Thousands of protesters march against wave of anti-Semitism in France

February 21, 2019 by JNS
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Following the vandalism of 80 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in the Alsace region of France, thousands of people joined rallies in Paris and across the country on Tuesday night to publicly oppose anti-Semitism in their country.

Thousands of people joined rallies in Paris and across the country to oppose a rising wave of anti-Semitism throughout France, Feb. 19, 2019. Credit: Screenshot.

The events were held under the banner of “That’s Enough.”

A rally in the French capital of Paris was led by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in the Republic Plaza, and joined by former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, while French President Emmanuel Macron made a special visit to Paris Holocaust museum Shoah Memorial, observing a moment of silence along with members of parliament.

“Every time a French person—because he or she is Jewish—is insulted, threatened, or worse, injured or killed, the whole Republic” is threatened, Macron said at a news conference.

Macron also visited the violated cemetery in the small town of Quatzenheim in the northeast, and appeared visibly upset, vowing to “take action.”

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party also held an event in support of French Jews at a different location in Paris.

On Tuesday, leaders from France’s Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities met at France’s Interior Ministry and issued a joint declaration condemning anti-Semitic acts and called on citizens to combat racism and hatred.

Quatzenheim’s Jewish community dated back to the 1700s and was once prominent in the area, with a synagogue erected at the establishment of the community being closed in 1940. During World War II, the community suffered, and dwindling numbers led to the closure of the town’s kosher market in the late 1980s.

France is home to the world’s third-largest Jewish population, though a new wave of anti-Semitism has led increasing numbers of French Jews to emigrate to Israel and other hospitable countries.

Anti-Semitism has come to the forefront in France with increased incidents of open hatred towards Jews.

Incidents include the defacement of a street portrait of celebrated French Jewess Simone Veil, a European Parliament president and survivor of the Holocaust who died in 2017, and received a nationally honored burial; the destruction of a memorial for Ilan Halimi, who was captured and tortured to death in 2006; and the scrawling of “Juden” on a Paris bagel restaurant.

On Friday, two people were arrested for shooting an air rifle at a synagogue in Sarcelles, and on Saturday, Alain Finkielkraut was slurred and verbally attacked by “yellow-vests” protesters.

Data shows that 74 percent more anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2018 than in 2017.

The French government reported a big rise in anti-Semitism last year: 541 registered incidents, up 74 percent from 311 in 2017.

JNS

Comments

One Response to “Thousands of protesters march against wave of anti-Semitism in France”
  1. Dr.Rodney Gouttman says:

    Until France stops trading with one of the greatest drivers of global anti-Semitism, Iran, the desecration of its Jews will continue. The reduction of anti-Semitism in the country is in the French government’s hands.