rioting in France (AP/Bob Edme) (AP/Bob Edme)


‘There isn’t a living soul on the street. Marseille has turned into Gaza.’

By United with Israel Staff and JNS

Dan Lilty, a resident of Marseille, described to Israel National News how the riots that have hit France are affecting the Jewish community.

“There’s a great pandemonium here,” he said, in an interview published Monday. “Three nights that we haven’t slept because of the explosions from the firecrackers of the young people who are rioting in the city and because of the police response.”

“We are not able to go to restaurants because everything is closed. There isn’t a living soul on the street since being in the city center feels dangerous.”

He added that Jews are not the only ones affected negatively by the riots. “The rioters only want to steal and riot on the streets without differentiating who stands before them.”

Lilty, who runs a store selling glasses, says he emptied the shelves for fear of looting. “We took everything home. There are no glasses or sunglasses in the store. I took everything before Shabbat started, and there are no goods in the store at all.”

He described how he feared his store was in trouble when he noticed his phone ringing repeatedly over Shabbat. Religiously observant Jews do not use the phone on Shabbat except for potentially life-threatening situations.

“I am religious and keep Shabbat; my cellphone rang four or five times. I walked 40 minutes on foot to my store because I feared there were problems near the store, and thank G-d, everything was fine.”

Lilty says police are not doing enough to stop the rioting.

“I was born and raised in Marseille, and I love it. But the Marseille of today has turned into Gaza,” he said.

Mass chaos has engulfed France since the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel M., of Algerian origin, in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday.

Rioters in areas with large Muslim populations have torched cars and looted shops, clashing with police and causing hundreds of injuries.

During the rioting, vandals spray-painted “Police scum” on a monument in Nanterre commemorating the Holocaust and Jewish members of the French resistance to the Nazis.

Antisemitic chants have also been heard during riots and Jewish businesses have been ransacked.

Israel is closely monitoring and deeply concerned about “waves of antisemitism sweeping over France,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

“In recent days, we have witnessed criminal assaults against Jewish targets. We strongly condemn these attacks and support the French government in its fight against antisemitism,” he added.



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