The 14th arrondissement of Paris has borne witness to a significant rise in acts of vandalism marked with a disturbing symbol of Jewish identity – the Star of David. Transparent in their insidious intent, these incidents, reminiscent of the chilling atmosphere of the 1930s, were condemned in stern terms by the arrondissement’s mayoralty.
This shocking resurgence of anti-Semitism was illustrated through the defacing of buildings with about 60 Stars of David on a Monday night earlier this week. Antisemitic actions have sharply risen in France, with over 850 instances tallied since the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel conflict on October 7 asserted Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
In response, Parisian authorities declared an immediate investigation into these dishonorable offenses, motivated by racist intent. Residents of the defaced buildings have expressed their despair and confusion over these hate-motivated acts, with a particular resident expressing that it revived the dreadful memories of facing such hatred during her childhood.
The arrondissement’s mayoralty in a press release lamented how these hateful crimes stir unsettling memories of the 1930s and the Holocaust that witnessed the slaughter of millions of Jews. Emmanuel Grégoire, the deputy to Paris’s mayor, vowed that these symbols of hate will be removed and the perpetrators brought to justice.
Grégoire lamented, “Antisemitism continues to kill. We will never give up the fight.” A woman was critically wounded in an unrelated incident where the police shot her for allegedly dismissing their commands and posing a threat on Tuesday.
Several Parisian suburbs, such as Vanves, Fontenay-aux-Roses, Aubervilliers, and Saint-Ouen, have also been victimized by symbols of anti-Semitism, coupled with messages like “from the river to the sea, Palestine will win.”
Mayor of Saint-Ouen, Karim Bouamrane, vociferously condemned these acts, demanding proper law enforcement action against the perpetrators. The rise in antisemitic incidents has sparked fear and worry in about 83% of French citizens, according to a BFMTV poll.
France’s political figures, including President Emmanuel Macron, have expressed concern over the possibly escalating tensions, “imported” due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti confirmed the arrest of nearly 400 individuals for antisemitic activities this month.