More than 180,000 people across France march against antisemitism amid Israel-Hamas war

November 13, 2023 | by b1og.net


More than 180,000 people across France march against antisemitism amid Israel-Hamas war

More than 180,000 people in France, with 100,000 in Paris alone, gathered peacefully in a powerful display of solidarity against the rise of antisemitism amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, along with representatives of various political parties, including far-right leader Marine Le Pen, participated in the march to denounce the resurgence of antisemitism and show support for the Jewish community. The demonstration was organized in response to a sharp increase in anti-Jewish acts in France since the start of the conflict, a painful reminder of the country’s collaboration with the Nazis during World War II. With no major incidents reported, the massive turnout sends a crucial message of unity and reassurance to Jewish communities in France that they are not alone in their fight against violence and hate.

More than 180,000 people across France march against antisemitism amid Israel-Hamas war

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March Against Antisemitism in France

On November 12, 2023, more than 180,000 people across France came together to peacefully march against the rising wave of antisemitism in the country. The march was organized in response to the Israel-Hamas war and aimed to show solidarity and combat violence. In Paris alone, 100,000 people participated, making it a significant demonstration of unity and support for the Jewish community.


Political Presence at the March

The march saw the presence of key political figures, including Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who attended the event to show her support. Representatives from various political parties, spanning the left, conservatives, and centrists of President Macron’s party, were also present at the march. However, far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon abstained from attending, citing concerns about unconditional support for the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Peaceful March with Tight Security

The march proceeded peacefully, with no major incidents reported. To ensure the safety of participants, 3,000 police troops were deployed in Paris. The leaders of the Senate and the National Assembly organized the protest, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a peaceful and respectful atmosphere during the march.

Antisemitism in France

France is home to the largest Jewish population in Europe. However, the country’s history of collaboration with the Nazis during World War II has left deep scars, which are invoked by acts of antisemitism today. The march aimed to address this issue by showing solidarity and standing against all forms of violence and extremism that threaten the fabric of society.

Support from Victims’ Families

Families of victims from the Hamas attack, which triggered the conflict, actively participated in the march. Patrick Klugman, a lawyer and member of the “Freethem” committee working to secure the release of individuals held by Hamas, praised the mobilization of people and saw it as a reassuring sign for the Jewish communities in France. Yonathan Arfi, the president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF), emphasized the importance of ongoing actions against antisemitism beyond the march.

Unity of French Citizens

Tomer Sisley, an Israeli and French actor, highlighted the unity among different religious and ethnic groups in France. He expressed that the massive show of solidarity at the march demonstrates that the majority of French citizens stand against violence and hate directed at any community. The values of freedom and human dignity were at the core of the protesters’ message.

Antisemitic Acts in France

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict, over 1,000 antisemitic acts have been reported in France. Former President Francois Hollande addressed the importance of unity in combating antisemitism and emphasized that the perpetrators of such acts will be prosecuted and punished. These acts serve as a reminder of the ongoing struggle against hatred and discrimination.


Macron’s Absence and Far-Right Presence

Although President Macron expressed his support for the protest, he did not attend in person. Macron’s absence was viewed as an effort to maintain his role as a unifying figure and work towards building unity in the country. However, far-right leader Marine Le Pen attended the march, which sparked criticism due to her party’s historical associations with antisemitism. National Rally officials joined the march separately from government members, distancing themselves politically.

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Historical Context and Importance of the March

The March Against Antisemitism in France is considered the largest gathering to denounce antisemitism in the country since a 1990 demonstration against the desecration of a Jewish cemetery. Against the backdrop of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the march holds historical significance. France’s ban on pro-Palestinian demonstrations further highlights the importance of this event as a platform to express solidarity and support for peace in the Middle East.

Contributors and Reporting

The information for this comprehensive article was gathered from various sources. Sylvie Corbet and Barbara Surk, who contributed to the Associated Press article, provided insights and updates on the march. Additionally, Nicholas Garriga, a video journalist based in Paris, provided reporting on the ground, capturing the spirit and atmosphere of the event. Their collective efforts ensured accurate and reliable coverage of the March Against Antisemitism in France.

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