Swastikas Painted On 80 Jewish Graves in France

Swastikas Painted On 80 Jewish Graves in France

Swastikas Painted On 80 Jewish Graves in France

Macron will visit the Holocaust memorial in the city, together with the heads of parliament.

Many French political leaders are due to join Tuesday evening's march in Paris against anti-Semitism.

One grave had the words "Elsassisches Schwarzen Wolfe" written across it, a possible reference to a far-right German-nationalist group from the 1970s linked to multiple terrorists attacks.

The assault came days after the French government reported a big rise in anti-Semitism past year: 541 registered incidents, up 74 per cent from 311 in 2017.

France is home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe - around 550,000 - a population that has grown by about half since World War II, but anti-Semitic attacks remain common.

Last Monday, French authorities found swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs painted on mailboxes displaying the portraits of French politician and Holocaust survivor, Simone Veil.

A tree in memory of Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 2006, was cut in two.

Among incidents in recent days, "yellow vest" protesters were filmed hurling abuse at Alain Finkielkraut, a well-known Jewish writer and son of a Holocaust survivor, on Saturday.

Some commentators have blamed the resurgence on unchecked incitement by fringe Islamist preachers, calling it a new form of anti-Semitism, as opposed to that most commonly associated with Nazi ideology and the far-right. On Tuesday, Macron will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday at the 34th annual dinner of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations.

The chairman of the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency, which also deals with Jewish immigration to Israel, called the vandalism "another indication of the rampant anti-Semitism spreading throughout Europe, threatening Jews in the streets". That has to be made a criminal offence, " Sylvain Maillard, an MP from Macron's political party, told Radio France Internationale.

"No, the "yellow vest" movement is not a racist movement, no the "yellow vest" movement is not an anti-Semitic movement". "But nevertheless, I think that when you delve into the detail, a penal condemnation of anti-Zionism creates other problems".

"I firmly condemn the anti-Semitism in France and call on the Jews - come home, immigrate to Israel", Gallant said in a statement.

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