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Macron unveils measures to tackle 'worst anti-Semitism since WWII'

media Macron addresses Council of French Jewish Institutions (Crif), Feb 19, 2019 Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced new measures in a bid to combat anti-Semitism, which he said had reached its worst levels in France since the Second World War.

Macron's scheduled address to the CRIF, the council of French Jewish Institutions on Wednesday evening, coincided with a recent concentrated spate of anti-Semitic acts.

He told his audience that French Jews had been failed and that it was time to take tougher action and pass laws.

Macron announced that France is to change its definition of anti-Semitism to include anti-Zionism. He stressed that such a change would not prohibit criticism of Israel or its government.

Some new racist and anti-Semitic groups are to be banned and new legislation to fight online hate speech, similar to that recently introduced in Germany, is to be introduced by May at the latest.

Macron declared that the reality of anti-Semitism in today's France must be publicly acknowledged, affirming that there are anti-Semites on the far left and in radical islamist communities, as well as among supporters of the far right.

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