Antisemitic incidents up 74% in France

Anti-Semitic graffiti in Paris. A CRIMINAL enquiry has been opened in France after anti Semitic graffiti recalling the darkest days of the Holocaust appeared in Paris. The word'Juden- German for Jew- was sprayed in yellow paint on the window of a bage

A bagel shop in Paris has been targeted in an anti Semitic attack

A memorial in honor of a Jewish man vandalized.

Also in recent days, the word "Juden" (German for Jew) was scrawled on the window of a Paris bagel bakery and swastikas were plastered over several post boxes bearing the image of former government minister and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil.

The vandalism follows a string of widely reported acts of anti-Semitism in recent months committed in France, home to the world's largest Jewish population outside Israel and America.

Mr Castaner and other ministers voiced alarm over the resurgence of French antisemitism, with a 74 per cent rise in incidents recorded across France a year ago.

In November, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned that France, whose pro-Nazi regime deported Jews during World War II, was "very far from being finished with anti-Semitism". "Day after day, I'm noticing that symbols and venues our country cherishes are attacked". The official was not authorized to be publicly named because the investigations are ongoing.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had on Monday said anti-Semitism was "spreading like poison" as he visited a memorial site outside Paris for Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006. "It's rotting minds, it's killing".

Sebastien Lecornu, the junior foreign minister, pointed the finger at "yellow vest" protesters for the latest offences.

In reference to the anti-government rebellion that has shaken France, Le Monde said on Tuesday: "The social crisis France has seen since the emergence of the yellow vest movement has only encouraged such acts".

"When the hatred of the Jews overlaps with the hatred of democracy, the vocabulary of the fachosphere (the sphere of fascists) is found on the walls", Potier wrote.

The managers of the Bagelstein restaurant in Paris's 6th arrondissement said on Sunday that they had been the victims of an anti-Semitic attack.

Some on social media questioned whether there was a link between the graffiti and the "yellow vests", who were staging a protest in the capital that day.

Concerns that anti-Semitism might be growing in France pre-dated the protests that were started in the fall to oppose fuel tax increases.

The incident involving the postboxes was reported by artist Christian Guemy, who painted the portraits of Veil on the boxes in the city's 13th district to mark her burial a year ago at the Pantheon, final resting place of France's most illustrious figures.

In 2011, an Islamist gunman shot dead a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse and in 2015 an extremist claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group killed four people at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

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