French President Emmanuel Macron said he would visit the Paris Holocaust Memorial on Tuesday as symbolic gatherings are held across France to denounce a spate of anti-Semitic incidents that have shocked the country.
Macron said he would visit the museum and memorial site in central Paris, known as the Shoah Memorial in France, accompanied by the presidents of the two chambers of parliament.
Anti-Semitism is “a negation of France and the Republic,” said the French president, speaking at a press conference with his Georgian counterpart, Salomé Zourabichvili.
The visit to the Holocaust Memorial will coincide with rallies organised by 14 French political parties, including Macron’s ruling La République en Marche, to denounce hate crimes against Jews.
The French government said last week that anti-Semitic incidents in France rose 74 percent in 2018 compared with the previous year.
So-called “Yellow Vest” anti-government protesters have been blamed for a recent spike in attacks, including anti-Semitic insults levelled at prominent philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during a protest on Saturday.
At the press conference on Tuesday, Macron said he was not in favour of criminalising anti-Zionism as a way of combating anti-Semitism.
As he spoke, police in the eastern Alsace region said “around 80 tombs” had been desecrated overnight at a Jewish cemetery in the town of Quatzenheim.