PARIS—The so-called ‘’yellow jackets’’ movement in France, which started last year on the basis of social claims, as since then been infiltrated by extreme left and extreme rights agitators whose unifying factor is conspiracy theories and Jew hatred, says Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Centre in Paris.
The movement is in its ninth week of Saturday violent demonstrations across the country and in particular in the French capital.
In a letter to French Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, Samuels argued, “What began as marchers focussed against the tax rise on petrol – since resolved by the Macron administration – have now been infiltrated by extreme right and extreme left vandals, anarchists and agitators, bent on theft, violence and mayhem. Their unifying factor is conspiracy theories and Jew hatred.”
According to a source, “42% of current ‘’yellow jackets’’ voted for extreme right National Front head Marine Le Pen and over 20% for extreme left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon.”
The protests are organized on social media based upon “intersectionality,” a concept that draws all victims – of theft, poverty, violence – in joint solidarity.
Several antisemitic incidents have been reported among the protesters : a parliament member from French President Macron’s party was called ‘’kike, dirty Jewess’’ after her television criticism of the ”yellow jackets,” banners were hung from expressway bridges, reading: “Macron Jewish bitch” and “Macron, Drahi (a Jewish telecoms businessman who owns i24news channel), ], Attali (a Jewish economist and writer) = Banks, Media, Zion”, Paris Police was screamed at: “you gas us as if we were f…..g Jews”, the “Quenelle” (an inverted Hitler salute initiated by French comedian Dieudonné, convicted several times for racism and Holocaust denial, was seen in Paris Montmartre area and in the Paris underground. Other slogans described the French President a “prostitute of the Jews” and their “puppet”.
Next Saturday neo-Nazis are reportedly to join the weekly rally under the banner of ‘yellow jackets, a time for revolution!’ The lead speaker will be Alain Soral, founder of the ‘Anti-Zionist Party’ which is linked to Dieudonné.
The Wiesenthal Centre demanded that all political party leaders from Mélenchon to Le Pen “to repudiate and publicly condemn the yellow jackets incitement to antisemitism and other targets of racism in France.”
It also called on the first apparent leaders of the movement “to preserve the genuine YJ original cause of fighting poverty and, consequently, to root out the hatemongers who attempt to hijack the movement by resorting to violence.”
The Center urged the Interior Minister to ban next Saturday’s extreme right hatefest.