Thousands of marchers joined French lawmakers in Paris on Sunday to condemn a surge in anti-Semitism in France during the conflict in the Gaza Strip, but arguments over political participation clouded an intended show of unity.
The protest, called by the leaders of France's two houses of parliament, was prompted by a three-fold increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents compared with the whole of 2022, according to French authorities, since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
"Our order of the day today is... the total fight against anti-Semitism which is the opposite of the values of the republic," Senate speaker Gerard Larcher, who organised the demonstration with lower house speaker Yael Braun-Pivet, told broadcaster LCP before the marchers set off.
Political figures, including Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and former presidents François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, headed the march, holding a banner with the slogan "For the Republic, against anti-Semitism". They led several renditions of the French national anthem.
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