Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel MacronOren Ben Hakoon/POOL

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday condemned the vandalism at the Wall of the Righteous, a memorial for the French citizens who risked their lives to save Jews during the Second World War, at the Mémorial de la Shoah Holocaust museum in Paris.

The vandals, who wore hoods to conceal their identities, painted dozens of blood-red hands on the memorial, photographs from the scene show.

The police have been informed of the vandalism and a hate crime investigation is underway.

Macron said the vandalism "damages the memory" both of those who saved Jews in the Holocaust as well as the victims.

"The (French) Republic, as always, will remain steadfast in the face of odious antisemitism," he added.

Israeli Ambassador to France Joshua Zarka said in response to the vandalism of the Holocaust memorial, "The symbolism of the red hands echoes the lynching of two Israelis in Ramallah by Palestinian terrorists 24 years ago."

"The message here is clear, it does not express: 'liberate Palestine,' it means 'Death to the Jews and their supporters.' There is no other message there," he added.

"Those who manipulate these 'activists' know the symbolism of reddened hands and who they send it to. Those who are manipulated by this filthy propaganda think they are campaigning for the 'liberation' of the Palestinians."

"We also have a message to convey to them: The Jews of the diaspora and their friends have experienced worse than these small-footed soldiers. We are still standing, and this uninhibited antisemite will neither make us… blush nor lower our heads," Zarka said.

A recently published report by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found that French Jews live in fear of antisemitism, with a majority having directly experienced antisemitism.

According to the 900-page report, 86% of French Jews feel that they live under the threat of antisemitic attacks, and 56% feel that the level of threat is significant. 44% reported that following the Hamas massacre of October 7, they refrain from wearing items that would identify them as Jewish in public, such as kippahs and Stars of David.

Previously, CRIF, the umbrella organization of the Jewish organizations in France, published a report which found that antisemitism in France has increased by 1,000% since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.