Many members of France’s Jewish community are living in fear after pro-Palestinian protests in recent weeks were marred by violence and use of anti-Semitic language, the country’s foreign minister said on Thursday.
France has both the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in Europe and flare-ups in the Middle East have often in the past added to tensions between the two communities.
“Jews in France should not be afraid but many of them are afraid,” Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio after one listener called in to share her experiences of hearing anti-Semitic comments in public.
“We will be extremely firm.”
Local media showed the burnt-down front of a kosher grocery shop in the heavily Jewish Parisian suburb of Sarcelles after a non-authorized protest on Sunday. The weekend before, marchers clashed with riot police outside two Paris synagogues.