France: 80 graves vandalized at Jewish cemetery just hours ahead of marches against anti-Semitism
BREAKING: 80 graves were vandalized at the Jewish cemetery in Alsace, eastern France, just hours ahead of marches against anti-Semitism this evening across a large number of French cities, following a wave of anti-Semitic attacks.
Marches against anti-Semitism will be taking place all across France on Tuesday night, with 14 political parties calling on people to take to the streets at a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise.
“This is the response to the national wake-up call we urged last week,” said Francis Kalifat of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations.
A statement from the 14 political parties taking part in organizing the marches said: “Antisemitism is not an opinion but a crime, we are all concerned.”
Among those demonstrating will be high profile politicians including France’s Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer and government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux.
Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau has also said she plans to march, saying “there is leprosy that rises in Europe, we must fight it and we will shoot it down”.
Former French President Francois Hollande is set to attend as are former Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and the former mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe.
According to French authorities, the total of registered anti-Semitic acts rose to 541 in 2018 from 311 in 2017, a rise of 74 percent.
“Anti-Semitism is spreading like poison,” said French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.