Paris: Police Ban Pro-Palestinian Protest Due to Anti-Semitism
Paris police have banned pro-Palestinian activists from demonstrating this Saturday night, an official told AFP Wednesday, after violent protestors blockaded French Jews in a local synagogue and attacked them earlier this week.
Saturday night's protest was planned for the Barbas–Rochechouart metro station near the northern Gare du Nord train station, the official said.
However, Paris police oppose the demonstration, citing “serious risks to public order” in “a context of elevated tension," according to news broadcaster RTL.
Protestors have already taken to Twitter, they said, with the intent to "smash the Jews" in Saturday's protest.
“We’ll smash the Jews Saturday,” wrote one activist identified by the Twitter handler “Amine Blmh.” “Obviously we won’t be alone on Saturday, the Jews will also be there.”
Chlomi Zenouda of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his organizations believe “there is a serious risk that despite the [possible] ban, the protesters will hold illegal gatherings because their objective is not to protest in a legal manner but to destabilize the life of the Jewish community.”
On Sunday, several thousand demonstrators joined in a Paris protest for "Palestinian rights" which culminated in violence against police and minorities. French Muslims eventually tried to break into two synagogues in central Paris, a police source told AFP; tens of them eventually surrounded Don Yitzchak Abarbanel Synagogue in the 11th arrondissement of Paris and threw projectiles at worshippers, requiring large-scale police forces to rescue the trapped Jews.
Video later surfaced of the Jewish Defense League attempting to ward off the violent protestors.
Serge Ben Haim, one of the leaders of the Jewish community in Paris, said on Monday that Sunday’s incident was a watershed occurrence.
“What existed in the past can no longer continue. We could have had something like Kristallnacht,” he told Army Radio, referring to the infamous “night of broken glass” in 1938, when Nazis swept through Jewish towns and neighborhoods throughout Germany and Austria, murdering some 500 Jews, burning homes and synagogues, and destroying shops.
“They decided to advance in large numbers toward the synagogue, and that was where they met our youths who volunteer to protect Jewish places, and then the police,” he recalled, noting that police lost control of the hours-long demonstration.