Anti-semitism rise makes France dangerous for Jewish people, says senator

Hundreds of anti-semitic incidents have been recorded in France since Hamas launched its terror assault on Israel earlier this month.

Gérald Darmanin, the French Minister of Interior, said on Monday a total of 819 anti-semitic acts had taken place between October 7 and 30 in his country.

The politician also reported that 414 arrests had been made so far with regard to acts of an anti-Semitic nature.

In light of the growing number of anti-semitic incidents, French Senator and member of the Les Républicains party Stéphane Le Rudulier likened the current climate to World War II, as he wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “In 2023, in the middle of Paris, anti-Semitism is back in full view.

“Being Jewish in France is becoming as dangerous as it was in the 1930s! Let’s not forget history! Let’s react!”

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The rise of anti-semitism in France is particularly apparent in Paris and some of its suburbs, where people and businesses of Jewish identity have received threats and several anti-semitic tags have been found on walls.

In Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, some six kilometre north of Paris, the stars of David – the symbol of the Jewish religion also used during the Nazi regime to mark Jewish people – have been painted on walls.

After the tags were discovered, Mayor Karim Bouamrane “firmly condemned” these incidents and expressed full support to those affected by the hatred, as the town hall called in municipal services to wash away the paint.

The local government also issued a statement informing local it had contacted the police in order to take “the necessary steps to shed full light on these despicable acts and find the perpetrators”.

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Anti-semitic graffitis were also discovered on some walls in Seine-Saint-Denis, northeast of Paris.

Taking to X, Mayor Karine Franclet said: “I would like, on my own behalf and on behalf of the municipality, to condemn these despicable acts in the strongest possible terms.”

On Monday morning alone, at least three Jewish schools in the Paris area received threats – as did kosher shops and synagogues.

Speaking about the incessant anti-semitic incidents, Benjamin Allouche, a member of the executive committee of the Council of French Jewish Institutions, told local news outlet BFM: “It’s an obvious and permanent source of stress. Both for the children, who are sometimes very young, and for the teenagers, but also, and above all, for the parents, who know the danger.”

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Security has been stepped up outside of Jewish schools and places of worship since October 7, Mr Allouche added.

A French Jewish mum, Alice, told BFM how she isn’t scared to say she is afraid for her safety.

Since the October 7 attack, the woman said to have pleaded with her children to “be careful”. She added: “We tell ourselves that all day long, be careful, be careful, we don’t really know what for. We don’t really know how. But we say it to each other.”

Seeking to reassure the French Jewish population, Mr Darmanin said “substantial resources” are being allocated to protect synagogues, schools and communal places attended by Jewish people, who he added are being “protected by the Republic”.

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