Some 80 Jewish grace have been vandalized the cemetery in the small Alsace region town of Quatzenheim. Swastikas were seen on many of the tombstones.
French President Emmanuel Macron headed to the Jewish cemetery to express his outrage over the attacks. : “I want to say again here that every time a French person because he or she is Jewish, is insulted, threatened — or worse, injured or killed — the whole Republic” is attacked. It is not for the Jews to defend themselves but for the republic to defend them.”
The cemetery assault came days after the French government reported a significant rise in anti-Semitism last year: 541 registered incidents, up 74 percent from 311 in 2017.
The rising anti-Semitism in France, home to the world’s largest Jewish population outside of Israel and the United States, was underscored last Friday when two youths were detained after they fired shots at a synagogue with an air rifle in a Paris suburb where a sizeable Jewish community lives.
Earlier this month a swastika graffiti was found on street portraits of Simone Veil — a survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who died in 2017. The word “Juden” was painted on the window of a bagel restaurant in Paris, and two trees planted at a memorial honoring a young Jewish man tortured to death in 2006 were vandalized, one cut down.