France: massive demonstrations against antisemitism
Over a hundred thousand people took to the streets in Paris and other French cities on Sunday to protest against rising antisemitism. The participation of right-wing populist Marine Le Pen was criticised, as was the absence of President Emmanuel Macron and the left-wing populist party La France Insoumise. Commentators voice dissatisfaction.
Le Figaro focuses on those who were absent:
“Above all the controversies and petty tactics that surrounded this day will be remembered. The fight against antisemitism deserves so much more. ... Admittedly, there was a large crowd on Sunday, but it was the absences that were more conspicuous. First and foremost [leader of the left-wing populist La France Insoumise] Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his troupe. ... The other big absentee was of course President Emmanuel Macron. He should have certainly joined the march. It was his responsibility to lead by example and pass on the ‘message of humanity’ that he wants to send to the world.”
L’Humanité is outraged by the participation of the far right:
“What has happened to our country to make Éric Zemmour feel entitled to demonstrate in peace? ... The self-proclaimed defenders of the Republic justify his presence by saying that the fight against antisemitism ‘should not be turned into a political issue’. Unbelievable stupidity. How can anyone fall for this foul scam, this obscene instrumentalisation? This 12 November will mark a decisive step in the ‘normalisation’ of the far right. Who can seriously believe that Marine Le Pen’s party, whose former leader was repeatedly condemned for describing the gas chambers as a ‘detail of history’, is no longer antisemitic?”