Israel’s prime minister urged European leaders to speak out against anti-Semitism after the “shocking vandalism” of Jewish graves in France.
By Associated Press and World Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office on Tuesday, “Eighty Jewish graves were desecrated with Nazi symbols by wild anti-Semites.”
Netanyahu called on the leaders of France and Europe to take a strong stand against anti-Semitism, which he called “a plague that endangers everyone, not just us.”
He continued, “[Anti-Semitism] must be condemned wherever and whenever it rears its head.”
The hate crime in France occurred amid a disturbing spike in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe. According to France’s Ministry of the Interior, the number of anti-Semitic acts in France rose by 74 percent last year, from 311 in 2017 to 541 in 2018.
While French leaders condemned the vandalism, including President Emmanuel Macron, who promised that the French government “will take action,” France has been the site of a number of gruesome anti-Semitic crimes during the past few years, including an attack on a Jewish supermarket in 2015 that left 4 people dead.
According to a report by the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, “No fewer than 12 Jews have been killed in France in six separate incidents since 2003: Sébastien Selam, Ilan Halimi, Jonathan Sandler, Gabriel Sandler, Aryeh Sandler, Myriam Monsonégo, Yohan Cohen, Philippe Braham, François-Michel Saada, Yoav Hattab, Lucie Attal and Mireille Knoll.”
According to the Guardian, “[I]n most cases, the perpetrators have been linked with some form of extremist Islam.”