Thousands of people Paris, other gatherings in France, the Eiffel Tower lit up and the Israeli and French anthems sung on the Place du Trocadéro: almost three days after the Hamas attacks on Israel, marks of solidarity have multiplied in France, which has the largest community of people. Jewish in Europe.
At the opening of the procession which brought together some 16,000 people according to the police headquarters, a banner reading “Terrorism, here, there, same fight, support for Israel”. Further away, others brandished a sign “Solidarity with Israel against terrorism”.
The atmosphere was serious, faces closed, some men wore kippahs, many in the parade had come with family or with friends.
“It warms my heart but at the same time it hurts to have to come to this so that people in France realize what we experience in Israel,” declares Dana, a 44-year-old Franco-Israeli who does not did not wish to give his last name.
On arrival at the Trocadéro, which the procession had taken more than two hours to reach from Place Victor Hugo, a few hundred meters away, the participants trampled and were impatient to see the Eiffel Tower lit up in the colors of Israel. “You realize, it’s Harry who is in Israel who sends us a photo of the tower!” laughs a demonstrator.
The demonstrators sang the Israeli anthem then La Marseillaise. And the Kaddish – the prayer for the dead – at the very end of the gathering.
In the crowd, we evoke with emotion the relatives living in Israel, we greet friends or acquaintances who have come to demonstrate, we debate the consequences geopolitical and we are together outraged by the killings.
– Marseille, Bordeaux… –
Many personalities made the trip: the President of the National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet, the government spokesperson and Minister Delegate in charge of Democratic Renewal Olivier Véran, the Minister of the Civil Service Stanislas Guerini, the presidents of the Ile regions -de-France Valérie Pécresse, Hauts-de-France Xavier Bertrand, and Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne Laurent Wauquiez.
In Paris, several thousand people gathered, notably at the call of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (Crif) © AFP – JULIEN DE ROSA
Also parading the former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, the president of the LR party Eric Ciotti, the PS deputy Boris Vallaud, the senator Yannick Jadot (ecologist)…
Among the most heard slogans: “Free the hostages!” or even “Israel will live, Israel will win!”
In Marseille, a city which is among the largest Jewish and Muslim communities in France, nearly 500 people, mostly elderly, gathered in silence, in front of the Prefecture. No banners or signs but only two large French flags and two large Israeli flags.
Five hundred people also in Bordeaux, in front of the great synagogue, 250 in Tours in front of the Yitzhak Rabin stele, in the courtyard of the town hall, a few hundred in Lille.
Earlier in the day, representatives of the Jewish community had been received by Gérald Darmanin in Paris. “To touch a Jew is to touch the whole Republic”, declared at the end of the meeting the Minister of the Interior, emphasizing the “great firmness of the State”, with “thousands of police officers, gendarmes and soldiers” mobilized to secure schools and places of worship in particular.
– Repercussions in France –
Since Saturday “around twenty anti-Semitic acts have been recorded” and “ten people” arrested, either for “anti-Semitic remarks or because they threatened places of worship or people who were leaving these places of worship”, added the minister.
The president of Crif (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France) Yonathan Arfi, for his part, expressed his “relief to see that the minister is taking the necessary measures” in a climate that he described as “flammable”. “We know that all conflicts in the Middle East end up mechanically resulting in an increase in anti-Semitic acts in France,” he added.
The Minister of Higher Education Sylvie Retailleau called Monday evening university presidents and directors of higher education establishments to sanction any “drift”, in a letter to educational leaders.
“We have seen in recent hours on the part of associations, collectives, sometimes actors of our establishments, actions and remarks of particular indecency”, writes the minister, who wants to “reiterate the greatest firmness of the State in the face of such abuses.”
On Saturday, the Minister of the Interior asked the prefects to strengthen the security of Jewish community places, with the visible presence of law enforcement and the reinforcement of the municipal police and soldiers from Operation Sentinel.
The Jewish community of France, the largest in Europe with around 500,000 people, has celebrated several holidays since the start of the Jewish new year which was in mid-September.
Political side , criticism continued to rain down on La France insoumise for its positions deemed too ambiguous. The boss of the PS Olivier Faure, who has always defended the union of left-wing parties, estimated that the LFI's declarations “will leave traces”, demanding “explanations”.
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