Investigation Underway Into Antisemitic Graffiti

French prosecutors are investigating the painting of Stars of David on buildings in Paris and its suburbs. The graffiti is thought of as antisemitic and threatening to Jews, especially given the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. Élisabeth Borne, France’s Prime Minister, expressed strong disapproval of the acts and promised continuous protection for Jewish communities in France. Since the October 7 surprise attack by Hamas, which slaughtered innocent citizens of all ages in Israel, French authorities have documented over 850 such markings, with police and judicial authorities initiating multiple investigations into the anti-Jewish graffiti in the capital.

The Union of Jewish Students of France expressed concern about recent graffiti that resembled the historical practice of Jews being forced to wear stars during the Nazi regime. This reminded them of the events in the 1930s and the Second World War, which resulted in the genocide of millions of Jews. Borne, speaking to France’s national assembly, emphasized that the situation in the Middle East is not a justification for antisemitism. She also expressed his government’s strong commitment to combating it.

The mayor of Aubervilliers, Karine Franclet, disapproved of the graffiti, emphasizing that it contradicts the core values of tolerance, equality, and mutual respect, particularly in light of the current circumstances. The mayor of Saint-Ouen, Karim Bouamrane, urged the courts to impose severe punishments on the perpetrators.

Jewish people in France have expressed concerns about their safety in light of the recent violence in Israel. A Jewish butcher in the 19th district in Paris, Jacques Isaac Azeroual, noted a 50% decline in his customer base and shared feelings of demoralization and fear of aggression. The president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, Yonathan Arfi, mentioned that the antisemitic incidents began on 7 October, before the Israeli response, and were not a result of the images from Gaza.