In Paris, survivors of Nazi atrocities, including Esther Senot, 96, gathered outside the Holocaust memorial to raise concerns about the resurgence of antisemitic hate speech, graffiti, and abuse linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The war has heightened tensions in France, home to the largest Jewish population outside Israel and the U.S. Pro-Palestinian and left-wing activists staged rallies across Paris and Britain, calling for a cease-fire. France, with a history of wartime collaboration with the Nazis, has witnessed a rise in antisemitic incidents. Jewish organizations and activists are working to address the issue and emphasize the importance of unity amidst the current tensions. France’s Interior Ministry reported 1,762 antisemitic acts this year, with concerns growing about the impact of the conflict on social harmony.
Esther Senot, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau, shared her memories of World War II, drawing parallels between the present situation and the lead-up to the war. The event organized by Jewish youth organization Hachomer Hatzai featured teenage activists expressing their commitment to preventing history from repeating itself. Serge Klarsfeld, a Nazi hunter, acknowledged the existence of antisemitic acts in France but emphasized the need for perspective and the wisdom of the communities.
France, directly affected by the war, has citizens among the casualties and hostages held by Hamas. The country’s leaders are engaged in diplomatic efforts to address the crisis. French entertainment stars from diverse backgrounds plan a silent march in Paris to advocate for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
In Britain, similar protests for a cease-fire have taken place each weekend since the conflict’s onset. Rallies and marches occurred across the U.K., with some participants staging sit-in protests and demonstrating outside political offices. The international response reflects the complexity of emotions surrounding the Israel-Hamas war and the broader implications for global communities.