Extreme-right essayist Alain Bonnet, known as Soral, was sentenced by a Paris court on Wednesday to one year in jail for describing the Pantheon as a “kosher garbage dump” in a video posted last year on his website.
The 60-year-old, who was not present at the hearing in June, was found guilty of public anti-Semitic insult and incitement to discrimination, hate and violence against Jews.
The correctional court upheld the prosecution’s submissions, denouncing his “persistent obsessive hatred (…) without the least inhibition,” towards Jews.
The judges also denounced the fact that he targets a young public through his site, “Equality and Reconciliation”, seeking to impose his views under a veneer of supposedly serious culture, and to recruit youths for his Equality and Reconciliation agency.
The Court ordered the withdrawal of the offending video once the sentence is definitive. Soral will also have to pay 1,000 euros in damages and interest to the League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, LICRA, and a symbolic fine of one euro to three other anti-racist associations involved in the civil action against him.
Soral already has many similar convictions. He was sentenced to one year in prison in Bobigny in January for insulting a magistrate and making anti-Semitic statements on his website. Then, in April, he was convicted in Paris of negationism. In September, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Bobigny for an anti-Semitic rap clip.
In the absence of a warrant, the enforcement of these sentences is suspended pending Soral’s appeals. Should they be confirmed by the appeal court and his applications for judicial reviews dismissed, he could, in theory, go to prison.