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Massive Demonstrations Across France Condemning Antisemitism

by DIGITAL TIMES
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On Sunday, tens of thousands of individuals flooded the streets of France to denounce a significant increase in antisemitic acts since the initiation of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

In Paris, an estimated 105,000 people participated in what is considered the largest mobilization against antisemitism since the 1990 protest following the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Carpentras. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, along with former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined protesters in holding a banner that read, “For the Republic, against antisemitism.”

Similar demonstrations occurred in cities such as Nice, Lyon, and Marseille, with a reported total of over 182,000 participants nationwide, according to BFM TV and the interior ministry.

The backdrop of rising tensions in France, particularly in Paris, during the Israel-Hamas conflict has led to a surge in antisemitic incidents, as acknowledged by French President Emmanuel Macron. In a letter published in Le Parisien, Macron condemned the “unbearable resurgence of unbridled antisemitism,” revealing that over 1,000 antisemitic acts occurred in France in a single month, three times more than the entire previous year.

Macron, although not physically present at the Sunday march, emphasized in a social media post that a France where Jewish citizens feel fear is not the France he envisions. He reiterated, “No tolerance for the intolerable.”

Despite criticism from Israeli figures over his comments on the BBC, where he advocated for a ceasefire in Gaza, Macron, in a phone call with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, affirmed France’s solidarity with Israel. Macron stressed that Israel has the right to defend itself but must do so in compliance with international humanitarian law and ensuring the protection of civilian populations.

The call for a ceasefire resonated globally, reaching as far as Australia, where Foreign Minister Penny Wong acknowledged Macron’s comments, expressing the shared desire for progress toward a ceasefire. However, Wong emphasized that any ceasefire must be comprehensive, noting the issue of Israeli hostages held by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Simultaneously, pro-Palestinian demonstrations unfolded in several European capitals over the weekend. In London, around 300,000 people gathered for a pro-Palestinian rally, calling for a ceasefire and chanting slogans. The demonstration faced aggression from counter-protesters, resulting in arrests and clashes with the police. Pro-Palestinian rallies also occurred in Frankfurt, Barcelona, and Brussels, marking a complex backdrop of sentiments across Europe.

These events underline the multifaceted nature of public sentiment and geopolitical tensions concerning the Israel-Hamas conflict, with demonstrations both against antisemitism and in support of the Palestinian cause taking center stage across the continent.

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