Tens Of Thousands Of People Took To The Streets Of France To Say No To Anti-Semitism

French President Emmanuel Macron: “The country, in which our Jewish fellow citizens are afraid, is not France.”

In Paris and many other French cities, around 200,000 people took part in Sunday’s rallies to reaffirm the “values of the Republic” and protest against the troubling signs of anti-Semitism that have rocked the country in recent weeks.

In Paris, 105,000 people took to the streets as part of the “great civic march against anti-Semitism,” an initiative launched by House and Senate Presidents Yael Braun-Pivet and Gerard Larcher, following an outbreak of anti-Jewish violence after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

Among the participants in the Paris procession, which began from the Esplanade des Invalides, not far from the National Assembly, the seat of the lower house of the French parliament, and then reached the seat of the Senate – all side by side, behind a banner reading “For the Republic, against anti-Semitism” – French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, as well as much of the political world, united on a bipartisan basis against the resurgence of Nazism in the country.

Despite the controversy of recent days, Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally party (Rassemblement National, RN), was also present in the square. Le Pen made a special appeal to all voters of the National Rally to join the march against anti-Semitism: “I urge all of our members and our voters to join this march,” Le Pen said into the microphones of RTL radio. “The time has come for the French people to express their absolute rejection of the dramatic increase in visible acts of anti-Semitism,” because “our fellow Jews have been facing acts of this type for a long time.”

Mass demonstrations in France followed the Remembrance Day of Kristallnacht, a brutal series of pogroms carried out by the Nazis against Jews in Germany and Austria on November 9 and 10, 1938. This tragic event marked a turning point in the persecution of Jews by the regime of Adolf Hitler and is widely regarded in modern history as the starting point of the Holocaust.

Dozens of Stars of David, painted with blue spray on the white walls of various buildings in Paris, appeared on the night of November 1 on houses, shops, and credit institutions in the French capital, recalling in the historical memory of the people one of the darkest and most tragic periods in European history.

For more than a month, France has been facing a real explosion of anti-Semitic activities. According to the Interior Ministry, about 1,300 cases were recorded in October alone, compared with 436 for all of 2022. “The country, in which our fellow Jewish citizens are afraid, is not France,” warned President Emmanuel Macron, who condemned, in an open letter published on the occasion by Le Parisien newspaper, what he called the “return of savage anti-Semitism” in the country.