Macron tells French Jews he will prosecute antisemitism relentlessly

President of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) Yonathan Arfi, left, offers a poster to French President Emmanuel Macron, during a ceremony celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, March 18, 2024.  (Yoan Valat/ Pool Photo via AP)
President of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) Yonathan Arfi, left, offers a poster to French President Emmanuel Macron, during a ceremony celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, March 18, 2024. (Yoan Valat/ Pool Photo via AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron vows to combat resurgent antisemitism that is seeding fears and doubts among France’s Jewish population, the largest in Europe.

‘’There is no place for antisemitism’’ in France, Macron says at a ceremony Monday marking the 80th anniversary of France’s leading Jewish organization, called CRIF.

He decries a rise in anti-Jewish attacks since the October 7 Hamas massacre and acknowledged fears of Jewish people questioning whether they are still safe in France. He says the government is punishing antisemitism relentlessly, “whether in the street, on screens, in our universities.’’

Tensions erupted at the prestigious Sciences Po in Paris last week, after pro-Palestinian demonstrators were accused of barring entrance to a member of a Jewish student union.

‘’Wherever antisemitism prospers, all other forms of hatred prosper — hatred of differences, of minorities, of foreigners, of Muslims, of women, of homosexuals,’’ Macron said.

France’s government initially sought to restrict pro-Palestinian protests after October 7. In recent months, Macron has been increasingly critical of Israel’s protracted and deadly offensive on Gaza.

“To defend and love Israel, to want its security, does not mean subscribing to all the choices of the democratic government of the moment,’’ he says.

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