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France: Woman arrested for antisemitic sign during health pass protest

AFP

clock 3 min read

Demonstrators gather for a national day of protest against the compulsory health pass in the western Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, on August 7, 2021.
STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFPDemonstrators gather for a national day of protest against the compulsory health pass in the western Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, on August 7, 2021.

The Metz prosecutor's office had opened an investigation into a 'sign with a clearly antisemitic message'

The woman who brandished an antisemitic sign in Metz on Saturday during a demonstration against the health pass was arrested Monday in Hombourg-Haut, a small town of Moselle, according to a police source.

"This morning, the police services arrested the young woman holding this sign," tweeted Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

The Metz prosecutor's office had opened an investigation into a "sign with a clearly antisemitic message," according to a press release from the Moselle prefecture on Sunday.

Video poster

A photo posted on social media shows a young woman holding up the offending sign on which are inscribed the names of several politicians, businessmen and intellectuals, most of whom are Jewish.

The names frame the slogan "but who?" on the sign. 

The slogan appeared following an interview granted in June to French television by a retired general, Daniel Delawarde, signatory of a forum evoking "the disintegration" of France.

To the question "who controls the + media pack +?" and after several reminders, he replied "the community you know well," before being cut by the presenter, Jean-Marc Morandini.

Several politicians have expressed their indignation and anti-discrimination associations are considering legal action.

The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) announced on Sunday its intention to file a complaint and SOS Racisme said it was "studying" the possibility of legal proceedings.

"Antisemitism killed yesterday and still kills today. Antisemitism is not an opinion. It is a crime, which must be condemned systematically," Minister for Equality, Elisabeth Moreno, said on Twitter.

The mayor of Metz, François Grosdidier, said he was "outraged, scandalized, but unfortunately not surprised," denouncing a "mixture (of) all refusals in a convergence of extremes and in a populist and antisemitic magma."

The Israeli embassy in France said it was "appalled at such an expression of the most abject antisemitic hatred."