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'Dirty Zionist Sh*t': French Jewish Philosopher Alain Finkielkraut Attacked by Yellow Vest Protesters in Paris

Demonstrators cornered the French thinker and yelled profanities ■ Macron denounces incident: 'Anti-Semitic insults are the opposite of what makes us a great nation'

French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut attacked by 'yellow vests' protesters in Paris, February 16, 2019.
Screengrab/Twitter

French Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut was the target of an anti-Semitic attack Saturday night, French media outlets reported.

>> Read more: France's Yellow Vest movement dogged by anti-Semitism and extremist conspiracy theories

The philosopher, whose writing focuses on the ideas of tradition and identitary violence (including Jewish identity and anti-Semitism), was assaulted by Yellow Vest protesters who have taken to France's streets in recent months to demonstrate the country's rising fuel prices.

In videos that documented the incident, protesters can be heard yelling: "Dirty Jew" and "you're a hater, you're going to die, you're going to hell," while others called on the thinker to "go home" and "return to Tel Aviv."

In a different clip demonstrators can be heard screaming anti-Semitic profanities such as "dirty Zionist shit."

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke out against the attack later Saturday night, tweeting that "the anti-Semitic insults he [Finkielkraut] has been subjected to are as the absolute opposite of who we are and what makes us a great nation. We will not tolerate them."

File photo: French writer and philosopher Alain Finkielkraut poses for a photograph at his home in Paris.
AFP

French government spokesperson Benjamin Griveaux also took to Twitter to condemn the verbal assault on the philosopher, writing that "hatred is a foul beast lurking in the streets of Paris" and adding that "those who insulted had their faces uncovered. I hope they will be identified, prosecuted and heavily condemned."

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted that "watching such a scene in Paris in 2019 in simply intolerable."

Finkielkraut came under fire in the past for voicing controversial statements, but according to Le Parisien, he actually expressed support for the social movement that has been garnering momentum in France.

"I like this movement in its beginnings and I continue to love it," he said.

However, in other interviews recently he criticized the direction the movement has taken, potentially turning protesters against him.