Last Updated: November 12, 2023, 13:47 IST
President Emmanuel Macron has urged the French people to combat the “unbearable resurgence of unbridled antisemitism” in the country. In a letter published by Le Parisien on Saturday night, Macron revealed that more than a thousand antisemitic acts have taken place in a month, three times more than last year.
The letter was released on the eve of a historic march against antisemitism being held in the French capital. Macron highlighted the “legitimate anguish” of the Jewish community, saying that a France where citizens fear is not the true France, CNN reported.
“Fear of taking their children to school. Fear of going home alone. Fear to the point of erasing their name to protect themselves. As if the grief was not enough, they are gripped by anguish and loneliness. As if the past feelings transmitted by their parents, their grandparents were suddenly resurfacing,” he said.
Rien ne doit nous diviser.La France doit rester unie derrière ses valeurs, son universalisme, unie pour elle-même, pour porter son projet et œuvrer à la paix et la sécurité de tous.
Ma lettre aux Français :https://t.co/HzucWzBZ0i
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 11, 2023
Last week, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said France has recorded more than a thousand anti-Semitic acts since the deadly October 7 attack by Hamas gunmen on Israel. “The number of anti-Semitic acts has exploded,” he told France 2 television, adding that 486 people have been arrested for such offences, including 102 foreigners.
Last month’s Hamas attack killed 1,200 people, and around 240 were taken hostage. Since then, Israel has relentlessly pounded the besieged Gaza Strip in its battle to destroy Hamas, levelling entire city blocks and killing more than 10,000 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
In an impassioned appeal, Macron wrote, “A France where our Jewish fellow citizens are afraid is not France. A France where French people are afraid because of their religion or their origin is not France.” The French President went on to reiterate his belief that Israel has the right to defend itself, saying “putting Hamas out of harm’s way is a necessity.”
However, he also stressed that “this defence must be accompanied by the resumption of political dialogue and ensure the protection of civilians and hostages in Gaza.” “We want justice, peace and security for the people of Israel, for the Palestinian people and for the states of the region,” he said.
(With agency inputs)