More than 180,000 people across France, including 100,000 in Pari

More than 180,000 people across France, including 100,000 in Paris, participated in a peaceful march on Sunday to protest against the rising antisemitism following the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, representatives of several left-wing parties, conservatives, and centrists from President Emmanuel Macron's party, as well as far-right leader Marine Le Pen, were present at Sunday's march in the French capital amid strict security measures. While Macron did not attend, he expressed support for the protest and called on citizens to stand up against the "intolerable resurgence of unchecked antisemitism."

However, the leader of the far-left party "Unsubmissive France," Jean-Luc Mélenchon, refrained from participating in the march, stating last week on Twitter that the march would be a gathering of "friends unconditionally supporting the massacre" in Gaza.

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The Ministry of the Interior stated that at least 182,000 people participated in the march in several cities across France in response to calls from leaders of both the upper and lower houses of parliament. According to the ministry, no serious incidents were reported.

Paris authorities deployed 3,000 police officers along the protest route, announced by the leaders of the Senate and the National Assembly, in response to the alarming rise in anti-Jewish actions in France since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict following its sudden outbreak on October 7.

EUROPE The repercussions of the war between Israel and Hamas are felt across Europe. France has the largest Jewish population in Europe, but considering its collaboration with the Nazis during World War II, antisemitic actions today reopen old wounds.

Robert Phil said that the march against antisemitism is "more than a duty," holding a French flag in his hands.

"It's a march against violence, against antisemitism, against all (political extremes) infiltrating society to show that the silent majority really exists," said the 67-year-old man.

Family members of some of the 40 French citizens who died in the first Hamas attack, as well as those who went missing or were taken hostage, also participated in the march, which, according to Paris police, gathered 105,000 participants.

Patrick Klugman, a lawyer and member of the "Freethem" committee working on the release of people held by Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip, said that the massive participation in the march is meaningful and symbolic for reassuring Jewish communities in France.

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"I am very proud of my country thanks to this mobilization," said Klugman. "I feel less lonely than in the last weeks and days."

Yonatan Arfi, President of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, known as CRIF, said that he was inspired by Sunday's show of support but questioned, during the march, "what will be done (against antisemitism) tomorrow?"

Colleges face pressure to curb antisemitism and Islamophobia NATIONAL Colleges face pressure to curb antisemitism and Islamophobia Tomer Sisley, an Israeli and French actor, insisted that the massive solidarity demonstration proves that the majority of French citizens stand against violence and hatred towards any religious and ethnic group.

"We are not Jews, we are not Muslims, we are not Christians," said Sisley. "We are French, and we are here to show that we are all together."

French authorities have recorded over 1,000 acts against Jews throughout the country in the month since the Middle East conflict began.

Former French President François Hollande said, "Many French flags are present at the protest, but what unites us is not just the flag, but what it represents, the value of freedom and the value of human dignity."

In a letter addressed to the French on Sunday, Macron promised that those responsible would be held accountable and punished.

"The France that our Jewish fellow citizens fear is not France," Macron said in the letter published in Le Parisien. He called on the country to remain "united in its values... and work for peace and security for all in the Middle East."

Macron stated that he would be present "in spirit and heart," but not in person. "My role is to build the unity of the country and firmly adhere to its values," Macron said on Saturday at the commemoration of Armistice Day, dedicated to the end of World War I.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen attended Sunday's march amid sharp criticism for her party, the National Rally, failing to rid itself of its antisemitic legacy despite growing political legitimacy.

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Arriving at the march with party president Jordan Bardella, Le Pen brushed off critics, stating that she and party members are "exactly where we need to be." She called on other politicians to "stop inflaming political disagreements" during the march.

Le Pen and other far-right officials appeared at the end of the march, hundreds of meters away from government members and other officials leading the demonstration.

Borne, the daughter of a Jew who survived the Holocaust, wrote on Twitter, "The presence of the National Rally fools no one."

Valérie Pécresse, president of the Paris regional council and former presidential candidate for the conservatives, condemned the "hypocrisy," stating that during the last elections, representatives of the National Rally campaigned against her, "who were clearly antisemitic people, and Marine Le Pen never applied sanctions to them."

According to the Ministry of the Interior, as of Saturday, officials documented 1,247 antisemitic acts since October 7, nearly three times more than for the entire year 2022.

Sunday's march in Paris became the largest gathering condemning antisemitism in Fra

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