By MARC PERELMAN
The message is crystal-clear.
Point one: French society is not more antisemitic than American society. Yes, there is anti-Jewish violence in France, but nearly all of it comes from socially estranged Arab youths, inflamed by the intifada. And in France, unlike America, no Jews have been killed or seriously wounded.
Point two: American Jewish groups should mind their own business and stop casting doubts on the ability of French Jewish leaders to be forceful and efficient advocates for Jews and for Israel.
Roger Cukierman, the senior leader of the French Jewish community, is a little irritated these days. He hears some of his American counterparts complaining that the communal umbrella group he has chaired since May 2001, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, or CRIF, is not vehement enough when it comes to taking on the French authorities over antisemitism and Israel.
The criticism is ironic, Cukierman told the Forward in a wide-ranging briefing in New York last week. "When people criticize me in France, it is because I am doing too much, not because I do too little, as some here are suggesting," he said. "American Jewish organizations come to France and some interfere, and I don't think they should."
"If they want to help, they should go through us," he said.