Gravestones defaced with ‘Death to Jews’, swastikas in southern France

An earlier defacing of gravestones at the Jewish cemetery of Herrlisheim, near Strasbourg, France, Dec.14, 2018. (AP/Jean-Francois Badias)

The vandalism was discovered by a police officer on July 12, France’s Channel 3 Occitania reported.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

“Death to Jews,” “Death to France,” along with swastikas, were written with black felt tip pen on 20 tombstones in the cemetery of Gruissan in the region of Aude in southern France on July 12.

Channel 3 Occitania reported that the cemetery would be closed so that investigators could search for clues and evidence that may lead them to the perpetrators.

The graves were not damaged and appear to have been chosen at random, the report said.

“In order to facilitate the work of the investigators,” the city of Gruissan would not discuss the issue when contacted by the French channel.

In a press release sent to France 3 Occitanie, it only said that “the cemetery will remain closed and therefore inaccessible for the purposes of the criminal investigation.”

France has seen anti-Semitism soar in recent years.

A new online tool used to measure anti-Semitism on social media in France, recorded 51,816 incidents in 2019.

On Feb. 17, 2019, 80 tombstones were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in the southern French province of Alsace, local authorities reported. Swastikas were sprayed on the graves.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the vandalized Jewish cemetery.

“Every time a French person, because he or she is Jewish, is insulted, threatened — or worse, injured or killed — the whole Republic” is attacked, Macron said.

Israel’s then-Minister of Immigration Yoav Galant said Jews from France should move to Israel.

“The desecration of the graves in the Jewish cemetery in France reminds me of dark days in the history of the Jewish people,” Galant said. “I strongly condemn the anti-Semitism in France and call to Jews – come home, immigrate to Israel.”

David Isaac:
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