In response to the more than 100 local antisemitic acts reported since Hamas’ strikes on Israel on Saturday, France’s interior minister imposed a ban on all pro-Palestinian protests.
According to Gérald Darmanin, who warned that protest organizers might be arrested, such demonstrations “are likely to generate disturbances to public order” given the surrounding circumstances. It is essential to take action, Darmanin told Radio France, “given the increased anxiety among our Jewish community, particularly with a worship-filled weekend on the horizon.”
Authorities from Germany to Australia have reported hearing hate speech during pro-Palestinian rallies.
Some of a crowd of 1,000 people in Sydney were overheard yelling “gas the Jews” on Monday night outside the city’s famous opera house. Anti-Semitic events have increased both online and offline, according to Darmanin, who spoke to France Inter radio.
Offline occurrences include “mainly tags and swastikas… but also insults… and people arrested with a knife at the entrance of a school or synagogue… and a drone flying over a Jewish place of worship,” among other manifestations.
The French have long believed that we need two states, an Israeli one and a Palestinian one. However, if this is a show of support for Hamas, it is not appropriate.
The French publication Le Figaro reports that some protests were held despite the restrictions on Wednesday night in Nantes, Nîmes, and Bordeaux. Several French cities had previously prohibited certain planned rallies.
In spite of restrictions imposed by the Paris Administrative Court, which cited “proven risks of the export of this violence… on national soil,” another two were held on Thursday night at the Place de la République in Paris.
According to TV5 Monde, several hundred people came, and some of them carried Palestinian flags while chanting “Israel assassin, Macron accomplice” and “Zionists, Zionists, you are terrorists.” Since the attacks on Saturday, France has tightened security at Jewish organizations, including schools and synagogues.
The French Foreign Ministry has revealed that 12 French nationals are among the victims of the violence, despite the fact that the first specially chartered flight to transport French citizens home from Israel returned Thursday night. Four of the 17 French nationals who are now missing in Israel and Gaza are minors, according to President Emmanuel Macron, who made the announcement during a meeting at the Elysée Palace.