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France

Peace rally in Paris unites Jews and Muslims

Credit/Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel

Several hundred people gathered in the centre of Paris on Sunday to demonstrate for peace. The Israel-Palestine rally was supported by several organisations including the French Union of Jewish Students who joined Muslim groups for the march. 

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18-year-old student Celena Azouaoui was exasperated by the rise of hatred in the wake of the Gaza war, and wanted to show that people could unite despite their disagreements.

She used Facebook to mobilize people around this cause.

The rally was supported by several organisations like SOS Racisme and the French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF).

The president of the UEJF, Sacha Reingewirtz told RFI:
“The rise of anti-Semitism and racism is unbearable and we cannot accept it as French people.”

He added:
"I don’t like the idea that this conflict is between Jews and Muslims. We’re talking about a political conflict that is far away from France. And here we are talking about Republican values that we share. There is not a divide between Jews and Muslims. We have lived together in this country for decades and I don’t want to reduce the conflict to a religious divide.”

Messages from the Chief Rabbi of France and the imam of Bordeaux were also read.

The rally took place at place du Louvre in the centre of Paris on Sunday afternoon.

No Israeli or Palestinian flags were allowed, but protesters were invited to bring blue, white or red flags and white flowers.

Demonstrators were holding signs that read "tolerance", "love" and "dialogue".

They also sang the Marseillaise, the French national anthem.
 

 

 

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