More than 180,000 people turned out on Sunday to march against anti-Semitism in France, after a surge in anti-Jewish incidents across the country in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
France has recorded nearly 1,250 anti-Semitic acts in recent weeks and President Emmanuel Macron — who did not attend Sunday — condemned the “unbearable resurgence of unbridled anti-Semitism”.
“A France where our Jewish citizens are afraid is not France,” Macron wrote in a letter published Saturday.
Police said 105,000 people had joined the Paris march, while interior ministry figures put the nationwide figure at 182,000.
Thousands of people gathered at more than 70 events across France, including in major cities Lyon, Nice and Strasbourg.
The same slogan was adopted nationally: “For the Republic, against anti-Semitism”.
AFP journalists saw tens of thousands packed into the setting-off point at the capital’s Invalides park.
More than 3,000 police and gendarmes were to be deployed in Paris to maintain security.
“Our order of the day today is… the total fight against anti-Semitism which is the opposite of the values of the republic,” Senate speaker Gerard Larcher, who organised the rallies with lower house speaker Yael Braun-Pivet, said before the Paris marchers set off.
“We had grandparents who escaped being transported to the concentration camps, luckily they aren’t here to see that (anti-Semitism) is back,” said Laura Cohen, a marcher in her 30s.