Marches and rallies against anti-Semitism are taking place across France following a series of anti-Semitic acts that shocked the country.
Former French presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy are set to join thousands of protesters and government members on the streets Tuesday.
The upsurge in anti-Semitism in France, home to the world’s largest Jewishpopulation outside Israel and the United States, reached a climax last weekend with a torrent of hate speech directed at prominent philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during a march of yellow vest anti-government protesters.
The assault came days after the government reported a big rise in incidents of anti-Semitism last year: 541 registered incidents, up 74 per cent from the 311 registered in 2017.
Prime minister Edouard Philippe will lead a group of government officials at the main rally at Paris’s famed Republic Square. In addition to the marches, French president Emmanuel Macron, National Assembly president Richard Ferrand and the head of Senate Gerard Larcher will hold a moment of silence at the Shoah memorial in Paris.
“Every time a French person, because he or she is Jewish, is insulted, threatened or worse, injured or killed the whole Republic” is attacked, Macron said at a press conference in Paris after meeting with Georgia’s President Salome Zurabishvili.
Macron is not expected to attend the gathering at the Republic Square, but will deliver a speech at Wednesday’s annual dinner by leading Jewish group CRIF.