French Holocaust survivors are recoiling at new antisemitism, and activists are pleading for peace

PARIS — Survivors of Nazi atrocities joined younger Jewish activists exterior the Paris Holocaust Memorial Saturday to sound the alarm about resurgent antisemitic hate speech, graffiti and abuse linked to the Israel-Hamas battle.

The influence of the battle is drawing growing concern in France and past. Thousands of pro-Palestinian and left-wing activists rallied in Paris and round Britain on Saturday to name for a cease-fire, the newest of a number of such protests in main cities all over the world because the battle started.

France is residence to the biggest Jewish inhabitants exterior Israel and the U.S., and western Europe’s largest Muslim inhabitants. The battle has re-opened the doorways to anti-Jewish sentiment in a rustic whose wartime collaboration with the Nazis left deep scars. Some 100,000 individuals marched by means of Paris final week to denounce antisemitism.

Esther Senot, 96, stated the Hamas assault on Israel on Oct. 7 stirred up her reminiscences of World War II.

“Massacres like that, I have lived through,” she stated on the Paris Holocaust Memorial. ”I noticed individuals die in entrance of me.”

Her sister was amongst them: ”They introduced her to the fuel chamber in entrance of my eyes,” she stated.

Most of Senot’s relations died. She survived 17 months in Auschwitz-Birkenau and different demise camps and made it again to France at age 17, weighing simply 70 kilos.

Senot was talking at an occasion organized by Jewish youth group Hachomer Hatzai, at which teenage activists drew parallels between what’s taking place now and the leadup to World War II. They held an indication saying ”We is not going to let historical past repeat itself.”

France‘s Interior Ministry said this week that 1,762 antisemitic acts have been reported this year, as well as 131 anti-Muslim acts and 564 anti-Christian acts. Half of the antisemitic acts involve graffiti, posters or protest banners bearing Nazi symbols or violent anti-Jewish messages. They also include physical attacks on people and Jewish sites, and online threats. Most were registered after the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, the ministry said.

Serge Klarsfeld, a renowned Nazi hunter and head of the Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France, noted that anger at the Israeli government’s actions typically will get blended with anti-Jewish sentiment. 

While he’s involved in regards to the present ambiance in France, he sought to place it in perspective.

“Certainly there are antisemitic acts (in France), but they are not at an urgent level,” he stated. He expressed hope in ”the knowledge of the 2 communities, who understand how fortunate they’re to dwell on this distinctive nation.”

France has residents straight affected by the battle: The preliminary Hamas assault killed 40 French individuals, and French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu is shuttling across the Middle East this week to attempt to negotiate the discharge of eight French residents held hostage by Hamas.

Two French kids have additionally been killed in Israel‘s subsequent offensive on Gaza, according to the Foreign Ministry, which is pushing for humanitarian help for Gaza’s civilians.

On Sunday, a whole lot of French leisure stars from totally different cultural and spiritual backgrounds plan a silent march in central Paris to name for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. They will march from the Arab World Institute to the Museum of Art and History of Judaism.

Like France and another nations, Britain has seen protests to demand a cease-fire every weekend because the battle started. Organizers from Palestinian organizations and left-wing teams stated rallies and marches had been held in dozens of cities and cities throughout the U.Okay. on Saturday.

Some staged sit-in protests in busy railway stations, whereas a whole lot of individuals demonstrated exterior the north London workplace of opposition Labour Party chief Keir Starmer. His refusal to name for a cease-fire and as an alternative to advocate a “humanitarian pause” has angered some members of the left-of-center celebration.


Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris and Jill Lawless in London contributed.

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