French pol probed for ‘no dogs and Jews allowed’ Twitter feed

May 23, 2016  

(JTA) — A municipality in southern France alerted prosecutors to a local politician’s Twitter account featuring remarks on banning Jews and dogs along with imagery from the Holocaust.

Montpelier prosecutors were notified Monday of the statement attributed to Djamel Boumaaz, a Muslim former member of the far-right National Front party, the Liberation daily reported. Boumaaz, who quit the party last year over what he termed anti-Muslim sentiments by party leader Marine Le Pen, said the remarks were made by an identified person who had hijacked his Twitter account, the news site Infos H24 reported.

The account, which was closed Monday, informed readers and subscribers that entering it was “forbidden to dogs and to Jews,” Liberation reported. Another tweet dated Sunday featured a black-and-white picture of corpses and the text “OK, let’s make up besides I have a heap of Jewish friends.”

A third tweet read: “My son has nightmares from your Holocaust. I told him not to be afraid of imaginary things.”

Boumaaz, a known associate of the Holocaust denier Alain Soral and anti-Semitic comedian Dieudone M’bala M’bala, was the No. 2 man on the National Front list for the municipal elections in Montpelier in 2014.

Gilles Clavreul, France’s interministerial delegate for the fight against racism and anti-Semitism, said on Twitter that he had contacted the social media’s French office demanding the closure of Boumaaz’s account for hate speech, which is illegal in France.

Earlier this month, Halles de Lyon, a co-op that operates a major market place in that city in eastern France, fired an employee who wrote on Facebook: “If there was one word I could have removed from the dictionary, it would be ‘Holocaust’.” He was fired on May 7, according to Radio Scoop.

Separately, France’s Union of Jewish Students, or UEJF, and the anti-racist organization SOS Racisme have taken Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to court for not complying with their obligations to moderate or delete hate material on social media, Le Parisien reported last week.

The two groups, together with SOS Homophobie, said that March 31 and May 10, they had found 586 examples of content deemed as “racist, anti-Semitic, pertaining to Holocaust denial, homophobic, or justifying terrorism or crimes against humanity.”

However, the groups reported, only 4 percent of these messages were deleted by Twitter, 7 percent by YouTube and 34 percent by Facebook.

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