There were more than 100,000 people who marched through Paris on Sunday to protest the escalation of anti-Semitism throughout Europe and the U.S., as the conflict in the Middle East rages on.
Members from virtually every political side in France expressed their support for the march, including French President Emmanuel Macron. While Macron did not physically appear at the protest, he offered his support and said that it was time to challenge the “unbearable resurgence of unbridled anti-Semitism,” according to ABC News.
The authorities throughout Paris deployed more than 3,000 police troops along the path that the protest took amid the rising anti-Semitism cropping up in the area. Anti-Semitism has increased since Hamas’ surprise attack against the Jewish state on October 7, which prompted Israel to retaliate by moving forces into Gaza.
Though France currently has the largest Jewish population throughout Europe, its history of anti-Semitism, especially during World War II, has apparently opened old wounds.
While holding a French flag, Robert Fiel said that marching against hatred of Jewish people is “more than a duty,” adding that it is a “march against violence, against anti-Semitism, against all (political extremes) that are infiltrating the society, to show that the silent majority does exist.”
The report noted that there were several family members of the 40 French citizens killed during the Hamas attacks in Israel who took part in the march. The authorities estimated that there were more than 100,000 people who took part in the event.
The French authorities have apparently registered more than 1,000 acts of violence against Jews around the country since Hamas’ initial attack against Israel in early October, according to the Associated Press.
Macron addressed the French people through a letter on Sunday, assuring them that those guilty of violence against Jews would be prosecuted and punished for their acts.
“A France where our Jewish fellow citizens are afraid is not France,” Macron said. He went on to urge the country to be “united behind its values … and work for peace and security for all in the Middle East.”
He went on to say that he would not attend the protest in person, but that he would be there “in my heart and spirit,” noting that his “role is to build unity of the country and to be firm on values.”
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