'No to anti-Semitism': Political Parties in France Rally Over Uptick in Attacks

In latest incident, swastikas were painted on portraits of late Holocaust survivor Simone Veil, politician who spearheaded European integration and abortion rights

A poster reading "Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Racism, Not in Our Name" during a gathering decrying anti-Semitism at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, February 18, 2019.
Francois Mori,AP

Following a wave of anti-Semitic incidents in France, 14 political parties endorsed a protest rally that is being organized by local Jews against this form of hatred.

The parties include President Emmanuel Macron’s “La République En Marche!” as well as the Socialist Party and the Republicans. Three Green parties also signed on as well as one far-left party. The parties and the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities called on French citizens to rally Tuesday in Paris and in several other French cities in demonstrations under the banner “No to anti-Semitism.”

However, the appeal does not include the far-right National Front and the far-left “France Unbowed” parties, which received 34 percent and 19 percent of the vote, respectively, in France’s 2017 presidential elections. CRIF has deemed both parties as having institutional anti-Semitism.

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The call for a protest rally followed the painting of swastikas on portraits of the late Holocaust survivor Simone Veil. Over the weekend, the French Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut was accosted on the street by protesters from the Yellow Vests anti-austerity movement, who called him a “dirty Zionist” and told him to “go to Tel Aviv.” The incident, which was filmed, prompted a wave of condemnations, including by Macron.

It happened days after French authorities reported a 74-percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2018 over 2017.