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Miss France runner-up targeted by wave of anti-Semitic abuse after on-stage interview

French prosecutors on Monday opened an investigation right into a torrent of anti-Semitic social media messages aimed on the runner-up within the newest Miss France competitors. Saying he was “deeply shocked by the rain of anti-Semitic insults,” France’s inside minister Gerald Darmanin famous in a tweet that police had been now mobilized to research.

April Benayoum, 21, got here second in Saturday’s televised pageant, however her second within the limelight was shortly sullied. When, in an on-stage interview, she known as herself Italian-Israeli, the remark triggered a wave of abuse on Twitter.

A number of the tweets invoked the Holocaust. One insult learn “Hitler forgot about this one” and one other “Do not vote for a Jew.”

Benayoum, who gained Miss Provence earlier than competing nationally, was born to a Serbo-Croatian mom and an Israeli father.

“It’s unhappy to witness such conduct in 2020,” she advised Var-Matin newspaper following the abuse. “Nevertheless it doesn’t have an effect on me in any respect.”

Pageant organizers had been swift to sentence the abuse, saying it was “completely opposite to the values of the channel, the manufacturing and the present.”

The Union of Jewish College students in France stated that “Miss France 2021 is now not a magnificence contest, it’s an anti-Semitism contest.”

The Miss France winner, Amandine Petit, advised BFM TV the feedback had been “inappropriate” and “extraordinarily disappointing.”

EU inside market commissioner Thierry Breton stated Twitter and different social media platforms must transfer faster to take away hate speech below a brand new Digital Providers Act proposed this month.

“What we’re proposing is to substantiate that platforms give themselves the means to reply immediately to calls for from the authorities when offenses like this happen,” Breton advised BFM tv on Sunday in response to the Miss France messages late Sunday.

France, which has the largest Jewish inhabitants in Europe, has seen a rise in anti-Semitic vandalism and hate speech that President Emmanuel Macron has known as “unacceptable.”

In 2018, the variety of anti-Jewish offenses reported to police surged by 74% after two years of declines, in response to the inside ministry.

The AFP contributed to this report.

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