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French Jewish Beauty Queen Falls Victim to Antisemitism on Social Media

Leading French-Jewish groups, the Israeli Embassy in France, and numerous local politicians on Sunday condemned a storm of antisemitic attacks on social media against April Benayoum, a top contestant in the Miss France contest.

Benayoum, who revealed during the competition that she has an Israeli father, was competing as Miss Provence and came in first runner-up in the contest on Saturday night. Her Israeli connection, however, prompted a vicious outbreak of antisemitism, with tweets calling for her exclusion because of her Jewish heritage and others such as “Hitler forgot to exterminate you, Miss Provence.”

The Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (Crif), the umbrella organization of France’s Jewish community, called the attacks on Benayoum “vile and unacceptable!”

“All occasions appear to be good for spreading hatred of Jews and Israel,” the group added sarcastically, and demanded that Twitter take responsibility for what had happened.

The President of the Région Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Renaud Muselier, said Benayoum “perfectly represents our region and our country” and called the antisemitism against her “an abomination.”