Monday, October 10, 2011

calling a jew, a jew is taboo in paris

Paris Apple Store @ The Louvre
Apple removed an iPhone app naming Jewish celebrities from its French store Wednesday, following legal threats from conservative Jewish activists. The app’s creator, who is Jewish himself, says it’s time for French Jews to come out of the closet.

“What’s wrong with calling a Jew a Jew?” asks French software engineer Johann Lévy, who created an iPhone application that lets users consult a database of celebrities to find out if they are Jewish or not. “I’d challenge anyone to call me an anti-Semite,” he says. “I am Jewish myself.”

But a month after he launched the “Juif ou pas juif” (Jew or Not Jew) application in France, Lévy has fallen victim to the collective ire of Jewish and anti-racism activists. On Wednesday, his app was removed from the French Apple Store, after repeated threats of legal action against the California giant.

“The app violates local law and is no longer available in the app store in France,” Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr said on Thursday.

Sammy Ghozlan, head of the National Bureau against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), an anti-semitism watchdog, described the app as “dangerous” in an interview with FRANCE 24. “To categorise somebody by whether they are Jewish or not Jewish could result in hostile behaviour against those people. It’s putting Jews in a category apart; we are absolutely against doing that,” he said.

Ghozlan’s group was joined by the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, the Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF) and the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) in berating the app for its apparent disregard of French law. While Ghozlan accepted that Lévy probably meant no harm in creating it, “it was, above all, illegal,” he said.

Source: France 24
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rather be in paris