PARIS — France has recorded more than a thousand antisemitic acts since the massive October 7 assault by Hamas terrorists on Israel, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Sunday.
“The number of antisemitic acts has exploded,” he told France 2 television, adding that 486 people have been arrested for such offenses, including 102 foreigners.
Paris police chief Laurent Nunez said Sunday that there had been 257 antisemitic incidents in the Paris region alone, and 90 arrests.
There was no typical profile for those arrested, he added. They ranged from “young kids who say very serious things” to people involved in the pro-Palestinian cause who had gone too far.
Paris prosecutors are already investigating the daubing of dozens of Stars of David on buildings around the city and its suburbs last week, seen as threatening Jews. In another nearby town of Saint-Ouen, they were accompanied by inscriptions such as “Palestine will overcome.”
The Union of Jewish Students of France said the graffiti was designed to mirror the way Jews were forced by the Nazi regime to wear yellow stars.
And in the city of Lyon, prosecutors said this weekend they suspected that antisemitism may have been behind an attack on a young Jewish woman, who was stabbed in her home there.
Police are treating the attack as attempted murder, they said, adding that the woman’s life was not in danger and no arrest had been made. French media reported that the assailant, who fled the scene, also defaced the door to the woman’s apartment with a swastika.
France’s Jewish population, estimated at over 500,000, is the largest in Europe and the third-biggest in the world, after Israel and the United States.
Since Hamas’s deadly October 7 attack on southern Israel, in which 1,400 people were slaughtered, most of them civilians, there have been pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel rallies held around the world, and a spike in antisemitic incidents and attacks.
Last month, a global task force against antisemitism warned that already rising antisemitism due to the war was likely to spread.
The so-called J7, representing the six largest national Jewish communities outside of Israel along with the US-based Anti-Defamation League, called on governments to take a clear stance against antisemitism, while also working to protect and secure their Jewish communities.
In Berlin, Stars of David have also been found daubed on buildings where Jews live.