France’s interior minister said Sunday several hundred tombs have been defaced at a Jewish cemetery in east of the country, in what he called “a despicable act”.
“The country will not tolerate this new injury which goes against the values that all French people share,” said Bernard Cazeneuve without giving further details of the incident in the town of Sarre-Union.
It comes as France’s more than half a million-strong Jewish community is feeling increasingly vulnerable after last month’s deadly attacks in Paris, and amid a steady rise in already high levels of anti-Semitism.
Record numbers of French Jews are already immigrating – particularly to Israel – due to anti-Semitism compounded by a weak economy, but the murder of four Jewish shoppers in a Paris supermarket in January has caused even more to consider to move.
Following the deadly attack France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that an exodus of Jews from the country would mark “the failure of the French republic.”