One hundred thousand march in Paris against anti-Semitism

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By John

A human tide to reaffirm the values ​​of the Republic and say no to anti-Semitism: over 182,000 people marched today in Paris and in around seventy other cities in France as part of the great civic march against anti-Semitism, an initiative promoted by the presidents of the House and Senate, Yael Braun Pivet And Gérard Larcher, after the explosion of anti-Jewish acts following the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October. The Parisian procession – according to data from the prefecture, 105,000 demonstrators took to the streets of the capital – started shortly after 3pm from the Esplanade des Invalides, a stone’s throw from the Assemblée Nationale, seat of the lower house, to reach the headquarters of Senate, behind the banner ‘Pour la République, against anti-Semitism’, the only slogan of the procession which saw, among others, the Prime Minister take to the streets Elisabeth Borneformer presidents Nicolas Sarkozy And Francois Hollande and a large part of the political world lined up in a bipartisan way against the return of the unclean beast. Despite the controversies and distinctions of recent days, the Rassemblement National of was also present in the square Marine Le Pen while the France Insoumise of Jean-Luc Mélenchon boycotted the initiative. Since October 7, France has had to deal with an unprecedented boom in anti-Semitic acts: 1,247 in just one month compared to 436 in the whole of 2022.

“A country in which our fellow Jews are afraid is not France,” the president warned Emmanuel Macron, who in an open letter published for the occasion by Le Parisien condemned what he defined as “a return of wild anti-Semitism” in the country. “Whether it is religious, social, identitarian or racial, anti-Semitism is always what Emile Zola defined as hateful”, wrote the head of state in view of the march which, according to Macron’s hopes, had the aim of showing a France “united behind its values ​​and its universalism”. The objective appears to have been achieved. Today’s one turns out to be therehe largest mobilization against anti-Semitism ever seen beyond the Alps since the protest march against the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Carpentras, in 1990, and many speak of a “historic day”. «When faced with anti-Semitism, the worst thing for Jews is to feel alone. With this mobilization, a wall has collapsed today”, commented the president of the representative council of the Jews of France, Jonathan Arfi“reassured by the idea that there are people in France who have understood what is happening: these anti-Semitic acts threaten not only the Jews but the entire society”. The only regret, for Arfi, was Macron’s absence from the march which « would have made this event even more historic.”

Similar demonstrations were held in over seventy cities in the République, including Marseille (7,500 people), Strasbourg (5,000), Grenoble (3,700), Bordeaux (3,500), Nice (3,000), Lyon (3,000), Nantes (2,000) and La Rochelle (2,000). Among the slogans chanted along the Parisian march – which traveled along the Boulevard Saint-Germain among French flags and even some flags of Israel and the European Union – ‘Nothing justifies hatred, ‘Faites l’amour, pas la hainè (‘ Make love, I don’t hate it), but also lots of spontaneous applause and Marseillaise hymns. For the occasion, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin had deployed over 3,000 officers including gendarmes and Police Nationale. In France marked by the terrorism alert, elite units such as the BRI were also deployed on site, with the aim of stopping any individual who wanted to attack the demonstrators. But fortunately no accidents were reported at the end of the day. Another reason for satisfaction.