In Paris, hundreds of people mobilized against anti-Semitism and “hate at school”

A few hundred people gathered on Sunday May 12, 2024, in Paris, against anti-Semitism and “hate at school”and to defend the values ​​of secularism and the Republic, according to a journalist from theAFP on the spot.

This “citizen gathering”under the slogan “Let’s free the school from hatred”was organized at Place de la République by the DDF (Diaspora Defense Forces), an association which aims to “vigorously defend the image and interests of our Jewish community in the diaspora and in Israel”according to its website.

“For hatred, playtime is over”

At the podium were personalities such as the former Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, the philosopher Raphaël Enthoven, and students, notably from Sciences Po, where blockades by pro-Palestinian students recently took place.

In the crowd, French flags, signs “For hatred, playtime is over”or photos of Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7 attack.

Anti-Semitism “is an attack on the founding values ​​of the French Republic and as such, this fight must be a fight for every French citizen”declared the president of the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) Samuel Lejoyeux from the podium.

Protect schools

“The values ​​of the Republic are being flouted in an increasingly uninhibited manner and the idea (of this gathering) is that civil society shows that it is standing up against this. The school must remain a sanctuary”declared to theAFP Arik Bigio, founder of signal-ecoles.org, a platform that allows people to report anti-Semitic acts in schools.

“We want to protect the school because with secularism, these are founding values. We feel that the dikes could fail and we absolutely must mobilize. We must not leave the road to a noisy minority which propagates values ​​of hatred”said Franck Raduszynski, a 48-year-old lawyer.

A 15-year-old schoolgirl, attending school in Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine), explained for her part toAFP “always be vigilant”saying he already “had to endure Nazi salutes and Hitler mustaches”.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal reported on Monday a 300% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the first quarter (366 in total) compared to the first three months of 2023, against a backdrop of tensions linked to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

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