The runner-up in the Miss France beauty pageant received a torrent of antisemitic tweets and other online messages after telling a judge in the contest that her father is Israeli.
“I have an array of origins: my mother is Serbo-Croat, my father Israeli-Italian. This gave me a passion for geography and the discerning of other cultures,” April Benayoum told the contest’s audience Saturday night, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The tweets, including one in which the author wrote “Hitler forgot about you,” provoked condemnations from some of France’s top politicians, including Marlene Schaippa, the minister delegate in charge of citizenship.
“MissFrance2021 is not a contest in antisemitism,” Schaippa wrote. “Full support to April Benayoun, who has been the target of unprecedented antisemitic hate speech after revealing her origins.”
LICRA, the International League against Racism and antisemitism, announced Saturday that it is taking legal action against multiple individuals who sent the messages. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said law enforcement is already “on the case,” which he called “shocking” and “will not go answered.”
Benayoum, 21, holds the title of Miss Provence, a region in southern France.
Amandine Petit, who won the overall title of Miss France, told La Depeche that the tweets on Benayoum were “very disappointing” and said she “fully supports” Benayoum.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.