Jerusalem (AFP) — Israeli Immigration Minister Yoav Gallant called Tuesday on French Jews to “come home” to Israel following the anti-Semitic vandalism of a cemetery in eastern France.
“The desecration of the Jewish cemetery in France conjures images of dark times in the history of the Jewish people,” Gallant said in a statement.
“Last week I visited the Jewish community in Paris, which is under an anti-Semitic attack and in the process of assimilation.
“I firmly condemn the anti-Semitism in France and call on the Jews ?- come home, immigrate to Israel.”
Around 80 graves were discovered to have been daubed with swastikas at a Jewish cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim, close to the border with Germany in the Alsace region.
Photos show the Nazi symbols in blue spray-painted on the damaged graves, one of which bears the words “Elsassisches Schwarzen Wolfe” (“Black Alsatian Wolves”), a separatist group with links to neo-Nazis in the 1970s.
Rallies are planned in Paris and other French cities Tuesday to denounce a flare-up of anti-Semitic vandalism in recent weeks.
Another day and another incident of #Antisemitism in Europe.
80 Jewish gravestones were vandalized with swastikas in Quatzenheim, France. There is a growing trend of Antisemitism, and action must be taken to ensure the safety and security of European Jewry. #No2Antisemitism pic.twitter.com/jfo4ejBrhU
— Ambassador Danny Danon | דני דנון (@dannydanon) February 19, 2019
Politicians on both the right and left have urged massive participation after a prominent French writer was the target of an anti-Semitic tirade by a protester in Paris on Saturday.
Last year, 2,679 Jews from France immigrated to Israel, according to Gallant’s ministry.