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France unites to rally against anti-Semitism

French communities unite and gather to protest against anti-Semitism in Paris

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Thousands of people rallied across France after a rise of anti-Semitic attacks in recent weeks that included vandals daubing swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans on dozens of graves in a Jewish cemetery.

Political leaders from all parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, gathered in Paris filling the Place de la Republique, a symbol of the nation, to decry anti-Semitic acts with one common slogan: “Enough!”

People also lined the streets of cities from Lille in the north to Toulouse and Marseille in the south. French Muslims gathered in solidarity with the Jewish people at the Republique square to protest against anti-Semitism in Paris.

French Muslim gather at the 'Republique square' to protest against anti-Semitism in Paris

President Emmanuel Macron paid respects at one of the 96 desecrated graves in the village of Quatzenheim, near the eastern city of Strasbourg.

“Whoever did this is not worthy of the French Republic and will be punished… We’ll take action, we’ll apply the law and we’ll punish them,” he said, walking through a gate scarred with a swastika as he entered the graveyard.

Among incidents in recent days, “yellow vest” protesters were filmed hurling abuse on Saturday at Alain Finkielkraut, a well-known Jewish writer and son of a Holocaust survivor.

Macron later visited the national Holocaust memorial in Paris with the heads of the Senate and National Assembly.

France is home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe, around half a million people, the population that has grown by about half since World War Two, but anti-Semitic attacks remain common.

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