Jewish institutions in France get more police protection after rise in antisemitic attacks

327 acts are being investigated and 183 people have been arrested, says interior minister


TOPSHOT - Protestors light flares and wave Palestinian flags during an unauthorized demonstration in support of Palestinians at Place de la Republique in Paris, on October 12, 2023. France on October 12, 2023 said it was banning all pro-Palestinian demonstrations after the attack on Israel by Hamas, on the grounds such protests threaten to public order. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that the demonstrations "are likely to generate disturbances to public order" adding that organisers should face arrest. Fighting between Israel and Hamas has entered a sixth day following the assault on Israel by the Palestinian militant group on October 7, which has claimed thousands of lives on both sides. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP) (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The number of antisemitic attacks in France has risen sharply since Hamas attacked Israel.

Interior minister Gerald Darmanin, who has been updating figures almost daily, said on Tuesday that 327 antisemitic acts are being investigated and 183 people have been arrested.

“Don’t be afraid. If anyone touched a hair of a Jewish person, the state will act in the strongest manner,” he said. “You pray for France’s security on every Saturday. It’s only natural that the state protects you in turn.”

In Grenoble, a family with a “Jewish-sounding name” found its home robbed, vandalized and covered with antisemitic graffiti. The family were relocated for their own safety.

There are reports of drones being flown next to synagogues to gather information for future attacks, according to France Info media.

Police protection of public and Jewish institutions like synagogues and schools has been increased.

“The multiplication of antisemitic acts show the atmosphere is highly inflammable and unfortunately we fear this will worsen in days and weeks to come,” said Yonathan Arfi, head of the Jewish umbrella organisation CRIF.

“In universities pro-Palestinian students no longer hesitate to voice their support, even of Hamas, calling it ‘Palestinian resistance’ when only few pro-Palestinians had done so in the past. The new generation is far more radical than previous ones. There is hostility towards Jewish students.”

Several French nationals were killed or abducted by Hamas: 21 have been confirmed dead and 11 are missing. The first hostage video released by Hamas showed 21-year-old Mia Schem, a dual French/Israeli national.

“The fact so many of the victims are French leads us to identify even more with what has happened in Israel. It shows the strong bond and exchanges between French Jews and Israel. Our destinies are linked,” said Arfi.

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