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Minister Valls was in
the United States for a series of meetings with security officials, including Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano, Attorney General
Eric Holder, and FBI Director
France is home to
Europe's largest Jewish community. A recent report, released by
France's Jewish community, documented a 58% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2012 over the previous year. The data also revealed an alarming uptick in the number of incidents that occurred in the aftermath of the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in
Toulouse in March of that year.
"Once again, we were profoundly impressed by our meeting with Minister Valls, the point person for combating anti-Semitism, racism, extremism, and terrorism in his country," said AJC Executive Director
"Minister Valls' clarity of vision and steely determination are to be admired," Harris added. "We welcomed the opportunity to continue our important dialogue with him. He reaffirmed that he will leave no stone unturned in the struggle against anti-Semitism. He also reiterated his government's position that
France supports the European Union's designation of the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and is optimistic that the EU will formally adopt this stance."
Minister Valls is an alumnus of AJC's Project Interchange, which conducts educational seminars in
Israel for current and emerging leaders around the world.
The five-person AJC delegation included
Stanley Bergman, who became the organization's president earlier this month. Also present for the meeting were French Ambassador to the United States
Francois Delattre and Consul General of
France in New York Bertrand Lortholary.
AJC last met with Minister Valls in
Paris in February. During that same visit, both the AJC delegation and Minister Valls were guests of honor at a special interfaith dinner hosted by the Imam of Drancy, and attended by 150 Imams, the Israeli Ambassador to
France, and leaders of
France's Jewish community.
AJC maintains regular contact with
France's Interior Ministry via its
Paris office, directed by