Vandals desecrate 90 Jewish graves in east France

Vandals desecrate 90 Jewish graves in east France

Vandals desecrate 90 Jewish graves in east France

In addition to the marches, Macron will join National Assembly President Richard Ferrand and the head of Senate, Gerard Larcher, to hold a moment of silence at the Shoah memorial in Paris.

While politicians in the USA demanded an apology after Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's critique of the Zionist lobby was dubbed anti-Semitic, French MPs are gearing up to take more drastic measures.

A series of attacks across France in recent days has alarmed politicians and prompted calls for action against what some commentators describe as a new form of anti-Semitism among the far-left and Islamist preachers. Government statistics released last week showed there were more than 500 anti-Semitic attacks in the country past year, a 74 percent increase from 2017.

READ: Why is France facing an upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks?

France is home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe - around 550,000 - a population that has grown by about half since World War II, but anti-Semitic attacks remain common. Portraits of Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor and magistrate, were defaced with swastikas.

A tree in memory of Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 2006, was cut in two.

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According to sociologist Danny Trom, author of the book "France Without Jews", thousands of Jewish people leave France every year because the rise of anti-Semitism. On Tuesday, Macron will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday at the 34th annual dinner of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations.

During the interview, Mr Philippe said anti-Semitism was "deeply rooted in French society".

Though Macron has mostly steered clear of pointing the finger at any specific group or organization, many have blamed the Yellow Vest movement for inspiring and participating in rising hatred. That has to be made a criminal offence, " Sylvain Maillard, an MP from Macron's political party, told Radio France Internationale.

"I don't exactly know why they are angry at the Jews", said another, named Alain, who refused to give his last name. "But nevertheless, I think that when you delve into the detail, a penal condemnation of anti-Zionism creates other problems".

His immigration minister, Yoav Galant, sent a tweet calling on French Jews to quit France and "come home" to Israel, where around 200,000 French Jews already live.

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