PARIS (AP) — The Latest on anti-Semitism in France (all times local):
Vandals have scrawled anti-Israel graffiti and ransacked the offices of a Jewish student group at a Paris university, on the same day that marches are being held around France to protest anti-Semitism.
Sacha Ghozlan, president of the French Jewish Students Union, told The Associated Press that the damage was inflicted Wednesday at the group’s facilities at the University of Paris’ Pantheon-Sorbonne campus.
He said it came as far-left student protesters were blocking parts of the campus in a protest movement, but said it is unclear who was behind the incident.
University president Georges Haddad tweeted his condemnation of “this odious act” and said he would seek an investigation.
The vandalism came ahead of marches Wednesday in Paris and other cities to resist racism and to honor 85-year-old Mireille Knoll, stabbed to death in what authorities are calling an anti-Semitic attack.
Family members, friends and France’s president have honored an 85-year-old woman who escaped the Nazis 76 years ago but was stabbed to death last week in her Paris apartment, apparently targeted because she was Jewish.
Mireille Knoll’s death has taken on national importance, reminding France of both historic anti-Semitism and its resurgence in some quarters in recent years.
French President Emmanuel Macron decried the “barbaric” views that fueled an Islamic extremist’s supermarket hostage-taking last week as well as Knoll’s killing. In a speech at the 19th century Invalides monument Wednesday, Macron said Knoll’s attacker “murdered an innocent and vulnerable woman because she was Jewish, and in doing so profaned our sacred values and our history.”
Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen is insisting on attending a march in honor of a slain Holocaust survivor, despite criticism from France’s leading Jewish group.
Her National Front party called on members to attend silent marches in Paris and around the country Wednesday in tribute to 85-year-old Mireille Knoll, stabbed in what authorities call an anti-Semitic attack.
The head of the CRIF Jewish group said the National Front and members of the far-left would not be welcome at the marches because of anti-Semitic sentiment among their members.
Le Pen tweeted Wednesday that the CRIF can’t stop her from attending. She has sought to distance herself from anti-Semitism that stained her party in the past, instead focusing anger on immigrants and Islamic extremists.