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Holocaust Memorial Vandalized During French Riots

As cities across France were convulsed by a third night of rioting following the fatal shooting by police of a 17-year-old boy on Tuesday, a monument commemorating Jews and resistance fighters deported during World War II in the Paris suburb of Nanterre — where the shooting took place — was vandalized.

At a protest march in Nanterre attended by 6,000 people on Thursday afternoon, one man attempted to set fire to the French national flag that flies over the monument before a group of fellow protestors pulled him away. Shortly afterwards, the monument was daubed with the words “Police scum from Saint-Soline to Nanterre — don’t forget or forgive,” while a nearby building was sprayed with the words, “Bitches, we are going to make you a Shoah” — the Hebrew term for the Nazi Holocaust.

France has been paralyzed by unrest since the killing on Tuesday of the victim, named as Nahel M, a 17-year-old of Algerian descent who was shot by a police officer as he drove away from a traffic checkpoint in Nanterre. Riots in the wake of the killing intensified on Thursday night, with the arrest of 875 people. French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged parents to keep their children away from protests as he warned that extra police officers would now be deployed.

The vandalism of the monument in Nanterre was condemned by Jewish groups.

“It is truly horrifying to witness the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation in Nanterre being vandalized,” the European Jewish Congress (EJC) declared in a tweet. “This shameful act of disrespect for the memory of the victims of the Holocaust must be unequivocally condemned and those responsible held accountable.”

In a separate posting, Ariel Goldmann, president of the United Jewish Social Fund, condemned the vandalism as an “absolute outrage and disgrace,” complaining that “nothing is sacred.”

Elsewhere in Paris, several Jewish-owned stores and restaurants were set on fire, according to local broadcaster Radio Shalom, which noted that the establishments were not being specifically targeted as outlets owned by non-Jews were also set alight.

Rioting was reported across the country on Thursday, from Lille in the north to the port of Marseille in the south. Public transport was closed early in some places and curfews enforced, with French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Friday advising that buses and trams should be halted nationwide from 9pm local time.

The officer who shot Nahel has apologized to the teenager’s family. He has been charged with voluntary homicide and is said to be “devastated,” according to his lawyer.

Source: https://www.algemeiner.com/2023/06/30/holocaust-memorial-in-paris-suburb-vandalized-during-anti-police-riots/