French President Emmanuel Macron has announced new measures to tackle anti-Semitism, including a ban on extremist far-right groups. The move comes after a recent hike in anti-Semitic attacks.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Jewish community leaders on Wednesday, saying that anti-Semitism had grown in recent years "and the situation has got worse in recent weeks."
"Our country, and for that matter all of Europe and most Western democracies, seems to be facing a resurgence of anti-Semitism unseen since World War II," he said.
Macron was attending a dinner held by the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), a day after thousands of people across France protested against anti-Semitism.
During the dinner, Macron announced several measures to tackle a recent hike in anti-Semitic attacks.
He said he had urged the Interior Ministry to take steps to ban racist or anti-Semitic groups. He singled out "for a start" three far-right groups — Bastion Social, Blood and Honour Hexagone and Combat 18 — which he said "fuel hatred, promote discrimination or call for violence."
Macron said the French government would adopt the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance to help guide police forces, teachers and courts in their daily work.
A day earlier, Macron visited 96 tombstones that had been spray-painted with blue and yellow swastikas in a cemetery in the Alsace region near Germany.
'Yellow vest' anti-Semitism
The government has linked a 74 percent rise in anti-Semitic crimes in 2018 compared to 2017 to factions within the "yellow vest" movement. The leaderless group has held weekly rallies against Macron's presidency and poor living standards since November.
rc, amp/cmk (dpa, AFP)