French embassy fires intern over anti-Semitic Facebook rant

October 28, 2015  

A Kuwaiti intern at the French embassy in the United States was dismissed Tuesday after she was accused of publishing an anti-Semitic rant on Facebook.

The intern was also suspended by Sciences Po university in Paris, where she was a student, pending further investigation, a faculty spokesman told the AFP news agency.

The alleged comments were published Friday on the website of a group called “The Inglourious Basterds,” which says it aims to expose anti-Semitic postings.

The student’s Facebook and Twitter pages were no longer available, and the date the alleged remarks were posted was unknown.

“Yes you Jews deserve to learn these lessons,” the student said in an Facebook exchange, according to the Inglourious Basterds site — which borrows its name from a Quentin Tarantino movie about a band of Nazi-hunting Jewish soldiers.

“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,” continued the exchange.

After being accused of racism, she responds, “First of all you dispersed rat, i [sic] am not an immigrant from France. I am from Kuwait so my country can buy you and your parents and put you in ovens.”

The embassy told AFP that the intern, working in the Cultural Services division in New York, confirmed to her manager, after learning of the allegations, that she wrote some of the exchange, but claimed the “ovens” comment and others were not by her.

She also told her manager she apologized to the user with whom she had exchanged the comments before Inglourious Basterds’ post went up, according to the embassy.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development has learned with dismay of anti-Semitic remarks, on her personal Facebook page, by a student doing an internship in Cultural Services of the French Embassy of the United States. She was immediately terminated from her internship,” the cultural department posted on its Facebook page Friday.

“This intern of Kuwaiti origin, sent by Sciences Po, was immediately sent back,” French Ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud said Tuesday on Twitter.

“Given the gravity of the charges against (the woman), the director of Sciences Po has decided to suspend her studies as a precautionary measure, pending a disciplinary ruling,” a Sciences Po spokesman told AFP.

The incident comes amid increased anti-Semitism around the globe. A senior European Union official recently warned of rising anti-Semitism in Europe as attacks and threats against Jews continue in EU member countries.

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said that “in the last couple of years you’ve seen this age-old monster come up again in Europe.”

“This is unacceptable. I thought we knew better. I wouldn’t have thought it would be possible … but it’s happening again,” he added.

Timmermans said that “it’s a vital question for the future of Europe that our Jewish community feels at ease and completely at home.”

The European Jewish Congress recently released a damning report revealing a spike in anti-Semitism throughout Europe, with the UK leading the way for the most anti-Semitic countries.

Specifically in France, three Jewish men, including a rabbi, were attacked in the French city of Marseille on Saturday morning as they were walking to synagogue.

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

AFP contributed to this report.

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