FRANCE: Paris Graffiti recall 1930s antisemitism, says mayor
BBC (02.11.2023) – Stars of David have been found graffitied on buildings in the Paris area, in acts that political leaders have said “recall the 1930s”.
Some 60 Stars of David were painted on walls in the 14th arrondissement of Paris on Monday night.
France is grappling with a big rise in antisemitic incidents.
More than 850 such acts have been reported in France since the Hamas attacks in Israel on 7 October, says Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
Paris authorities announced that an investigation into degradation of property aggravated by racist intent would be launched.
“I am crying, because I am once again seeing the hate that we received when I was a child,” a resident of one of the buildings graffitied told the broadcaster BFMTV. “I can’t understand it.”
In a statement, the mayoralty of the 14th arrondissement wrote that the acts “recall the events of the 1930s… which led to the extermination of millions of Jews”.
Emmanuel Grégoire, deputy to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, said the stars would be removed and an investigation launched.
“Antisemitism continues to kill,” Mr Grégoire said. “We will never give up the fight.”
Separately, a woman was critically injured after being shot by police on Tuesday morning. Officers claimed she was behaving in a threatening way and refused to comply with instructions.
Similar graffiti was also found in Parisian suburbs including Vanves, Fontenay-aux-Roses, Aubervilliers and Saint-Ouen. The stars were sometimes accompanied by inscriptions such as “from the river to the sea, Palestine will win,” according to reports.
The Mayor of Saint-Ouen, Karim Bouamrane, called for the authors of the “antisemitic and racist” graffiti in his city to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Prosecutors have cautioned, however, that it is still unclear whether the stars are antisemitic in nature.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne condemned what she termed “disgraceful acts”.
The sharp rise in antisemitic incidents worries 83% of French people, a poll for BFMTV found.
Political leaders, including President Emmanuel Macron, have warned of the risk of “importing” tensions caused by the Israel-Hamas war into France.
About 400 people have been arrested for antisemitic acts this month, Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said Sunday.