Antisemitic acts up 74% in France in 2018

A person places a rose on the commemorative plaque for Ilan Halimi, in Bagneux, on November 7, 2017. – Thomas SAMSON / AFP

From 311 in 2017 in France, antisemitic acts jumped to 541 in 2018, an increase of 74%, announced Monday the Minister of the Interior
Christophe Castaner after several anti-Jewish acts recently committed in Paris and Essonne.

Calling this act "an attack on hope," he said the government would not let anything happen. "By attacking a cult, attacking the memory of Ilan Halimi, it is the Republic that is attacked," said the Minister, who also spoke of the "attacks on Catholic churches" .

Several anti-Semitic inscriptions in the Paris region this weekend

"Anti-Semitism spreads like a poison like a gall. It attacks, it rots spirits, it kills, "said Christophe Castaner in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois where a tree planted in memory of Ilan Halimi, a young Jew killed in 2006, was vandalized.

This tree bearing his picture, was sawed at the base. Two city officials, who came to prepare the site for an annual ceremony on Wednesday, "discovered two young trees, one completely cut, the other partially sawn," the municipality said earlier in the day. The first tree was planted in 2006, the year of his death, the second for the tenth anniversary of his death.

French justice was seized this Monday after the discovery of several anti-Semitic inscriptions dating from the weekend on several Parisian sites, including swastikas on the portrait of Simone Veil, European figure surviving Auschwitz.

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