Francis Kalifat, president of Crif, the umbrella representative group of French Jewish institutions, will ask for “concrete measures” from the government to fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism when they attend the annual dinner of the organization on Wednesday evening in Paris.
The dinner will be attended by French President Emanuel Macron, who will address the attendees, and almost all members of the French government, in addition to politicians, ambassadors, heads of religious communities and leaders of Jewish associations.
The annual political event comes as a series of anti-Semitic incidents occurred in France these last days, including the desecration of a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg.
“I will ask for are concrete measures. The government must act and take decisions. What we need is to go beyond declarations and go into action,” said Kalifat.
“Concrete measures are first and foremost the implementation of the law. We regularly see is that the law is not enforced,” he added.
“We also ask for more sanctions for the crimes of anti-Semitism. For a simple reason: Very often, the authors of these anti-Semitic insults and acts receive a reminder of the law. This is not enough anymore,” he stressed.
On Tuesday, more than 20,000 demonstrators gathered on Place de la Republique in Paris in response to a nationwide call for mass rallies against the continuing rise of anti-Semitism in France.
Silimlar rallies against anti-Semitism took place in several other cities in the country, including Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse and Strasbourg.
The desecration of the Jewish cemetery came following a week of anti-Semitic incidents, including the daubing of a Jewish-owned bakery with the slogan “Juden!” and the abuse hurled at the French-Jewish liberal intellectual Alain Finkielkraut last weekend by protesters affiliated with the populist “yellow-vests” movement.
Also on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron visited the Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, and later paid a visit to the Holocaust memorial in Paris, where he laid a wreath.