful comment, just like the ones we see too often on social media. Except this one was authored by an employee of the Embassy of France in Tunisia. We anxiously await their reaction!”, said CRIF.

The post also noted that speaking favorably about a crime against humanity is forbidden under French law, punishable by up to five years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

The comments have since been removed and Dakhlaoui’s account had been renamed “Selim Dakhlaoui — new profile.” It was then taken offline altogether.

Last year, a report on the same blog about anti-Semitic statements on Facebook by a Kuwaiti woman interning at the French consulate in New York led to her dismissal. She was also suspended from the Sciences Po University in Paris for the same statements.

She wrote about Jews: “You don’t belong anywhere in this world — that’s why you guys are scums and rats and discriminated against wherever you are. Do not blame it on the poor Palestinians.”

Anti-Semitism, both in the form of hate language as well as violent attacks, has been on the rise in France in recent years.

In 2014 alone, 164 violent anti-Semitic incidents occurred in France – more than any other European nation.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has expressed his “solidarity” toward French Jews and has strongly condemned anti-Semitism.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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